Mick Hartley’s Quarkstollen
Venturing into unknown terrain is my daily business when it comes to making bread (cough cough), but conquering the yeast bastion of Stollen land with a sourdough starter in the backpack, is something I deemed a bit over my head. Mick Hartley, the busy baker from Bethesda who also shares his knowledge of sourdough baking at the forum on Dan Lepard’s site, made it easy by giving the panicing home-baker a cool rundown of the whole thing (see below).
As Quark I used a low-fat one to get maximum activity from the starter. I did add a little milk to the final dough because the dough was a bit dry (the raisins soaked up a lot of the soaking liquid). The fermentation was sluggish at first but gained speed quickly. After 3 hours it looked well-aerated. I decided to shape it, prove and bake.
As you can see the resulting loaf displays a great crumb and very controlled oven spring. The flavor, although not sour, is more mature and satisfying than in a yeasted Stollen, not too sweet, so there is room for additional butter and sugar or jam on the sliced Stollen. Or call it a Stollen for adults, who like theirs with a glass of Port next to the fireplace. Now that’s a plan.
Here’s the recipe how it left Mick’s keyboard:
The only sensible way to make stollen is to make at least four because they vanish, but here are the quantities for one large loaf.
Interesting little starter:
Strong White Flour 85g
Make this the night before as well as the following soaker:
Candied Peel 36g
Dark Rum 51g
Orange Juice 54g
Next day, the dough:
Strong White Flour 267g – 100%
Butter 120g – 45%
Starter 316g – 118.5%
Salt 2g – 0.7%
Sugar 12g – 4.5%
Soaker 220 – 82.4%
The soaker is the fruit plus its liquid.
Rub the butter into the flour or just whack the two ingredients in the food processor.
The original recipe has you adding the fruit to the dough after bulk fermentation but I have been adding it towards the end of the mix without any problem.
After about four hours bulk fermentation press the dough out into a long oval about twice as long as it is wide. Then, the pukka thing to do is to form a hinge by making two parallel grooves along the centre of the length of the dough with something like a piece of dowel (I used the edge of a chopping board) and then to fold the dough in half (lengthways).
Probably another four hours prove.
Bake for about an hour at 180C. Brush with melted butter. Blizzard with icing sugar when cooler.