Advent, Advent ein Lichtlein brennt. Erst eins, dann zwei, dann drei, dann vier, dann steht das Christkind vor der Tür.” This poem is about the Advent season and will be recited and sung in many kindergartens over the next few weeks. The song plays on the tradition that on each of the four Sundays of Advent, one more candle is lit on the wreath to announce the approach of Christmas through the increasing brightness. And now I bring to you a recipe for a Stollen wreath cake on the first Sunday of Advent.
For the advent wreath cake a firm yeast dough forms the basis for the recipe, which is refined with some cottage cheese to improve the shelf life. From the addition of spices and orange zest, this stollen wreath takes on a unique taste profile.
To ensure that the yeast dough is evenly and stably risen, it is important to prepare a pre-dough. The pre-dough (sponge) is necessary so that the gluten can hydratel well without the addition of fat and sugar. Of course, the starch is also hydrated during this standing time. The dough will also swell during this time which is important for the end resulting shelf life of the bake. The temperature of the pre-dough should be between 20 and 23 ° C. The rise time at this temperature should take approx. 1 hour and if the dough is to be kept longer it needs to be kept cool. The limit though is 4 hours since the milk in the pre-dough can lead to the growth of microbes.
for 1 Advent Wreath approx. 485g
- 80g Wheat Flour Type 700
- 90g Warm Milk (30°C)
- 8g Yeast
Dissolve the yeast in the milk then stir in the wheat flour. Cover and let stand for 45-60 minutes.
- 60g Raisins
- 20g Candied Orange Peel
- 10g Rum
Mix the raisins and candied orange with the rum a few hours before use.
- 178g ripe Sponge
- 120g Wheat Flour Type 700
- 30g Butter
- 20g Granulated Sugar
- 20g Egg Yolk (1)
- 20g Cottage Cheese
- 4g Salt
- 1g Stollen Spices
- + Zest from half of an organic orange
- + Fruit mixture is incorporated after the mixing of the dough
Knead all of the ingredients into a smooth dough (6 min. slow /4 min. fast). Then mix in the fruit mixture.
After a short rest phase the dough is formed into a round loaf. Cover and set aside to rest for another 20 minutes. After this time create a hole in the middle of the dough with your fingers and then stretch the hole out to about 15cm.
The formed wreath is placed on a baking tray lined baking paper. Cover and allow to proof. Once ⅔ proofed the wreath is brushed with an egg wash.
Bake when fully proofed in a preheated oven (180°C), for about 25-30 minutes.
After baked and cooled the wreath is covered with a sugar glaze and sprinkled with slivered almonds. If you have marzipan available you can decorate the wreath with candles.
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