Christmas Stollen, 2.0….Even Better!

Gluten-Free Holiday Stollen Yield: two 10″ loaves

The classic Christmas stollen bread is made with yeast. Shush, don’t tell your gluten eating friends that this quicker, easier gluten-free version, made with baking powder as the rising agent, is even tastier in my humble opinion. Filled with dried fruit and toasted almonds and covered with a layer of melted butter and powdered sugar, this is more like pastry and is delicious with a cup of coffee or tea. Great choice for when company is coming as it isn’t that much work or time needed to create this masterpiece. Everyone will think you slaved all day to bake it. No need to tell them how easy it is! Its origins are Germanic but it isn’t heavy or dry; flaky and tender, pastry perfection. If you are searching for the perfect gluten free holiday treat; look no further. I cannot say enough good things about this treat. It is loved by all, and that second loaf makes a wonderful gift. I am looking forward to enjoying stollen this afternoon; in the oven baking right now!

I first made it 3 years ago, lost the recipe; had to get it again from the King Arthur Flour’s web site customer service center as they had removed it from their recipe rotation. They said it needed some tweaking. I disagree, it is just delectable although shaping it can be rather messy. It is far easier made without yeast which adds steps and can be finicky. I frankly don’t miss the yeast like I once thought I would. This dough is very tender and flavorful, I have been known to eat leftover tidbits raw it is that tasty. My family adores this pastry treat and will do nefarious things to get more stollen at Christmastime.

Notes: You could use orange rind instead of lemon rind and the dried fruit selection is entirely up to your tastes or your pantry. If you dislike the raisins substitute more dried fruit. One more good thing; it doesn’t require aging like a fruit cake. As soon as it cools you can cut a fat piece and enjoy a slice of heaven on earth!

Adding the butter
Butter is now integrated into dough using pastry cutter

Dough

2 1/4 cups King Arthur basic blend Gluten-Free Flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt*

3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) cold butter

3/4 cup ricotta cheese, part-skim milk type, let warm a bit to get it close to room temp. Can use whole milk ricotta if that is what you have.

2 large eggs, room temp

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Grated rind of 1 small lemon; or 1/4 teaspoon lemon oil, or 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup of your favorite dried fruits, chopped to 1/2″ pieces Yes, dried, not fresh. (I do apricots, cherries, currents, raisins or peaches/pears)

1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted and cooled

—————

*Reduce the salt to 1/4 teaspoon if you use salted butter.

dried fruit and citrus zest

Topping

the dried fruit is mixed in!

Adding the toasted almonds
Adding the wet mixture into the dry dough
formed stollen ready to bake
baked and powdered
More powdered sugar sprinkled on using a sieve

4 tablespoons butter, melted

2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line it with

parchment.

2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum in a mixing bowl.

3. Cut the cold butter into small chunks, then blend it into the flour mixture to form uneven crumbs.

4. In a separate bowl, mix together the cheese, eggs, vanilla, and flavors.

5. Toss the fruit and almonds with the flour mixture until evenly distributed. Then combine the wet and dry ingredients, mixing until most of the flour is

moistened.

6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, and knead it two or three times, until it holds together. Divide it in half.

7. Pat each piece of dough into an 8″ x 7″ oval about 1/2″ thick.

8. Fold each piece of dough roughly in half, leaving the edge of the top half about 1/2″ short of the edge of the bottom half. Should you fold the long way, or the short way? The long way will give you a longer, narrower stollen, with shorter slices; folding the short way will give you a wider, fatter stollen, with longer slices.  I do the long way, your choice.

9. Use the edge of your hand to press the dough to seal about 1″ in back of the open edge; this will make the traditional stollen shape. It’s also the familiar Parker House roll shape, if you’ve ever made them. The dough will probably crack; that’s OK, just smooth it out as best you can.

10. Carefully place the shaped stollen on the prepared baking sheet.

11. Bake the stollen until they’re very lightly browned around the edges and on top, about 40 minutes. A cake tester inserted into the center should come out clean.

12. Remove the stollen from the oven, and transfer them to a rack. Brush them each with 2 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle heavily with confectioners’ sugar.

13. Allow the stollen to cool, then brush with butter again, and sprinkle with sugar again. Wrap in plastic wrap until ready to serve; serve within a week. If desired, sprinkle with additional sugar just before serving.

14. Yield: two 1-pound stollen loaves. I like to freeze one for another occasion if I am not gifting it right away. Enjoy!

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