Celebrate Easter with a Dutch version of Christmas Stollen
- Food processor (to make almond paste)
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Chopping board and knife
- Rolling pin
- Medium mixing bowl
- Large mixing bowl
- Stand mixer
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Wire cooling rack
- ALMOND PASTE:
- ¾ cup (175 mL) white blanched almonds
- ½ cup (125 mL) icing sugar
- Zest of ½ lemon
- 1 egg white
- OR purchase an almond paste log from the store (if available) - 1 cup tightly packed almond paste
- 2 ½ cups (325 g) all purpose flour
- 3 ½ tsp (10 g) dry active yeast
- ¼ cup (60 mL) granulated sugar
- 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
- ½ tsp (2.5 mL) cinnamon
- ¼ tsp (1 mL) nutmeg
- 1 large egg, beaten
- ¾ cup (175 mL) whole milk 3.25% m.f.
- 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup (75 mL) unsalted butter, room temperature, cubed
- 1 ½ cups (250 g) dried fruit (currants, raisins, sultanas, cranberries or a mix of them all!)
- 1 cup (150 g) dried cherries or dried apricots
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) cherry brandy or apricot brandy
- 1/3 cup (50 g) chopped candied orange or citrus peel
- 1/3 cup (50 g) chopped walnuts
- 1/3 cup (50 g) chopped almonds
- ½ cup (75 g) sliced almonds
- 1 egg white
- 2 Tbsp (15 mL) unsalted butter, melted
- icing sugar, to sift on top
Stollen, the German fruit bread is a Christmas tradition but, in Holland, the Dutch call it "kerststol". In the spring the fruit bread is what the Dutch call "paasstol", except this version is topped with almonds and traditionally eaten at Easter. Both paasstol and kerststol have the almond paste centre.
- Prior to making the bread, start the almond paste a day or two ahead. Grind ¾ cup white (blanched) almonds with ½ cup icing sugar and zest from ½ of a lemon to a coarse paste in a food processor. Add egg white and grind until fully combined. Roll out the almost paste into a log shape and wrap with plastic. Leave in the refrigerator until needed.
- Soak the dried fruits in the brandy overnight.
- Now, let’s make the bread! Place all the ingredients for your dough into a stand mixer bowl. Using the dough hook, knead until incorporated and knead until a smooth dough forms. Let stand for 10-15 minutes.
- Add the chopped candied citrus peel, walnuts, almonds, and drained dried fruit to the dough mix until combined.
- Shape the dough into a ball into a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rest/rise – about 1 hour. Don't worry if it doesn’t rise much, the paasstol is a dense bread.
- Roll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface about 8x12 inches to a thickness of 1 inch. Roll out the almond paste into a log shape and place in the centre of the dough folding over the sides and pinching to seal.
- Place the oval formed dough on a parchment-lined baking pan lightly brushing the top of the bread with an egg white and topping with the sliced almonds. Cover with plastic wrap to rest for 45 mins at room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Place the dough in the oven baking in the middle rack for 45 minutes until brown and reduce heat to 320° F once the door is closed. Cover with foil if sliced almonds are browning too quickly.
- Cool bread on a wire rack. After 10 minutes, brush the top with melted butter and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cool before slicing. Serve with another dusting of powered sugar and a side of butter.
Suggestion: Serve your paasstol with something savoury like a Dutch breakfast, kale and sausage (boerenkool met worst)! Or if you prefer something with a little less effort, arrange a Dutch cheese platter.
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