Special Stollen

 

Stollen SliceI’ve never particularly been a fan of stollen, I’ve always thought it rather dry and have had a lifelong dislike of marzipan, until I realised that it’s almond flavouring that I don’t like. Pure almonds, on the other hand, be it whole nuts, ground into pastes, flaked onto cakes, I love!  I’ve discovered that there is a whole realm of food treats and baking that I’ve denied myself over the years and now that we can eliminate the offensive artificial flavour – we can enjoy the real delights…

 

Of course, this recipe for stollen includes a sub recipe for a wonderful almond filling (which I refuse to call marzipan as the very word sends shivers down my spine), it’s so simple to make and can also be used in other bakes and treats throughout the year.

Ingredients (makes two extra-large stollen):

Enriched Dough:

500g Strong White Flour

100g Caster Sugar

10g Fast Action Yeast

10g Salt

Pinch of Nutmeg

Pinch of Ground Cloves

125g Butter, softened

250ml Milk

12 tsp Vanilla Extract

Almond Filling (only half is used for the stollen):

200g Ground Almonds

150g Caster Sugar

150g Icing Sugar

1 Orange, grated zest only

1 whole egg

1 tbsp Grand Marnier

Additions to dough:

55g Blanched Almonds & Pistachios, roughly chopped

100g Raisins

150g Dried Cranberries or Berries & Cherries

100 g Mixed Peel

Topping:

1 tbsp Milk

50g Flaked almonds

To serve:

Icing Sugar (as much as you like either dusted over or mixed with water for a thicker topping)
Method:

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the enriched dough in a large bowl, hold the bowl securely with one hand and knead the dough in the bowl with the other hand. When the dough has formed a smooth ball, turn it onto a clean work surface and continue kneading & stretching the dough for 15 mins, fold into a tight ball, place back in the bowl and cover. Leave to prove for 1-2 hours until doubled in size.
  2. In another large bowl combine the ingredients for the almond filling, knead into a smooth dough, cover and set aside.
  3. When the dough has risen, turn back onto the work surface and knead again briefly, flatten out the dough and sprinkle with the fruit and nut additions, fold these into the dough, then knead to ensure even distribution.
  4. Divide the dough into two portions, flatten each piece into a long oblong and place a ‘sausage’ of almond filling down the centre of the dough. Use 1/4 of the almond filling per stollen and save 1/2 the almond filling for another recipe.
  5. Fold the dough around the almond filling and place both stollens on a baking sheet seam side down, brush with 1 tbsp of milk and sprinkle with the flaked almonds.
  6. Cover the stollens on the baking sheet with a loose piece of cling film and leave to rise until doubled in size. This could take 3-4 hours…
  7. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180c for approx 40 mins, cover ends with foil if they are starting to brown too soon and ensure stollens are cooked through by inserting a skewer to the centre.
  8. Cool on a wire rack and ice if and as desired. Enjoy!
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