19 December 2011

December 19th is Stollen Day in the Grand Duchy. . . Hurrah!!!!

Another seasonal image. . .  This morning, it is another photograph of, you guessed it, a Dresdner Stollen!

Nothing more to say except that the Grand Duchess is planning to bake a couple of her authentic Dresdner Stollen today.  I cannot wait, and it is difficult to decide whether the aroma that fills the house is nicer than that first slice of warm stollen, or if it's the other way around.  What a holiday conundrum!

Here is a blue Santa Claus/ Father Christmas, wearing an interesting cap, not the usual tasseled variety or a bishop's mitre, along with a vase of holly.  Holly is something you don't see too much anymore in the United States, at least to the best of my knowledge, at this time of year.  When I was a small boy in the early 1970s, quite a few families we knew in Missouri and Pennsylvania still used holly to dress up their houses for the Christmas season.  It's a shame that seems less common now because the leaves and berries of holly are extremely pretty, especially at this time of year.

And later this evening, a return to the painting table for another crack at the next batch of ten RSM95 Prussian musketeers, now masquerading as the 6th (Luebecker Musketeers) Infantry in the Army of the Grand Duchy of Stollen.

And so, here is a photograph of holly and ivy, reminding me of one of the most beautiful Christmas carols there is in the English langage, The Holly and the Ivy.  Click on the highlighted song title to hear a version of it.

I spent quite a while last night, after capping my paint and rinsing my brushes, looking at some photographs of those terrific old Holger Eriksson figures online.  Old School miniatures (and cutting edge Swedish engineering) personified. . .  Gorgeous!  You know, I think I might just have to order another unit of HE cavalry in 2012.

A regiment of Holger Eriksson dragoons, here in support of some RSM95 cuirassiers, takes on a regiment of Spencer Smith cavalry during a solo battle fought here at Stollen Central in 2010.


Finally, here is a reprise of last year's recipe for Dresdner Stollen, courtesy of FoodGeeks.com that is fairly close to that used by the Grand Duchess:

Here's a recipe from FoodGeeks.com: 1 recipe scale / convert
INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup rum or brandy
1 cup chopped citron
1 cup chopped candied orange peel
3/4 cup golden raisins
3/4 cup currants
2 env. dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 cup 1 plus tbsp. sugar
2 cups milk
2 tsp. salt
1-1/3 cups unsalted butter
1 1/2 lemons
1 tsp. almond extract
7 to 8 cups flour, as needed
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1-1/2 cups chopped blanched almonds
1/2 cup melted butter, approximately
1/3 to 1/2 cup granulated sugar, for sprinkling
Vanilla Sugar, (confectioners') for sprinkling
INSTRUCTIONS
Combine rum with citron, orange peel, raisins and currants and let stand for 1 hour. Drain, RESERVING rum and fruit.

Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar and set aside in a warm place for 10 minutes, or until foamy. Scald milk with 1 cup granulated sugar, salt and butter. When butter melts, cool to lukewarm. Add lemon rind, 2 tablespoons reserved rum and almond extract. Stir in yeast and 2 cups flour. Mix well and set in warm corner for 30 minutes, or until the mixture bubbles. Stir in eggs and work in as much remaining flour as need to make a soft, light dough that does not stick to your hands.

Dredge drained fruit lightly with flour. Turn dough onto floured board and knead until dough blisters and is smooth and elastic.

Knead in fruits and nuts only until well distributed. Gather into a ball, place in a floured bowl and dust top lightly with flour. Cover loosely and let rise in a draft-free corner for 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.

Punch dough down, divide into thirds and set aside for 10 minutes. Lightly roll each third of dough into an oval about 3/4i nch thick.

Brush top of each oval with a little melted butter and sprinkle with a tablespoonful or two of granulated sugar. Fold each oval lengthwise, almost in half, so that edges do not quite meet. Press closed.

Slide loaves onto a lightly buttered baking sheet, brush tops with melted butter and let rise in draft-free corner for 1 hour, or until almost doubled in bulk.

Bake in preheated 375 F. oven for about 1 hour, or until golden brown and hollow-sounding when tapped on bottom. Cool slightly, but while still warm, brush tops with melted butter and dust with confectioners' sugar. Cool completely and dust with confectioners' sugar again before slicing. Serve thinly sliced, with or without butter.

To store, place in plastic bags and tie closed, or wrap in double thickness of aluminum foil. Makes 3 loaves

Vanilla Sugar

Place 1 pound confectioners' or granulated sugar in a jar with 2 or 3 vanilla beans. Close jar tightly and let stand for 48 hours before using. Replenish sugar as it is used up. Use as called for in individual recipes. Beans need replacing only after 4 or 5 months.

3 comments:

tidders said...

I shall be nibbling some luxury stollen over the Xmas hols (bought not baked) - still yummy

-- Allan

Snickering Corpses said...

If one were to make this without using alcohol, is there something that would make a good substitute for the rum?

Prinz Ulrich von Boffke said...

You can find/buy some non-alcoholic rum flavoring, although the Grand Duchess informs me that there is so much yeast in stollens that you don't really notice if the alcohol is left out. Hope that helps.

Best Regards,

Stokes

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