Monday, 7 January 2013
This is our first post for a while, after a very busy Christmas! This post is probably a little late now as Stollen is usually something eaten at Christmas. But this recipe is good enough that you should give it a try anytime, not just at Christmas. It is a spicy, fruity, bready and sweet treat which is well worth the effort required to make it. The Germans were definitely on to a winner when they came up with this one!
Stollen dates back to over 600 years ago but in its early days it was a much simpler and blander product. It would be made without butter or milk because of a Catholic ruling, and so it was only some 300 years later, when butter and milk was allowed, that Stollen as we know it was first made.
It is a bread made using yeast, with added nuts and fruit and then baked. Modern variations include covering in icing and having a roll of marzipan through the centre. Our version has both of these aspects with a lemon icing covering the loaf and then the marzipan added too. Stollen usually has the marzipan rolled into a sausage shape and then placed in the centre of the loaf. The problem with this is that when you eat the Stollen you get a great big mouthful of marzipan which can put people off. So we decided to try something different and make a roulade so that the marzipan was evenly distributed throughout the bread. This also means that for people who don't think they like marzipan, they should give this a go because it is only a minor flavour in the final product.
So here is our version of the traditional Stollen -
50g caster sugar
2 tsp dried yeast
300g bread flour
110g softened butter
25g candied peel
25g glace cherries
zest of 1 lemon
50g walnuts broken into small pieces
For the marzipan -
50g caster sugar
50g icing sugar
100g ground almonds
1 tsp lemon juice
2 egg yolks
1. Start by warming the milk in a pan. Then pour into a jug and add a teaspoon of sugar and the dried yeast. Leave in a warm place until a froth has formed about 1 inch high.
2. Sift the flour with a pinch of salt and add the sugar. Mix and then make a well in the centre of the bowl.
3. Pour in the milk mix and then add the softened butter and the egg.
4. Add the cherries, lemon zest, candied peel and walnuts and then knead the dough. This should be done for atleast 5 minutes.
5. Put the dough into a bowl, cover with a teatowel and then leave in a warm place until it has doubled in size. This could take up to two hours.
6. Take the dough out of the bowl and knock out all of the air. Roll out the dough to a rectangle about 30cm long by 20cm wide and then lay the marzipan on top. (To make the marzipan mix the sugar, sifted icing sugar, ground almonds, lemon juice and mix. Then add the egg yolks slowly until a stiff dough is formed. Knead and then place in the fridge for 30mins before rolling out to a rectangle just a little smaller than the bread.)
7. With the marzipan now on top of the bread carefully roll to make a sausage shape. Put it on a baking sheet and then leave until double in size again.
8. Then place in a preheated oven at 190C and bake for 35-40 minutes.
9. When cooled, cover with a simple lemon icing.