In the Netherlands, there has to be stollen on the table at Christmas and Easter. Then we call it a Christmas stollen or Easter stollen. And how nice is it that you have made it yourself in the barbecue? It’s relatively easy; it just takes some time, especially if you make the almond paste yourself.
But if you spread a slice of your homemade stollen with a thick layer of good butter, you’ll know why you made it. You better make two immediately because your neighbours who have smelled fresh bread from your garden also want a piece.
If you bought cleaned almonds, you could skip the next paragraph. If you’ve bought almonds with the skin on, you must remove them before making the paste. To remove the skins, bring a pan of water to a boil and add the almonds. After two minutes, we scoop the almonds with a slotted spoon. When you put the almonds into a bowl of ice-cold water, it is pretty easy to rub the skins off.
We now move on to the dough. Mix the flour, butter (cut into cubes), beaten egg, white caster sugar, water, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Make sure the salt and yeast are put in separately. If they come into contact with each other too soon, the salt will destroy the yeast cells, limiting the fermentation.
When kneading the dough, you use the palms of your hands, continuously pushing the dough away from you. The kneading will take at least 10 to 15 minutes. This is important to ensure that the flour has absorbed all the moisture and that the gluten can do its job.
Soak the raisins in warm water and chop the nuts to the desired size. We divide the dough into two equal parts and roll them both slightly flat. On one half, we put all the raisins and nuts, and then put the other half of the dough on top.
Now fold the dough in half, push it away from you with your palm, then push it away from you and so on. Do this until all the raisins and nuts are nicely distributed in the dough. Do this no longer than necessary, and then divide the dough again into two equal balls. Each ball goes in a lightly floured dish (to prevent sticking) with cling film over it. The dough can now rise briefly at room temperature for 15 minutes.
After this first rising, roll the dough flat into an oval. Fold the two short sides inwards to create a trapezoid. We will also tension the dough by folding the corners of the trapezoid inwards. If all goes well, it has already turned into a dough ball you can take in two hands. Make sure the seams are at the bottom, and slightly puff up the dough as if you were folding two socks into a ball! Do this with both balls of dough and put them back in their bowl, cover and let them rise again for 15 minutes.
After the second rise, we roll each dough into a circle. We divide the prepared almond paste in half and roll it into two bars that stay well within the circles of dough. Fold the dough with the stick of almond paste in half and press the edges to close it. Brush the tops of both stollen with beaten egg and let them rise again for an hour. You can light the barbecue about fifteen minutes before the end of rising.
When the barbecue has a stable temperature of 200ºC (392F), the stollen can be placed on the pizza stone. Close the lid and wait 25 minutes before checking how it looks. If the stollen looks like the photo above, you check the doneness by inserting a skewer into the bread. If it comes out clean, the clot is ready.
In the meantime, we can melt two lumps of butter in a pan. We use this melted butter to brush the stollen so that the powdered sugar sticks nicely on the bread.
This is the time to ask the neighbours or friends to come over and have a cup of coffee because you want to share this stollen (especially at Christmas).
If you will make this party stollen, let us know in the comments below. Or better! Could you take a photo and post it on Instagram? Tag @bbqhelden and @thijsbbq so we can see what you’ve made.
For the almond paste
- 150 grams of almonds
- 150 grams of granulated sugar
- Half a grated lemon
- 1 egg
For the dough
- 350 grams of flour
- 25 grams of fresh yeast or 7 grams of instant yeast
- 2 eggs
- 35 white caster sugar
- 7 grams of salt
- 60 grams of butter
- 180 ml lukewarm water
- 210 grams of soaked raisins
- 40 grams of finely chopped almonds
- 40 grams of finely chopped walnuts
- Powdered sugar
- Melted butter
Preparation almond paste
- Grind the white almonds in a food processor, blender or coffee grinder. Then pour in the granulated sugar and add the lemon zest.
- Add a beaten egg and knead to a paste.
- Shape the dough into a ball and wrap it in cling film. Then let it sit in the fridge.
Preparation of the dough
- Soak the raisins in warm water and chop the nuts finely.
- Mix the flour, butter, beaten egg, white caster sugar, water, yeast and salt in a bowl and knead for about fifteen minutes until the dough is no longer sticky. Then divide the dough in half and roll it into two oval slices.
- Place the raisins and nuts on one of the halves. Place the other dough half on top of this. Then mix it as we explained above.
- Shape the mixed dough into two balls and place in a covered dish for 15 minutes.
- Roll a dough ball into an oval form and fold the short sides inwards to form a trapezoid. Then fold in the corners.
- Apply tension to the resulting ball of dough by balling it in with both hands (like folding two socks). Let the ball rise again for 15 minutes in covered dishes.
- Roll each dough ball into a disc. Divide the almond paste in half, roll a stick of each, and place it on the disk of dough.
- Fold the dough over the food to form the Christmas stollen and close the edges.
- Brush each loaf with a beaten egg and let them rise covered for an hour.
- Prepare a barbecue with an indirect temperature of 200ºC (392F) and a pizza stone. Place the dough on the stone and close the lid.
- After half an hour, the stollen is golden brown, and you can remove it from the barbecue.
- Brush the stollen with melted butter and dust with powdered sugar.