Kerststol (Dutch Christmas bread)

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On request of a friend I put out the recipe for the typical Dutch Christmas bread called “kerststol”. Well it is not that Dutch, the Germans also have it, and call it Weihnachtstolle. It is real good, especially on dark and cold days with a cup of hot chocolate or coffee. Enjoy!P1040379b

600g flour

30g sugar

a pinch of salt

1 egg

50 g of fresh yeast

3 dl milk

100g butter (or margarine)

450g currants or raisins

200g almond paste (if it is a hard kind add lemonjuice to make it juicy)

Weld the currants or raisins in water for about 30 min – 1 hour. Strain them and dry them on a towel or paper towel for another 30 min.

In the mean time. Crumble the yeast into your container that you will make the dough in, add sugar and salt. Melt the butter and then add the milk, let it heat up to 37 degrees Celcius, watch out this process goes quickly since the butter is already hot. Poor this into your pan, over the yeast and stir for a while. Let it stand for a few minutes so the yeasting process starts. Add your egg and then almost all the flower (leave some for when kneading it out after rising) while stirring. Knead the dough until it becomes a smooth dough. This can take a while (upto 10 min), but it is important to get a good dough. Let it rise for about 30-45 min.

Take the dough out and knead it again. Add the raisins or currants to your dough. Knead again for a while to distribute the raisins over the dough. This can be a little tricky in the beginning, but don’t give up, continue kneading, the raisins will eventually stick and become a part of the dough. Flatten the dough out on your baking area in an oval shape and try to form the almond paste into a long roll. You want your almond paste to be really juicy, but that also makes it a little tricky to form. Be prepared to get your hands little dirty. Lay the almond paste in the length of your oval shaped dough. take one side of the dough and flip it to the opposite side so the almond paste is inside the dough. You can use a breadpan but you can also put it straight onto a baking tray. Let it rise for another 30 min under a towel. Now bake it in the bottom of the oven for 30-45 min in the over 220 degrees Celcius.  At the end sprinkle some water on the bread and put it back in the over for a few minutes longer (2-3 min). Now take it out. For some extra look, spread butter on top and then sprinkle icing sugar, this needs to be done when the bread is still hot.

Hope you can follow my instructions. Please give comments on things that didn’t work, where unclear or if you thought it was just great 🙂 Merry Christmas to you all!

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