Bread or cake? The jury's still out, but we all agree that this traditional German bake is simply delicious!
makes 2 loaves approx. 30cm long
- 85g raisins
- 50g glace cherries
- 100g mixed peel
- 4 tbsp dark rum
- 550g strong white bread flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 x 7g sachets easy-bake yeast
- 50g golden caster sugar
- Pinch nutmeg
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 85g butter, cut into pieces, plus extra to grease
- 250ml milk
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 50g g flaked almonds
- 300g ready-made marzipan
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- 50g icing sugar, to dust
- Mix the raisins, cherries and mixed peel in a bowl, pour over the rum, then leave to soak while you make the dough.
- Tip the flour into a large bowl and stir in the salt, yeast, sugar, nutmeg and lemon zest. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.
- Place the milk into a small pan and warm to hand-hot, then add half the beaten egg. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mix, then stir with a round-bladed knife to make a soft dough, adding a drop more milk if needed so no dry mixture remains in the bowl.
- Gather the dough into a ball, then tip onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 3-4 minutes. Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the dough has doubled in size.
- Split the dough into two, and knead each piece for a few more minutes, then roll each out to a rectangle about 37cm x 17cm. Stir the flaked almonds into the soaked fruits.
- Split the fruit into two batches and reserve one batch. Take a batch of fruit mix and spread one-third down the centre of the first piece of dough, leaving all the edges uncovered. Fold each side into the centre to overlap slightly. Press the edges with the rolling pin to seal, turn the dough, then repeat the rolling out and spreading of the fruit twice more.
- Repeat step 6 with the remaining dough and fruit.
- Half the marzipan, roll each piece into a rope about 30cm long and place onto the middle of each piece of dough. Fold the dough over to cover it; pinch the seams together to seal.
- Grease two baking sheets with butter, lay the stollens on the trays seam-side down, cover with clingfilm and leave to rise for 30-45 minutes or until puffy and doubled in size. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F.
- Brush the stollens with the remaining beaten egg and bake for about 25 minutes until golden. Cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
- To decorate, sprinkle the icing sugar onto a work surface, brush each stollen with melted butter and roll in the icing sugar until evenly coated.