Tuesday, 18 December 2012


Ok, first an admission. I have no idea if this is a proper Stollen recipe. It's certainly not traditional. I've got all the component parts in there, sweet marzipan, nuggets of fruit and nuts, fragrant spices and a buttery glaze, but I'm sure the method is somewhat atypical, seeing as I just made it up as I went along! Regardless I'm chuffed to bits with the result and it tastes delicious. It's also a real pleasure to make, as with all of the best things in life the process involves getting just a little bit dirty.

Prep time: 30 Mins (Plus some time to rise, etc)
Baking time: 30-35 Mins
75g Unsalted Butter
125ml Milk
20g Fresh Yeast
315g Plain Flour
35g Sugar
1/2tsp Salt
Seeds from 4 good sized Cardamom Pods (Ground finely)
1tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 Medium Egg
150g Dried Fruit (As nice as you can find)50g Flaked Almonds
125g Marzipan (Chilled in the fridge)

For the glaze
25g Unsalted Butter
Icing Sugar to dust

Start off by warming the butter in a pan until melted. Pour in the milk, then set aside whilst you get on with the rest of the dough. Crumble the yeast into a large bowl with the flour and sugar. Give it a mix around then add in the sugar, salt and spices and do the same. Make a well in the middle, crack the egg into it then pour over the milk/butter and mix together until it starts to form a dough. Tip out onto a clean dry surface and need for about 7 minutes, until smooth and elastic, then return to the bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel and place in a warm place for about 90 minutes, until risen.

When the dough has risen, remove from the bowl and place on a floured surface. Give it a brief knead, then roll out to a big rectangle. Scatter over the fruit and almonds, leaving a border of a couple of inches around the outside, then grate over the marzipan. Roll it up to a big sausage, tuck the ends in to seal and place seam side down on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cover again with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place for around 30-45 minutes until nicely risen.

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Remove the tea towel and bake in the centre of the oven for around 30-35 minutes, until an even deep golden, then remove from the oven and place on a wire rack. For the glaze melt the butter and brush all over the hot cooked stollen. Dust generously all over with icing sugar and leave to cool. Slice and serve. Ho ho ho!

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