Every holiday season we bake two European Christmas breads that are rich, sweet, and perfect for celebrating.
Panettone is notorious among bakers as one of the most difficult artisan breads to make. At Farm to Market Bread Co., the 48 hour process begins with the “mother” dough, a wild yeast starter similar to how we make our signature sourdough bread. With three mixes, the panettone dough grows and builds texture, strength, and flavor. In the fourth and final mix, our bakers add flavor – dried cranberries and candied orange peel. After proofing and baking, each loaf of panettone is hung upside down to cool so that it doesn’t collapse on itself because the dough is so light and delicate.
Stollen is not as delicate or temperamental as panettone, but our handmade version is just as special and honors the German holiday bread. The dough is hand rolled and formed around almond paste and rum soaked raisins to give the bread its signature shape. After it bakes, stollen is covered in powdered sugar that legend says is meant to make the bread resemble baby Jesus wrapped in a swaddle cloth.
The perfect gift for the baker on your shopping list: Baking Artisan Bread with Natural Starters, by Farm to Market Bread Co. co-founder Mark Friend. Learn the French levain method, how to create and maintain a sourdough starter, and other artisan bread baking techniques so you can bake this delicious bread in your own home.