I’d never had Stollen until a few years ago. I spent my childhood absolutely convinced that I didn’t like marzipan, what a fool I was! So, Classic Christmas Stollen isn’t something that had ever appealed to me. I don’t hugely like Christmas food either. It’s funny because generally, I eat most things, then Christmas comes with all this yummy food, and I don’t like it!
I’ll have a mince pie if it’s offered, but I don’t mind either way. Same with Christmas cake and I really dislike Christmas pudding. But a Classic Christmas Stollen I love! I love that it’s basically fruit loaf with a yummy sweet twist. It’s not as rich as other festive favourites (not mine!!) but is still packed with flavour. I love settling down with a Christmas film, a slice of Classic Christmas Stollen and a cup of coffee* on a cold afternoon.
As I write this, it’s the end of November, and even though I’ve done quite a bit of shopping, I haven’t yet felt remotely festive. So, I made Stollen. It worked out that well I think I’m going to make a few more to give out as gifts. I’m currently sat with The Bobsy, some Stollen, hot chocolates and Miracle on 3th Street on TV. It’s lovely!
- 75g Raisins
- 75g Sultanas
- 25g Mixed Peel
- 50g Glace Cherries – Chopped
- 50g Blanched Almonds – Chopped
- Zest of 2 Lemons
- 10 Cardamom Pods – Seeds removed from shells
- 25tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1tbsp Vanilla Essence
- 375g Strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 7g Sachet instant yeast
- 50g Caster sugar
- 1 Egg – Beaten
- 65g Melted butter
- 150ml Warm milk
- 200g White Marzipan
- Icing sugar for dusting
That looks like a huge list of ingredients, which is scary. But, honestly, it’s just like making bread. With a few additions. It does take quite a while to make because there’s lots of resting time between bits. So, I’d try to set aside a morning or afternoon where you can keep going back to it.
Mix the raisins, sultanas, peel, cherries, almonds, lemon zest, seeds from the crushed cardamom pods, nutmeg and vanilla in a bowl. Give it a good stir, cover, and leave to one side.
Now, look at your ingredients. You’ve used half of them already! Easy!
Now, make the basic dough by mixing the flour, sugar and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Add the warm milk, egg, and 50g of the melted butter. Mix to a dough. I find this easier to do with a metal palette knife, but a wooden spoon would do the trick too.
Once it’s come together into a dough, tip it out on to a well-floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. If it’s too crumbly, add a splash of milk and if it’s too sticky, throw a little more flour on but keep kneading for 10 minutes.
After this time, the dough should be a nice smooth ball that bounces back when you poke it. Place this ball in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave for one hour until it’s doubled in size. If it doesn’t seem to be rising well, find a warmer area and leave for a little longer.
Once the dough is ready, tip out on to a floured surface again, and slowly knead in the fruit. A handful at a time until it’s evenly dispersed. The dough gets sticky, and you may think it would take any more fruit, but carry on kneading it in and it will. Don’t worry about it being sticky, that’s fine.
Place back into the bowl, cover with a tea towel and sit in a warm place for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees and grease a large baking tray. Make sure the tray is big. I ended up having to swap because I couldn’t fit my stollen on!
Play with the marzipan a little so that it’s soft and easy to work with. Then mould it into a big 30cm long sausage. Leave to one side while you roll out the dough.
To do this, flour a surface and roll of the dough to around 30 x 15. Mine was a little too long so not quite thick enough.
Place the marzipan on top of the dough, slightly to one side and lightly dampen the wider side with wet hands.
Fold this side over and press down with your fingers, ensuring it’s sealed together and covers the marzipan.
Place on the baking tray, cover with cling film and leave to rest in that warm place for 30 minutes.
When ready, remove the Clingfilm and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until a pale golden.
Once baked, remove from the baking tray and place on a wire rack to cool. I must confess I had to go out to parents evening before it was finished, and husband did not remove it from the tray! Our bottom was a little darker than I’d have liked.
Brush with the rest of the melted butter and dust well with icing sugar.
Classic Christmas Stollen is lovely. A proper winter treat!
Classic German Christmas treat
- • 75g Raisins
- • 75g Sultanas
- • 25g Mixed Peel
- • 50g Glace Cherries – Chopped
- • 50g Blanched Almonds – Chopped
- • Zest of 2 Lemons
- • 10 Cardamom Pods – Seeds removed from shells
- • 0.25tsp Ground Nutmeg
- • 1tbsp Vanilla Essence
- • 375g Strong white bread flour plus extra for dusting
- • 7g Sachet instant yeast
- • 50g Caster sugar
- • 1 Egg – Beaten
- • 65g Melted butter
- • 150ml Warm milk
- • 200g White Marzipan
- • Icing sugar for dusting
Mix the fruits together in a bowl, with the lemon zest, nutmeg, cardamon pods and vanilla
Cover and leave to one side until needed
Tip the bread flour, yeast and sugar into a large mixing bowl
Add the egg, 50g melted butter and the milk and mix with a rounded metal knife until it comes together to a dough
Tip out onto a well floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, adding more milk or flour if required
Place in an oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave for one hour, until doubled in size
After this, remove from the bowl and knead in the fruit, handful at a time until evenly spread
Return to the bowl, cover with a towel and leave for 20 minutes
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees and grease a large baking tray
Roll the marzipan into a 30cm long log or batton
Roll out to 30cm x 15 cm on a well floured surface
Place the marzipan on top, slightly to one side
With wet fingers, dampen the thicker side
Fold over and press down, covering the marzipan
Place on the baking tray, cover in cling film and leave for 30 minutes
Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes
Once baked, remove from tray and place on a wire rack
Brush with the rest of the melted butter and dust well with icing sugar