Friday, 23 December 2011

Vegan Stollen

Christmas time mistletoe cardamon and marzipan bread and wine....
Truth to tell, we don't really do mistletoe here at chez D'oH Boy.  Or listen to Cliff Richard come to think of it.  But we do like a sticky yeast based vegan bread product...
I genuinely planned to make a traditional stollen with cherries and chunks of marzipan and icing sugar and everything, but while looking for a recipe, I found this thread on the Post Punk Kitchen.  There was a recipe for stollen.  But it contains the mysterious (and hard to get in the UK) vital wheat gluten.  I was going to improvise, then I looked a little lower and saw the recipe for cardamon and marzipan bread.  Sold!

There were only 2 problems:

  1. Pearl sugar.  A shout out on Twitter and I found this is known in the UK as nibbled sugar.  That didn't help a lot because the only place I could find that was on bakery bits and I didn't have time to wait for delivery.  No worries I found some large sugar crystals intended for coffee.  I figured the worst case would be they melted.  Actually they didn't and they were fine.
  2. Ground cardamon.  I'm sure I've seen this for sale....but not anywhere I looked.  No problem, I'll just buy whole cardamon, seed is and smash the seeds with the end of a rolling pin (since I don't have a pestle and mortar).  Next time I think up something like that please stop me!  Have you any idea how long that takes?  I have.  It's a l-o-n-g time....
Anyway, 2 ingredients substituted and I was away.
I have to admit I was a little nervous when I came to shaping it.  I've never done anything like this before (yes, the top picture makes that pretty clear) but it actually wasn't too bad.
I made some big cuts in the top of the wreath with scissors and slammed it into the oven.
Due to lack of space and because I wasn't sure it would all work out, I put the second half of the dough into a long loaf tin.  I also made a couple of small rolls of spare dough - so I could taste is straight away!
10 mins for the rolls and 20 or so for the larger pieces and the house was full of the smell of cardamon and marzipan.  I tasted one of the rolls (OK, 2....) and had a big smile on my face.
Fiddly.  Especially if you "grind" your own cardamon.  But WELL worth it.

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