Ahh say hello to the beauty that is homemade Christmas stollen! Stollen has long been one of my favourite festive treats so I was pretty stoked to try making it at home.
(My mum, however, was less excited as she’s bought some especially for me coming home at Christmas. I assured her I’ll have no problem eating that too!)
I’m a total sucker for all things almond, whether it’s marzipan or a sticky sweet cherry bakewell slice. I’ve never quite understood how so many people dislike marzipan. It’s basically just almonds and sugar. What’s not to like??
At it’s most basic, stollen is a sweet bread enriched with almonds, butter and eggs with marzipan rolled up inside. There’s a fair bit of variation when it comes to other add-ins, but dried fruit and something boozy usually makes an appearance.
For the dried fruit I’ve used raisins and mixed peel plus the slightly less conventional glacé cherries. I just love the almond/cherry flavour combo!
When it comes to booze, brandy or rum are the usual choices. One of the perks of making your own homemade Christmas stollen though, is you can use whatever you like. I’ve gone for amaretto, obviously (did I mention I love almonds??).
Most recipes tell you to roll the marzipan into a log in the middle of the loaf. I prefer to get a little bit in every bite though, so I’ve folded it in a sort of envelope style. If I’ve just confused you, check out the recipe where I’ll explain it better!
After baking, brush the whole loaf with melted butter and a good coating of icing sugar. Let it cool, then slice and enjoy!
This recipe freezes really well too – slice whatever you have left over and pop in a freezer bag. It defrosts fairly quickly, but if you’re super impatient you can even warm it up in the microwave. Slightly melty marzipan is a such a joy!
- 175ml milk
- 75g sugar
- 7g yeast
- 350g bread flour, sifted
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp salt
- 100g butter
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 90g mixed peel
- 50g glacé cherries, finely chopped
- 100g raisins
- 2 tbsp amaretto
- 35g flaked almonds, roughly chopped
- 25g melted butter
- 175g marzipan
- 25g melted butter
- 25g icing sugar
- Heat the milk until lukewarm. Add the sugar and yeast, and stir. Set aside for about 5 minutes until frothy.
- In a mixer, mix the flour, nutmeg, cloves, salt and butter until the butter has reduced to crumb size pieces. Alternatively, rub the butter into the flour by hand.
- Add the beaten egg, vanilla extract and yeast mixture to the flour. Mix on a low-medium speed for 5-10 minutes until a dough is formed.
- Remove the dough to a large oiled bowl and cover loosely with clingfilm. Leave to rise for about 1-2 hours until doubled in size.
- Meanwhile, add the mixed peel, raisins and cherries to a bowl. Pour over the amaretto and stir to coat all the fruit. Set aside.
- Once the dough has risen, remove to a floured surface and punch down the dough. Gradually add in the fruit mixture and almonds, kneading gently until it is evenly distributed throughout the dough.
- Roll the dough out into a square. Roll the marzipan into a rectangle the same width as the dough but only about 2/3 the length.
- Brush the dough with the melted butter then place the marzipan on top of the dough so that the top 2/3 is covered.
- Fold the bottom 1/3 of the dough up over the marzipan. Lift the top 1/3 of the dough (covered with marzipan), and fold down over the dough. You should now have a rectangular loaf.
- Pinch down the dough to seal any edges, transfer to a large baking tray and leave to prove for about an hour.
- Pre-heat oven to 180c. Bake for 35-45 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Brush with melted butter then dust liberally with icing sugar to cover.