Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Gluten Free stollen with walnut citrus "marzipan"

I take back what I have said about German food. My snide comments about fatty monochrome flavored sausage plates devoid of fresh produce of any sort, washed down with a bucket 'o beer. Not by thing, although Aaron was intrigued (minus the beer of course). We did have German breakfast at a cute restaurant in Anaheim. The gluten free offering were all meat, eggs, potatoes. It was tasty, but it certainly kept us full for our entire day at Disneyland!

But I admit I never really thought about German baked goods. In fact, I have never had any of the traditional holiday sweet breads - pannetone, stollen, you name it - never tasted it even in its glutenous glory. In fact those loves looked dry and funny to me. Not tempting. But I was willing to give it a shot for this month's Daring Baker's challenge.

The 2010 December Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Penny of Sweet Sadie’s Baking. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make Stollen. She adapted a friend’s family recipe and combined it with information from friends, techniques from Peter Reinhart’s book.........and Martha Stewart’s demonstration.

I decided to go fairly traditional after floating around miso glazed stollen, or chili studded loaves. I decided since I never have had it, I should taste the original, and I was glad I did. It is a nice holiday treat, and the boys devoured it. Aaron liked it better after a day of aging, which goes along with his sausage and kraut loving German-ness... 

Gluten-Free Stollen 
  • ¼ cup (60ml) lukewarm water (110º F / 43º C)
  • 2 packages (4 1/2 teaspoons) (22 ml) (14 grams) (1/2 oz) active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 10 tablespoons (150 ml) (140 grams) unsalted butter (can use salted butter)
  • 5½ cups (1320 ml) (27 ozs) (770 grams) GF all-purpose blend 
  • 2 t additional xanthan gum (or 2 T + 1 t if you are using a blend without xanthan)
  • ½ cup (120 ml) (115 gms) sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon (3 ¾ ml) (4 ½ grams) salt (if using salted butter there is no need to alter this salt measurement)
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 grams) cinnamon
  • 5 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
  • 1 TB vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons lemon extract  
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) (4 ¾ ozs) (135 grams) candied citrus peel
  • 1 cup (240 ml) (6 ozs) (170 gms) firmly packed raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup (240 ml) (3 ½ ozs) (100 grams) flaked almonds
  • Walnut citrus marizipan (optional) (recipe below)
  • Melted unsalted butter for coating the wreath
  • Confectioners’ (icing) (powdered) sugar for dusting wreath

  1. Soak the dried fruit In a small bowl, soak the raisins in the orange juice from the zested orange or water and set aside.

To make the dough

  1. Pour ¼ cup (60 ml) warm water into a small bowl, sprinkle with yeast and let stand 5 minutes. Stir to dissolve yeast completely.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups milk and 10 tablespoons (150 ml) butter over medium - low heat until butter is melted. Let stand until lukewarm, about 5 minutes.
  3. Lightly beat eggs in a small bowl and add lemon and vanilla extracts.
  4. In a large mixing bowl (4 qt) (4 liters) (or in the bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment), stir together the flour, xanthan gum, sugar, salt, cinnamon, orange and lemon zests.
  5. Then mix on low speed with the paddle attachment the yeast/water mixture, eggs and the lukewarm milk/butter mixture. Increase the speed to high and beat until it become a thick batter like consistency. Add additional milk if needed as the amount of liquid required depends on your flour blend. It should look like it would start to flow if you added more liquid.
  6. Add in the mixed peel, soaked fruit and almonds and mix with your hands or on low speed to incorporate.
  7. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling around to coat it with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
  8. Put it in the fridge overnight. The dough becomes very firm in the fridge (since the butter goes firm) but it does rise slowly… the raw dough can be kept in the refrigerator up to a week and then baked on the day you want.

Shaping the Dough and Baking the Wreath

  1. Let the dough rest for 2 hours after taking out of the fridge in order to warm slightly.
  2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  3. Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4 with the oven rack on the middle shelf. 
  4. Roll into a rectangle between two sheets of floured parchment (I use cornstarch to roll) about 16 x 24 inches (40 x 61 cms) and ¼ inch (6 mm) thick. 
  5. If using the marzipan, roll it into a 1 inch thick rope and lay it lengthwise on the center of the rectangle.
  6. Starting with a long side, roll up tightly, forming a long, thin cylinder. Use the parchment to help roll the delicate wet gluten free dough. It is easier when chilled.
  7.  Join the two ends together to form a circle.
  8. Make cuts along outside of circle, in 2-inch (5 cm) intervals, cutting 2/3 of the way through the dough. Pull segments gently to make a wreath shape 
  9. Proof for approximately 2 hours at room temperature, or until about 1½ times its original size.
  10. Bake the stollen for 20 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees for even baking and continue to bake for 20 to 30 minutes. The bread will bake to a dark mahogany color, should register 190°F/88°C in the center of the loaf, and should sound hollow when thumped on the bottom.
  11. Transfer to a cooling rack and brush the top with melted butter while still hot.
  12. Immediately tap a layer of powdered sugar over the top through a sieve or sifter.
  13. Wait for 1 minute, then tap another layer over the first.
  14. The bread should be coated generously with the powdered sugar.
  15. Let cool at least an hour before serving. Coat the stollen in butter and icing sugar three times, since this many coatings helps keeps the stollen fresh - especially if you intend on sending it in the mail as Christmas presents!
  16. When completely cool, store in a plastic bag. Or leave it out uncovered overnight to dry out slightly, German style.
Walnut Citrus "Marzipan"
  • 1 cup leftover sugar syrup from candied orange peels OR 1 cup sugar dissolved in 1/3 cup water and 1 t orange zest
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts

  1. Grind walnuts in a food processor. Keep in food processor while you make the sugar syrup.
  2. Boil sugar syrup to 240 degrees.
  3. While hot, pour into the running food processor and blend until it becomes dough like. Cool to room temperature before using.


  1. Fab job, it is gorgeous, I love looking at the inside.

  2. I love how you used leftovers from the candied peel in your marzipan, which sounds delicious! Maybe not all German food is heavy! Beautifully done, happy holidays!

  3. I tried stollen for the first time last year. It looked dry and not entirely appetizing as a dessert, but it was delicious! I couldn't get enough.

  4. God, I love stollen and yours has a gorgeous texture - I can't believe it's gluten free!

  5. Sheryl,
    What are you using as a gluten free baking mix? And do you have a preferred gf baking mix recipe?