Stollen has been a firm festive favourite of mine for a while. The shape of stollen is meant to represent Jesus swaddled in a blanket. I will admit to sometimes buying it as both Lidl and Aldi sell very good versions. A few years ago I made a unyeasted stollen that although looked ugly tasted good, last year’s chocolate stollen was a delicious twist on the original so this year as I was hosting Fresh from the Oven’s December I wanted to try a yeasted stollen. The non-yeasted version I make has a huge list of ingredients that some people may struggle to get hold of so I wanted a simpler yeasted version of stollen that would be just as delicious.
Didn’t have the best of luck with this bake. I was doing some serious multitasking while baking this. Along with stollen I was up to ears with Chritmas prep & baking. First I over warmed the milk and probably killed the yeast (I should know better!) then I forgot to add the butter and only remembered about it half the way through the first knead so kneaded the butter into the dough. Finally due to combination of all the preceeding mishaps the dough didn’t really rise. I persevered, filled the dough with some homemade marzipan, shaped the stollen then eventually baked. The resulting cake was a dry, but strangely light and flavoursome cake. Not the best piece of baking I’ve done in a while, due to me not paying attention, but still nice with a cuppa.
based on a Simon Rimmer recipe
100ml/3½fl oz warm milk
6g (1 sachet) fast action yeast or 2 tsp dried yeast or 20g fresh yeast
1 tsp caster sugar
225g/8oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp ground mixed spice
200g/7oz mixed dried fruit (including glacé cherries)
25g/1oz flaked almonds
50g/2oz unsalted butter, melted
1 free-range egg, beaten
250g/9oz marzipan (to make your own see my recipe here)
25g/1oz butter, melted
50g/2oz icing sugar
1. Place the milk and yeast into a bowl and mix well. Leave to sit for 5-6 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, sift the salt, sugar, flour and mixed spice into a large bowl. Add the dried fruit, almonds and butter and mix well then stir in the yeasty milk and mix well.
3. Add the egg and stir to form a dough. Knead the dough for 5-6 minutes, then cover and leave to prove for 20 minutes. Uncover the dough and turn out onto a clean, floured work surface. Knock the dough back to reduce the volume, then knead the dough for 3-4 minutes.
4. Push the dough out by hand into a flat oval shape about 23cm x 18cm/9in x 7in. Roll the marzipan into a sausage shape about 6cm/2in shorter than the dough. Place the marzipan into the centre of the dough, then fold over the sides of the dough to seal in the marzipan. Then fold in the ends of the dough to contain the marzipan and help give the dough shape. Place the stollen seal-side down onto a greased baking tray. Cover and place somewhere warm to prove for one hour.
5. Preheat the oven to 180°C/365F/Gas 4. Place the stollen on the baking tray into the oven to bake for 40 minutes, or until golden-brown and cooked through.
6. To finish, remove the stollen from the oven, brush with the rum then melted butter and dust liberally with icing sugar immediately. Allow the stollen to cool, then serve in slices.