Oh look! A last minute Christmas recipe post! Yup, sounds like me.
I can’t help it. As well as being a time for family, friends and food, Christmas to me is a season of procrastination. And mulled cider. But mostly procrastination. I mean, even now as I sit here on Christmas Eve I’m still yet to get a few presents. Shameful, I know.
Nevertheless, however last minute, I WILL make sure I make something in time for the big day. Usually this will be dessert because let’s face it, Christmas day is my dad’s time to shine in the kitchen. Dat ham doe.
This year, for some bizarre reason, I decided to make a German Stollen – a sort of bread/cake filled with fruit, nuts and marzipan, all covered in icing sugar.
Now, those close to me will know I have a bit of a ridiculous aversion to raisins. Long story short, I took ballet lessons when I was 4. They made us eat boxes of raisins during our breaks. I did NOT like the chewy little devils. So I quit.
Basically, if it wasn’t for a fear of raisins, I could have been the Black Swan.
I’m not bitter.
Anyways, thankfully i’ve since grown out of that, and I will eat them now. Begrudgingly.
Stollen does also contain one of my faaaavourite things… Marzipan! My gosh, I could eat this stuff all day. So much so, that I would even put up with raisins for it. Nom.
So after some last minute consideration, I decided to get my bake on!
First I made the dough by mixing the flour, sugar, yeast and salt (keeping the salt away from the yeast initially) in a large bowl.
For the filling I just mixed all the ingredients in a big bowl. Nothing fancy there.
Then once the dough had proved, I
punched it knocked it back in the bowl, then turned it out onto a floured surface.
I actually rolled this into a large rectangle, but the roll proved (Ha! Pun intended.) difficult to twist in the end. I would advise to roll the dough out into a longer thinner rectangle, just so you end up with a longer, thinner roll in the end.
Anyways, I rolled it out into a rectangle and scattered the filling all over, then gently pressed it into the dough with my hands.
I then unrolled the marzipan and lay that on top. Of course, you could get a block of the stuff and roll it out yourself to a thickness of about ½cm.
I rolled up the dough into a long roll and cut down the middle lengthways.
I twisted one half around the other, then rolled the whole thing up into a circle/wreath.
I placed this into a baking tin lined with baking parchment, then left this to rise in a warm place for another hour.
After the second proving, I baked this at 180°C for 1 hour. After about 20 minutes it had browned enough on top so I covered it with foil for the remaining time.
Once baked, I left it to cool then LET IT SNOW (dusted it with lots of icing sugar).
- For the dough:
- 500g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
- 100g caster sugar
- 7g (1 sachet) fast action yeast
- 7g salt
- 150g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 250ml whole milk, warm
- For the filling:
- pinch of ground cinnamon
- pinch of ground nutmeg
- pinch of ground cloves
- pinch of ground cardamom
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 1tsp amaretto/almond extract
- 40g almond flakes, roughly chopped
- 200g raisins, roughly chopped
- 100g dried cranberries, roughly chopped
- 125g mixed peel
- zest of one orange
- 1 ready to roll marzipan
- icing sugar for dusting
- Place the flour, sugar, yeast and salt into a large bowl, keeping the salt and yeast separate.
- Add the melted butter and warm milk.
- Stir together to form a soft dough.
- Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and stretchy.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise in a warm place for 2 hours until doubled in size.
- In another large bowl, add the raisins, cranberries, mixed peel, almonds, vanilla extract, amaretto/almond extract, orange zest and the spices. Mix thoroughly.
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Once proved, knock the dough back and tip out onto a floured surface. Roll out into a long rectangle.
- Scatter the fruit and nuts on top of the dough, spread evenly and gently press into the dough.
- Unroll the marzipan and lay on top of the fruit.
- Slowly roll the dough from the longest end of the rectangle, into a long roll.
- Cut the roll in half lengthways.
- Twist one half around the other, then roll it up into a circle/wreath.
- Place this on a baking tray/cake tin lined with baking parchment.
- Leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
- Bake for 1hr. If the top starts to brown too quickly, cover with foil for the duration of the bake.
- Once baked, leave to cool then dust with icing sugar.