My friend asked me to babysit his stand mixer. He's currently changing jobs, changing houses, a wonderful start to a new year. I've been in the market for a mixer for quite some time. I just can't make a decision and commit. Do I want a tilt mixer, or do I want a lift. Do I decide on ice blue, or pay double for copper, because it's just too irresistible. This temporary stand mixer will settle in its new home shortly. By then, I will need to have made a decision. I can no longer continue, my heart longs for one that I can call my own. I've made my last batch in this loner mixer. A fruit bread of sorts. The Germans call it stollen, and I call it lovely. It's a light and airy sweet bread, laden with fruit soaked in rum. It's finished with a dusting of powdered sugar and enjoyed with a touch of butter and a dollop of cream.
STOLLEN BREAD WITH CANDIED FRUIT RECIPE
makes 2 loaves
recipe adapted from The Bread Baker's Apprentice
prep time: 30 minutes + 2 hour rise
cook time: 40 minutes
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 tsp instant yeast
1 cup dried or candied fruit (raisins/cranberries/dates/pineapple/mango/oranges)
1/2 cup rum
1 tbsp orange extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp grated orange zest
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 large egg
5 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup water
powdered sugar for dusting
In a small saucepan, warm the milk to 100ºF. Then, in a small bowl, whisk the warm milk, 1/2 cup flour, and the yeast. Cover with Saran wrap and let proof for 1 hour. The sponge should become foamy and double in size.
While the sponge is fermenting, combine the dried fruit, rum, and orange extract in a small bowl. Set to the side.
In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer) combine the flour, sugar, salt, orange zest, and cinnamon. Stir in (or mix in with the paddle attachment) the egg, butter, and enough water to form a soft tacky ball. If you add too much water the dough will become too sticky. If this happens, add some flour to get the appropriate consistency. When the dough starts to stick together, stop mixing. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes.
Sprinkle the dried fruit + juices into the dough. Lightly sprinkle flour onto a work surface and begin to knead the fruit into the dough - 6 minutes (or place the bowl back into the stand mixer and knead with the dough hook attachment - 4 minutes). The fruit should become evenly distributed, the dough should become soft and tacky, but not sticky.
Lightly oil a large bowl. Place the dough into the bowl, cover, and allow to rest for 45 minutes. The dough should rise slightly.
Lightly sprinkle flour onto a work surface. Remove the dough from the bowl and cut into two pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Make a tic-tac-toe shaped grid on the top of the dough with a knife. Place the two pieces of dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Wrap with Saran wrap and let rise for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Remove the Saran wrap. Place the bread into the oven for 20 minutes. Rotate the pan 180º and continue baking for 20 minutes. The internal temperature of the loaves should be 190ºF when cooked. Remove the loaves from the oven and let cool for 1 hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.