Monday, 28 December 2009


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
pinch salt
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
250g/9oz marzipan

To finish
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.


  1. Beautiful moist looking stollen. Glad you enjoyed your first Fresh from the Oven challange and I look forward to seeing you take part in the future.

  2. Welcome to the gang ;0)

    Your stollen looks grand - I too scorched the outside of mine in order to get the inside just right but I quite like the idea of icing sugar covering up my sins lol