Christmas Stollen

Posted on December 4, 2010


As you will know from my last post, I am rather fond of fruit cake and Stollen is really just a variation of fruit cake with the marzipan encased inside rather than over the top.

I learnt this recipe at The School of Artisan Cooking, which I wrote about last week. Here, I learnt two memorable things connected to the recipe… The first concerns the marzipan, which I never realised was so easy to make, I will never buy supermarket marzipan again! The second was the calorie content of homemade Stollen. I’m informing you of this now, so you don’t faint when you see the ingredients! For one Stollen, you will need to glaze it with almost a whole pack of melted butter, which soaks into the bread to give it its luxurious moistness and flavour. I’m told that you can reduce the amount of butter you use at this stage, but it will affect the end result…

It’s quite an involved process, so I’d recommend making a few at a time. Fresh, it will keep for 5 days wrapped in paper and stored in a cool place. Alternatively, you can slice your Stollen and freeze in-between sheets of baking powder.

Clearly, I can take no credit for this recipe and give full acknowledgement to the School of Artisan Cooking and my teacher for the day and recipe creator, Emmanuel Hadjiandreou

Traditional Stollen

Marzipan: 60g ground almonds, 30g caster sugar, 15ml rum (good quality spiced is best – e.g. Papagoya)

Stollen: 60g sultanas, 15g sliced almonds (toasted), 15g mixed peel, 1 orange (zest & juice), 1 lemon (zest & juice), 15ml rum, 170g strong white flour, 10g fresh yeast (or 5g dried), 20ml full-cream milk (warm), 50g butter (unsalted), 20g caster sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp cardamom, 1/4 tsp vanilla essence, 1 egg (beaten)

Glaze 1: 150g butter (unsalted)

Glaze 2:  30g apricot jam, 45g butter (unsalted), 30g sugar,  15ml full-cream milk

Glaze 3: 100g caster sugar, 1 tsp vanilla essence

24 hours in advance: In 1 large bowl, mix fruit, juice, zest, almonds and rum together and cover with clingfilm

Making day: Place 20g of the flour in a bowl. In another bowl, warm the milk and add the yeast, leaving for 5 minutes to dissolve. Add the flour to the yeast and mix to form a paste. Cover and leave to double in size for about 30 minutes. In another bowl, beat the butter, sugar, salt and spices until soft. Add the egg a little at a time, stirring to combine, If the mixture curdles, add a tsp of the flour and stir to bind. Add the yeast mixture to the butter mixture and then add the remaining flour. Mix to combine and cover for 10 minutes. Gently knead in the bowl by folding the side to the middle 10 times. Leave, covered for 10 minutes. Repeat the knead and cover process another 3 times. During the proving time, make your marzipan. Simply mix all the ingredients together with your hands, roll into a ball and set-aside. Now, add the fruit to the dough mix and use your hands to combine thoroughly. Shape into a ball, adding a little flour if required so the dough doesn’t stick to the surface. Roll out into a rectangle on a floured surface (about 1cm thick). Use you hands to make a sausage from the marzipan, it should be about 8 cm shorter than the length of the dough. Place the marzipan in the centre of the dough. Roll the dough over the top, ensuring the marzipan is sealed inside. Smooth the exterior with your hands and remove any protruding fruit (this will prevent it carbonising in the oven). Leave the Stollen in a warm place to prove for 30 minutes (or until doubled in sized). Heat to oven to 200c/GM 6 and place a deep tray at the bottom. Place Stollen in centre of the oven and add a cup of water to the hot baking tray (creates steam). Lower temperature to 180c/GM 4 and bake for 20 minutes (+/- as required) until golden brown. Remove from the oven and pick-out any dark raisins.

To glaze the Stollen, melt the butter for Glaze 1. Paint the Stollen with the butter 3 times, allowing it to be absorbed each time (make sure you turn over and glaze the underside too). Cool the Stollen completely. Then, boil all of the ingredients for Glaze 2. Paint the Stollen with this hot glaze to seal it. Allow this to cool and set and then roll in the vanilla sugar (Glaze 3).

Your Stollen is now ready!