Thursday, 4 December 2008


I have a policy of not preparing anything for Christmas until the start of December. I'm not being miserable, I absolutely love Christmas, it's just that if I started any earlier I'd have got bored of it by Christmas day!

Once December comes around I really get into it! It just wouldn't be Christmas without mulled wine, mince pies or Christmas cake, so much to make, so little time! As it stands I have already made a tray of mince pies, a Christmas pudding and this Stollen.Stollen is a German yeasted Christmas cake, loaded with fruits, nuts and spices it has a marzipan centre and is one of my favourite Christmas treats.

It is especially good toasted although I should warn you, use an electric toaster at your peril, I'm still cleaning bits of charred marzipan out of mine...

What do you make for Christmas?

The recipe I used is by Simon Rimmer, it turned out really well although next time I will add more fruit.
Original recipe by Simon Rimmer here.

100ml/3½fl oz warm milk
2 tsp dried yeast
pinch salt
1 tsp caster sugar
225g/8oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp ground mixed spice
200g/7oz mixed dried fruit (including glacé cherries)
25g/1oz flaked almonds
50g/2oz unsalted butter
1 free-range egg, beaten
250g/9oz marzipan
To finish
25g/1oz butter, melted
50g/2oz icing sugar

1. Place the milk and yeast into a bowl and mix well. Leave to sit for 5-6 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, sift the salt, sugar, flour and mixed spice into a large bowl.
3. Add the dried fruit, almonds and butter and mix well.
4. Add the yeast and milk mixture and mix well.
5. Add the egg and stir well to make a dough.
6. Knead the dough for 5-6 minutes, then cover and leave to prove for 20 minutes.
7. Uncover the dough and turn out onto a clean, floured work surface. Using your hands knock the dough back to reduce the volume, then knead the dough for 3-4 minutes.
8. Push and roll the dough out by hand into a flat oval shape about 23cm x 18cm/9in x 7in.
9. Roll the marzipan into a piece about 18cm x 5cm/7in x 2in. Place the marzipan into the centre of the dough, then fold over the sides of the dough to seal in the marzipan.
10. Place the stollen seal-side down onto a greased baking tray. Cover and place somewhere warm to prove for one hour.
11. Preheat the oven to 180C/365F/Gas 4.
12. Place the stollen on the baking tray into the oven to bake for 40 minutes, or until golden-brown and cooked through.
13. To finish, remove the stollen from the oven, brush with the melted butter and dust with icing sugar immediately.
14. Allow the stollen to cool, then serve in slices


Joie de vivre said...

Did I miss your mince pies? I hope you post those too! I wonder what the American translation is for "mixed spice"? Such a pretty bread.

Sam said...

Joie de vivre: You didn't miss it, I haven't posted it yet! The first batch got eaten before I got a photo, I will post the recipe soon!

Mixed spice is a blend of spices easily available in the UK, if you can't get it in the US then I'm pretty sure pumpkin pie spice is very similar but we can't get that here!

Christina said...

I've always wanted to make stollen instead of buying one every year, but I usually make a panettone instead. Why not make both? I do not know. But I agree with not making Christmas baking before December, because Christmas food for Thanksgiving seems off by a holiday.

You did a great job! It tastes best with a marzipan center, especially toasted! I toast mine on a rack on a little baking tray that goes into the toaster oven; any drips fall onto it instead of the oven part.

Can't wait to read about the mince pies.

Pam said...

Can you believe I have never had any of the treats you mentioned. I've alwasy wanted to try mince pies but never have. The stollen looks and sounds delicious Sam.

Antonia said...

I love Stollen and have been thinking of making my own this year. I don't have a great track record with yeast though or bread baking in general so I'm not sure!

Anne said...

Mmm I love stollen, looks great!

Beth said...

Ive never made stollen. Might give it a try this year

Sam said...

Christina: That's funny, I've always to make Pannetone!

Pam: Mince pies are really easy to make, I'll post the recipe soon!

Antonia: I found this stollen recipe that I'm planning on trying, it uses baking powder instead of yeast.

Anne: Thanks!

Beth: You should try it, it's delicious!

Andrea said...

oh marzipan! I love love love it. I want a piece of your beautiful stollen right now. Please!

nicisme said...

That looks really festive. Not long to go now!

Katie said...

I love stollen but have never made it myself - yours looks wonderful

Hopie said...

I've never even heard of Stollen! Looks delicious though! To respond to Joie de vivre, I imagine "mixed spice" is what United Statesians would call "allspice" -- it's a mixture of spices like cinnamon, clove, etc?

Foodycat said...

Slices of stollen spread with runny ripe brie and a glass of champagne is the best Christmas Day breakfast ever! I admire you baking your own stollen though.

Andrea said...

I’ve tagged you with a meme and an award, participate only if you want to:

Kristen said...

I have never made stollen, but remember my Grandma making it when I was little. Toasted would be wonderful, I'm sure!

Cooking and the City said...

Sam your stollen looks great! I've only ever had the bought kind & it didn't have marzipan, nice bread :-)