Christmas Stollen

Delicious or No ?

Ingredients:

  • 75 g raisins
  • 75 g sultanas
  • 25 g mixed peel
  • 50 g lacé cherries, chopped
  • 50 g blanched almonds, chopped
  • Finely grated zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
  • 10 cardamom pods, crushed and shells removed
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 375 g stron white bread flour, plus extra for dustin
  • 1 sachet dried yeast
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 1 medium egg, beaten
  • 65 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 150 ml warm milk, plus 1-2 tbsp, if needed
  • 200 g white marzipan
  • Icing sugar, for dusting

Method:

  1. In a bowl, mix together the raisins, sultanas, mixed peel, cherries, almonds, lemon zest, cardamom, nutmeg and vanilla extract. Cover and leave to stand while making the dough.
  2. Put the flour, yeast and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the egg, 50 grams of the melted butter and 150 millilitres of milk. Using a round-bladed knife, mix the ingredients to form a dough. If the dough feels dry and crumbly, add a further one to two tablespoons of milk. Turn out on to a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. (Alternatively, you can knead the dough using a free-standing mixer fitted with a dough hook for five minutes.) Place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm place for one to one and a quarter hours, until the dough has doubled in size.
  3. Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface. Gradually knead in the fruit mixture until it is evenly distributed through the dough. Don’t worry if the dough becomes soft, sticky and slightly messy to handle at this stage. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rest for 20 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5. Grease a large baking sheet. Shape the marzipan into a log, 30 centimetres long, and set aside.
  5. Roll out the dough to a 30 by 16 centimetre rectangle. Place the marzipan log on top of the dough, slightly to one side of the centre. Dampen the wider side of the dough with water then fold it over the marzipan, pressing it down gently on the other side, to secure. Transfer to the baking sheet. Cover with lightly greased clingfilm and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until risen and pale golden. Remove from the oven and brush with the remaining melted butter. Transfer to a wire cooling rack. Once cool, dust generously with icing sugar and serve. To save time in Christmas week, you can store the stollen, wrapped in foil, in a cool place for three to four days. Stollen also freezes well if you intend to make it more than a few days in advance. Simply wrap in foil before placing in the freezer. Thaw overnight at room temperature and dust with icing sugar before serving.