Stollen is a is a bread-like fruitcake made usually during Christmas season. There are a lot variations of it made with dried fruit, nuts, candied peel and marzipan (some of these ingredients may be omitted or dominate). There are also yeastless versions as well as with using pooish or biga. But first Stollens were extremely simple and dairy free due to fasting period during Christmas time.
I’ve tried a few different recipes and combined the best stuff from each into one Stollen with marzipan and just the right amount of fruit in it.
You may use any dried fruit that hold their shape well (e.g., currants, raisins, sultanas, apricots, cranberries, cherries etc.).
The recipe makes 1 loaf.
- 2/3 c/ 2.8 oz/ 80 g blanched almonds
- 2/3 c/ 2.8 oz/ 80 g icing sugar
- ½ vanilla extract
- ⅛ almond essence
- .7 oz/ 20 g egg white
Put the almonds and icing sugar in a food processor or coffee grinder and process to a fine mixture. Add both the extracts and egg white and pulse to form a smooth paste. This will take some time so make sure to stop the machine from time to time to avoid overheating and scrape down the sides to push the mixture down to the blade.
- ½ c + 2 t/ 4.76 oz/ 135 ml lukewarm milk
- 1 t/ 3 g active dry yeast
- 1 c/ 4.4 oz/ 125 g all-purpose flour
- 1 egg yolk
Mix all ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup until well combined, cover with cling film and let stand at room temperature for 2 hrs. Meanwhile soak the fruit:
Dried fruit soaker:
- ½ c/ 2.47 oz/ 70 g assorted dried fruit (I used cranberries, cherries and apricots), chopped
- ½ c/2.12 oz/ 60 g raisins, currants or sultanas
- 2 T orange liqueur
- 2 T boiling water
Put all the dried fruit into a small bowl or measuring cup. Add the liqueur and boiling water, cover with cling film and let stand 30 min. Discard the remaining liquid, pat the fruit dry with kitchen towels.
- finely grated zest of ½ lemon
- finely grated zest of ½ orange
- 1 T + 1 t/ .7 oz/ 20 g white sugar
- 1 c/ 4.4 oz/ 125 g all-purpose flour + for work surface
- 1/3 stick/ 1.42 oz/ 40 g unsalted butter, softened
- 1 t/ 5 g salt
- 1.76 oz/ 50 g candied peel (recipe here)
In a small bowl, combine both the zests and sugar and rub them well with your fingertips.
In a big bowl, combine the starter, citrus sugar, flour, butter and salt. Knead the mixture for 10 - 15 min. to form a smooth, soft and elastic dough. Add the dried fruit and candied peel in and knead for another 5 min.
Grease a big bowl with oil, place the dough in it, cover the bowl with cling film and leave to proof at room temperature for 1 - 2 hrs, until doubled in size.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Gently punch the dough down, shape it into a disk. Lightly flour a working surface with flour and roll the dough into an oval shape 11.8″/ 30 cm long, 18 - 20 cm wide and .4 - .6″/ 1 - 1.5 cm thick. Using a rolling pin, make an indentation lengthways across the centre of the dough.
With wet hands, mould the marzipan into a thin cylinder 10″/ 25 cm long and place it in the indention.
Fold the short sides of the dough inwards, covering the ends of marzipan.
Take one of the long sides of dough lift it up, stretching it a little, and fold it over the marzipan.
If the top part is too long, just fold it over itself.
Transfer stollen to a prepared tray, cover it loosely with cling film and leave to proof at room temperature for 1 - 1.5 hrs., until puffed up.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF/ 190ºC.
Remove the cling film from stollen and bake in the hot oven for ~35 min. or until light golden and cooked through.
Right after baking:
- 1/3 stick/ 1.41 oz/ 40 g unsalted butter, melted
- 1 c/ 3.5 oz/ 100 g icing sugar
Remove stollen from the oven and brush the top with melted butter while still hot. Immediately tap a generous layer of icing sugar over the top through a sieve or sifter.
Let cool at least an hour before serving. When completely cool, store in a plastic bag.
The more alcohol and the more coatings of butter and sugar you use the longer it will store.
The stollen stores well for 2 weeks covered in plastic wrap on the counter at room temperature and 1 month in the refrigerator well covered with plastic wrap, it freezes beautifully for up to 3 - 4 months.