|Fresh from the oven and newly dusted with confectioner's sugar, the 2021 stollen baked by my wonderful wife, The Grand Duchess!|
Christmastime is still in full swing here at Totliegh-in-the-Wold.
Yesterday afternoon, on the 26th, The Grand Duchess got out one of her German language cookbooks, and set about putting together the dough for this year's stollen. A little later, I had to make a quick trip down the road to the supermarket to pick up some additional butter and yeast packets for her, but things were already well underway when I returned.
The entire preparation and baking process takes a while, but the end result is what you see above. Apparently, stollen is something that had its start in the areas of Germany where there was mining. In this case, the Saxony region. The most famous variety is the Dresdner Stollen, which is what The Grand Duchess whips up for us each year, using an authentic German recipe and ingredients.
Apparently, Germans bake their stollen in early December and let them age for a couple of weeks before eating it. But there is simply no way I could contemplate waiting that long to enjoy ours. My willpower is pretty good with many things, but not, I am afraid, when there is fresh stollen in the kitchen. The yeasty aroma that fills the house is to die for.
Anyway, The Grand Duchess and I sat down with some coffee following The Young Master's bedtime yesterday evening to sample a couple of small slices by the hearth. And it is as delicious as it looks. Not exactly sweet and not gloppy with moisture, but buttery, fairly dry, with a hint of almond, lemon, and sweetness plus raisins and dried fruit that have been kneaded into the dough before setting aside to rise before the actual baking takes place.
Which brings us to the morning of December 27th. In a little while, The Young Master and I will dig in at the breakfast table with glasses of eggnog and some fresh, strong coffee for yours truly. We have even had two or three inches of new snow in the night. Not a bad start to the day.