We love Stollen so I buy one every year, but this year I thought I'd have a go at making one. I asked our lovely German dil if she had a family recipe she used, but she said that hers isn't a traditional shape, it's a ring - easy to break pieces off, so a stollen with a difference.
I've been doing a bit of research about Christmas baking in Germany, and found out that the first Stollen was mentioned in 1474, but back then it was made with just flour, bread and yeast. If you wanted to add butter or 'richer ingredients', you had to have papal permission! It's said to be made in the shape of the Christchild wrapped in his swaddling clothes. Our modern Stollens have been developed over the last 100 years in Dresden, and there's even a Stollen festival.
Stollen fits perfectly into AlphaBakes December challenge as it's the letter S.
Here's a recipe if you want to try one.
450g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
1tbsp caster sugar
½ x 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
¼tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 large pinches ground cloves
1tsp mixed spice
40g butter, melted, plus a little extra to grease
2 medium eggs
Icing sugar for dusting
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, yeast, ¼tsp salt and the three spices. Make a well in the middle. In a pan, heat the milk till lukewarm, then stir in the melted butter. Crack one egg into the middle of dry ingredients and pour in half of the milk mixture. Working quickly with your hands, mix thoroughly to form a soft but not sticky dough, adding extra milk as necessary.
Tip out dough on to a floured work surface, then knead for 5min until soft and elastic. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise somewhere warm but not hot for 45min.
Knead in the sultanas. Weigh the dough and divide into 10 equal pieces. Line a large baking sheet with baking parchment and preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan) mark 6.
Knead marzipan until soft, then cut into 10 pieces. Using your fingers, flatten out one of the pieces of dough slightly, then put a marzipan chunk in the middle. Fold the dough around it, then squeeze together to make a neat ball. Repeat with remaining pieces of doughMake the balls into a circle, just touching, on the baking sheet. Use the remaining egg to glaze the ring, then bake for 20-25min until golden. Leave to cool on the baking tray as the stollen ring is quite fragile at this stage.
Carefully transfer to a serving plate. Dust with icing sugar and serve with butter - fantastic for breakfast or as a festive tea-time treat.
On behalf of the people who read my blog I had to test it, hence the missing piece! It's delicious, a lovely almond flavour from the marzipan and a great hit from the spices.Good texture- not doughy but soft. A lovely Christmas treat, and I love the idea of this ring, as one piece is just enough for a treat. I didn't need butter on mine - it was great just as it was. You can, of course, make it in the traditional Stollen shape like this one I found on the net.