Pastry Chef Newton Pryce of Great Performances, Wave Hill’s exclusive caterer, kicked off our Warming Winter Spices Cooking Series last weekend with stollen, a traditional German sweet bread made with candied fruits, spices and marzipan. To begin, Wave Hill Director of Visitor Services Michael Wiertz provided a brief history of stollen, and shared memories of eating stollen with his family during the Christmas holiday while growing up in Germany. He recalled that it arrived at the table in the shape of a lamb and was enjoyed as an afternoon treat on Christmas Day. The impending snowstorm kept the audience numbers down enough that we could transform the program from a demonstration to a hands-on workshop, with everyone donning disposable gloves and getting a chance to mix ingredients and work with the dough. While the dough was rising, Newton melted some decadent Callebaut chocolate and participants dipped fresh strawberries for an additional treat. A freshly baked warm stollen was brought out at the end of the program for everyone to enjoy. This delicious bread satisfied even the fruitcake-phobic in the group!
I’m already looking forward to the next cooking demo, which takes place early in the new year. (And may be it be the happiest of new years for us all!) On January 23, GP chef Dan Obusan will be preparing hearty winter soups. In the meantime, here is Newton’s wonderful recipe, which is sure to bring you as much pleasure as it did our visitors last week.
1 T. active dry yeast
2/3 c. warm milk
1 large egg
1/3 c. white sugar
1/2 T. salt
1/3 c. butter, softened
2 1/2 c. bread flour
1/3 cup currants
1/3 c. sultana raisins
1/3 c. candied red and green cherries, quartered
1 c. diced candied peel, prunes and mixed fruits
1 t. ginger
1 t. allspice
6 ounces marzipan
1 T. icing sugar
1 t. ground cinnamon
In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm milk. Let stand until creamy (about 10 minutes). In a large bowl, combine the yeast mixture with the egg, white sugar, salt, butter and 2 cups bread flour and beat well. Add the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has begun to pull together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in the currants, raisins, dried cherries, peel mixture, ginger and allspice. Knead until smooth (about 8 minutes).
Place the dough in a lightly oiled large bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume (about 1 hour). Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the marzipan into a rope and place it in the centre of the dough. Fold the dough over to cover it, and pinch the seams together to seal. Place the loaf, seam side down, on the prepared baking sheet and cover with a damp cloth. Let it rise until doubled in volume, about 60 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 300 degrees and bake for a further 30−40 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow the loaf to cool on a wire rack. Dust the cooled loaf with the icing sugar and sprinkle with cinnamon.