Studded with rum-soaked raisins and filled with marzipan, a Christmas stollen is the ultimate indulgence at this time of year. It’s one of my favourite Christmas treats to bake and it’s also suprisingly simple. So here’s my take on the traditional Christmas stollen recipe – why not have a go at baking it today? Coated in butter, your stollen can be well wrapped up and stored until Christmas – if you manage to resist eating it all fresh from the oven!
Makes two loaves
350g white bread flour
350g plain flour
½ tsp ground nutmeg
20g dried instant yeast
150g warm water
90g full fat milk
250g butter, softened
100g caster sugar
75g mixed peel
Zest of 1 lemon
150g ground almonds
100g butter, melted (for glazing)
Icing sugar, for dusting
- Weigh out the flours, spices, yeast and sugar into a large bowl. Add in the salt, ensuring it doesn’t directly touch the yeast as salt will kill yeast.
- Weigh out the warm water into a jug. As a guide, 1ml water equals 1g (so 220ml = 220g) and weighing water is much more accurate. Weigh out the milk into the jug too and mix.
- Add the water, milk and butter (softened so that it is still just holding its shape) into the flour mixture. Using a dough scraper, spoon or even your hands, bring the mixture together until no dry flour remains.
- Turn the dough out of the bowl. It’s important not to flour the surface, as this adds extra flour into your dough and will dry it out. If the dough is a bit sticky, use a little olive oil to help you knead. Knead the dough for 10 – 15 minutes until it becomes smooth and silky.
- Shape the dough into a rough ball and place it back into the bowl. Cover the bowl and leave the dough to rise for about two hours.
- Whilst the dough is rising, weigh out the dried fruit, mixed peel, lemon zest and ground almonds. Stir in the rum, cover and leave to soak. If you don’t want to use rum, soak the mixture in the same amount of boiling water, to soften the dried fruit.
- Once the dough has risen, turn it out of the bowl and knock it back. This just involves gently deflating the dough, using the heel of your hand to push it flat and then kneading it for a minute or two. Turn the oven on at 180C.
- Gently pat out the dough into a rectangle and sprinkle on the soaked fruit and nut mixture. Gradually work the mixture into the dough.
- Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Shape each piece into a rectangle about 2.5cms thick. Divide the marzipan into two equal pieces and roll each piece in a sausage almost the length of your dough rectangles. Use a rolling pin to make a dent lengthways down the middle of each dough rectangle and place a marzipan sausage in the dent.
- Fold the top half of the dough rectangle over the top of the marzipan and seal down. Fold the bottom half of the dough rectangle up and right over the top of the marzipan and seal down the other side.
- Place the shaped stollen onto a lined baking tray and cover with oiled clingfilm. Leave to prove for an hour.
- Bake the stollen in the preheated oven for 35 – 45 minutes, until golden and sounding hollow when tapped on the bottom. If the top of the stollen starts to brown too much in the oven, cover them with foil whilst they finish baking. Leave the stollen to cool slightly, then brush repeatedly with the melted butter, allowing each coat to soak in before adding another. This seals the stollen, keeping it fresher for longer and giving a richer texture. Once the loaves are completely cool and dry, dust with icing sugar.
Store your stollen well wrapped in greaseproof paper and aluminium foil. For longer term storage, Christmas stollen will freeze really well.
Want more bread making recipes, hints and tips? Check out my other blog posts for more bread making inspiration.
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