This months Fresh from the oven Challenge was hosted by Jules. Since it was December and everyone was preparing for Christmas she picked a festive challenge – stollen.I’ve not eaten stollen before, let alone baked it myself and on top of this I’m not much of a marzipan fan. However my boyfriend loves marzipan so I went ahead and completed this months challenge. In the end I really enjoyed the taste of the stollen and had fun baking it. We shared the stollen with my boyfriends family and everyone enjoyed it. I could easily see myself baking stollen again next Christmas.
based on a Simon Rimmer recipe
100ml/3½fl oz warm milk
6g (1 sachet) fast action yeast or 2 tsp dried yeast or 20g fresh yeast
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
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. Add the dried fruit, almonds and butter and mix well then stir in the yeasty milk and mix well.
3. Add the egg and stir to form a dough. Knead the dough for 5-6 minutes, then cover and leave to prove for 20 minutes. Uncover the dough and turn out onto a clean, floured work surface. Knock the dough back to reduce the volume, then knead the dough for 3-4 minutes.
4. Push the dough out by hand into a flat oval shape about 23cm x 18cm/9in x 7in. Roll the marzipan into a sausage shape about 6cm/2in shorter than the dough. Place the marzipan into the centre of the dough, then fold over the sides of the dough to seal in the marzipan. Then fold in the ends of the dough to contain the marzipan and help give the dough shape. Place the stollen seal-side down onto a greased baking tray. Cover and place somewhere warm to prove for one hour.
5. Preheat the oven to 180C/365F/Gas 4. Place the stollen on the baking tray into the oven to bake for 40 minutes, or until golden-brown and cooked through.
6. To finish, remove the stollen from the oven, brush with the rum then melted butter and dust liberally with icing sugar immediately. Allow the stollen to cool, then serve in slices.