The "Bread Week" technical bake challenge comes from Johnny Iuzzini. It is a recipe host Ian Gomez jokes was created after Johnny's Wild weekend in Berlin. All jokes aside Johnny tasks the bakers with making a very classic and traditional Stollen recipe. Stollen is a German Christmas bread. Johnny's tips for getting this recipe right is to read the directions well and visualize what the bake should look like. Watch the full "Bread Week" episode from Season 2 Episode 3 of The Great American Baking Show to see whose Stollen impresses Johnny the most. You can also try this challenge at home using Johnny's recipe below.
For the dough:
10 oz white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1oz superfine sugar
2 level teaspoons Instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
5 oz whole milk, warmed
1 medium egg
½ teaspoon almond extract
2 oz butter, softened
For the filling:
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
2 tablespoons dark rum
3 oz dark raisins
3 oz golden raisins
3 oz dried cranberries
2 oz candied orange and lemon peel, diced
2 oz blanched whole almonds, roughly chopped
2 oz pistachios, roughly chopped
For the marzipan/ almond paste:
6 oz ground almonds
3.5 oz confectioners sugar
1.5 oz beaten egg
½ teaspoon almond extract
For the topping:
15g butter, melted
50g confectioners sugar
Confectioners sugar, for dusting
Red food coloring
Green food coloring
1. Measure the flour, cinnamon, ginger nutmeg, allspice, cloves and sugar into a large bowl. Add the yeast on one side of the bowl and the salt on the other. Beat the milk, egg, almond extract and butter together in a cup and pour over the dry ingredients.
2. Bring the mixture together to form a soft dough. Transfer to a generously floured work surface and knead for 6-7 minutes, until smooth and pliable.
3. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with cling wrap and leave to rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour until doubled in size.
4.For the filling, place the black raisins, golden raisins, cranberries, candied oranges, lemon peel, and orange zest in a bowl. Heat the orange juice and rum in a small pan to just below boiling point, then pour over the fruit and mix well together. Leave to stand for 45 minutes to 1 hour while the dough rises.
5. For the marzipan/ almond paste, mix the ground almonds, superfine sugar and confectioners sugar together in a bowl. Stir in the egg and almond extract. Knead in the bowl to form a stiff paste, but do not over- knead as this will make the paste oily.
6. Roll two thirds of the marzipan into a sausage approximately 26cm long. Wrap in cling wrap and chill. Wrap the remaining one third of marzipan in cling wrap and chill.
7. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Add the almonds and pistachios to the soaked fruit mixture.
8. Flatten the dough out to a rectangle approximately 12x 8 inches and tip the soaked fruit (draining any excess soaking liquor if it has not been absorbed) on top of it. Roll the dough up encasing the fruit, then knead until all the fruit and nuts are incorporated.
9. Roll the dough into an oval approximately 12 x 9 inches and place the marzipan roll down the middle of the dough. Roll the dough up to encase the marzipan, sealing the ends and leaving the seam underneath.
10. Transfer to a lightly floured baking sheet and place in a proofing bag or over with lightly oiled cling film. Leave to rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour until nearly doubled in size.
11. Heat the oven to 350F. Remove the stollen from the proofing bag and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until golden, risen and the underside sounds hollow when tapped. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
12. For the topping, brush the baked warm stollen with melted butter and dredge with confectioners sugar.
13. To decorate, color three- quarters of the remaining marzipan green. Roll out on a surface lightly dusted with confectioners sugar and cut out 9 holly leaves. Color the remaining marzipan red and roll 9 holly berried. Decorate the stollen with 3 clusters of holly leaves and berries.