Sourdough Stollen Wreath

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December’s Sourdough Surprises is stollen. I did stollen last year, but it wasn’t a sourdough one. Checking my list of planned bakes I found that I’d written down trying to make a wreath version of stollen, similar to the brioche crowns I’ve done before.

BBC Good Food’s stollen wreath has some good ideas. Rather than just using up whatever dried fruit & nuts come to hand they go for xmas themed red cranberries and green pistachios. These are also used to decorate along with white water icing: not the traditional dusting of icing/powdered sugar, but I think the red/green decoration on the outside really works.

What I’m not convinced by with the BBC Good Food recipe is the baking time; just 25 minutes at 170C fan. Last year’s stollen got 35 minutes at 180C fan, and it was a bit undercooked around the marzipan. Martha Stewart goes for 45 minutes at 170C fan. I think I’m going to use my La Cloche to cook it through before forming a crust as I do with my regular sourdough loaves.

Finally The BBC Good Food recipe is also bigger than last year’s stollen. It makes sense that I’ll need more dough for a wreath than a simple folded version, but I need to fit it inside La Cloche, and a 1kg crown gets pretty big… so I’m going got a ~750g dough.

So… taking all that into account, here’s my recipe and method plan.

Bread:

  • 375g flour
    • 260g strong (14.8% protein) white flour
    • 75g wholemeal bread flour
    • 40g rye flour
  • 150g warm milk
  • 1 duck egg
  • 60g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 30g golden caster sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground mace
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamon
  • 225g refreshed starter (100% hydration)
  • 1 tsp salt

Filling:

  • 100g cranberries
  • 100g candied peel
  • 60ml rum
  • 100g pistachios

Marzipan / almond paste (at least double what’s needed, but it’s xmas and marzipan will be needed :)

  • 375g ground almonds
  • 185g golden caster sugar
  • 185g icing (confectioners’) sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • Juice & zest one lemon
  • 1 Tbsp amaretto

Glaze:

  • 1 duck egg

Decoration:

  • Water Amaretto icing
  • Extra cranberries & pistachios

Method:

  • Refresh starter overnight
  • Autolyze flour, spices & liquids

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  • Make almond paste

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  • Add salt & starter, knead

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  • Standard bulk hydration, with stretch and folds

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  • Soak fruit in rum
  • REALISE I DON’T HAVE ANY DRIED CRANBERRIES!
  • Run to various local shops to find dried cranberries

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  • Laminate fruit & nuts into dough

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  • Make wreath
    • Roll out rectangle

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  • Cut in half, almond paste on each half

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  • Roll up each half, make sure no almond paste is exposed

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  • Twist rolls together and make into crown, La Cloche-sized

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  • Proof
  • Oven to max 230C fan with La Cloche in
  • Glaze

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  • Bake in La Cloche

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  • Turn oven down once it’s in
    • 30 minutes at 200C fan with the lid on
    • 15 minutes at 180C fan with the lid off
  • Cool
  • Cover in icing (powdered) sugar

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  • Then… wait a few days as stollen needs to age
    • Was planning a week, but that was unrealistic…
  • Decorate
    • I was planning water icing and extra cranberries & pistachios, but water turned to alcohol… and the extra fruit wasn’t really needed, and I’m not sure the icing would have stuck them on anyway

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  • Finally… cut and eat!

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Mmm… rich, fruity, spicy, marzipan in every bite, and a hint of booze – perfect Christmas fodder!


Check out the other sourdough stollen!

8 thoughts on “Sourdough Stollen Wreath

    1. Thanks! I’ve got to credit Paul Hollywood with the idea for general bread wreathes, but I’d like to point out I decided on a stolen wreathe before I saw him do it on his xmas Bakeoff special!

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  1. Beautiful stollen! I am jealous of your wreath as I tried to form one but my dough felt a little too soft. I never thought of using a cloche for this. I need to use it more often.

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    1. Thanks! I’m using my cloche more and more. Getting the oven spring while covered, then forming the crust after taking the lid off seems to work so well for so many types of bread.

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