DARING BAKER CHALLENGE: Stollen

If you don't already know - I LOOOVE Christmas. I love everything about it from decorating the tree, to watching corney old Christmas movies, like Miracle on 34th Street (I'm a huge fan!).

So no matter what recipe was chosen for the December/Christmas challenge - I just knew I would love it.....

.....and I did!

The 2010 December Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Penny of

Sweet Sadie’s Baking

. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make Stollen. She adapted a friend’s family recipe and combined it with information from friends, techniques from Peter Reinhart’s book.........and Martha Stewart’s demonstration.

There is something very therapeutic about making bread (I've actually never made bread that used yeast before). I started out using my machine to knead the bread, however the strain that it seemed to be putting it through was too much to bare so I pulled it out and kneaded it by hand. Even though my arms were a little sore by the end, it was very relaxing (especially since I had Harry Connick Jr singing Christmas songs in the background...told you I'm corney).

Then the aroma that filled my home when it was baking....there was a little puddle of drool on the kitchen floor from where I was standing in front of the oven inhaling.

Finally, it came time to taste. I was a little unsure at first, considering my last Daring Baker Challenge, but to my utter surprise and delight...I loved it!

It wasn't overly sweet, but when toasted (and smothered in butter), the icing sugar on top sort of caramelised, making it more appealing than ever.

Definitely one recipe I'm adding to my little list of things to make again, and again.

Thanks Penny for a fantastic way to end the year!

xx