Christmas Stollen

Sweet marzipan filled bread, studded with moist boozy fruit, nuts and spiced with all the flavours of Christmas. My take on the classic German treat is easier than most recipes and will put you in the festive mood immediately!


You can use a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook for ease or get messy and use your hands.




Here's how..............




Dough Ingredients

500g strong white flour

250ml warm milk

50g honey

50g caster sugar

1 egg plus 1 yolk

12g fast action yeast

50g butter

8g fine table salt


Fruit, nuts and spice ingredients

300g mixed dried fruit

100g glace cherries chopped

30g chopped pecans

30g flaked almonds

30g chopped pistachios

5 tbsp brandy or rum

Juice of 1 clementine

Zest of 1 lemon

1 level tsp cinnamon

½ tsp ground cloves

1 tsp ground ginger

½ tsp mace

½ tsp grated nutmeg


To finish

25g melted butter

Icing sugar to dredge liberally




Method

Start by adding all your fruit, nuts and spices to a saucepan, and soak in brandy or rum, clementine juice and lemon zest, now warm up on a low heat, don’t boil (you want to keep all the alcohol) turn off the heat when hot and shake the pan intermittently over a couple of hours until cooled and all the juice and alcohol has soaked into the fruit. Now set aside.



Now it’s time to make the basic dough.


Add the honey to the warm milk, and add the yeast, stir and leave for 10 minutes until frothy.


Place flour, salt, sugar, butter and eggs, in a roomy bowl or a stand mixer with dough hook attachment, set to slow and gradually add the milk honey and yeast mixture until it’s almost all incorporated, you want a nice smooth elastic dough that’s not soggy.


Now turn the mixer to medium and mix for 7-8 minutes.


Remove the dough from the bowl, and place in a clean oiled bowl covered in cling film

for an hour and a half. Or until doubled in size.


Knock out the air from the dough, strain the fruit and add to the dough, knead and incorporate well. (as tempting as it is, don’t add the syrup from the fruit to the dough)


Now turn out onto a floured worktop and roll out into a large rectangle that’s about 1/2” thick.


Divide the marzipan into 3 and roll into sausages the same length as the rectangle.


Place one length of marzipan on the edge furthest away and roll the dough towards you to totally encase.

now place a sausage of marzipan on the edge nearest you and roll away to totally encase.

Now in the gap in the middle lay the final sausage of marzipan.

Bring the two encased sausages into the middle and pinch the dough together.

You now have dough stollen with a trio of marzipan tubes totally encased.


Turn the stollen over and place seam side down on a large baking tray covered in parchment.

Place the whole tray into a roomy bag to prove for a further one and a half hours.


Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5 (fan 170C).



Place the stollen in the preheated oven for 45- 50 minutes until golden.


Place on a wire rack to cool.


Brush with melted butter and dredge generously with icing sugar.


Slice and enjoy with a cuppa!



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