I'd never made Stollen before, and this was my first Fresh from the Oven challenge.
I'm definitely not an experienced bread-maker away from the bread machine, but it seemed close enough to a cake and it was a good first challenge. Stollen is a traditional German cake, usually eaten during the Christmas season, when it is called Weihnachtsstollen or Christstollen. There is a roll of marzipan running through it which is supposed to represent the baby Jesus in the manger. It's amazing how these tenuous connections were formed.
The dough was incredibly sticky - I wondered if the egg should be added before the second kneading. Also, our temperamental oven started playing tricks, and the outside was slightly scorched, but inside it tasted really good. I have to admit I substituted ground almonds for the flaked almonds as I'm not very keen on things with a nutty texture, but I was glad I had a go.
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.