- Yield : 1 large loaf
- Prep Time : 4:20 h
- Cook Time : 60m
- Ready In : 5:20 h
Stollen is a classic spiced fruit bread from Germany, usually eaten around Christmas time. This recipe uses a sourdough starter, which is easy to make, but takes about a week before it is ready to use (see our sourdough starter recipe). This improves the texture and flavour, but can be excluded, in which case you may need to add a little more milk to replace the liquid. For the brandy or rum to soak well into the dried fruits you will need to prepare that part of the recipe the day before baking. The frangipane is not essential, but it’s really easy to make just before baking and it sweetens the bread a little more and adds an almond flavour – for me it is essential for that reason, but it is still delicious without.
- For the soaked dried fruits (prepare the day before baking)
- 150g mixed dried fruits (raisins, sultanas, currants, cranberries, cherries etc)
- 150g mixed peel
- zest of 1 orange, grated
- 100g brandy or rum
- For the dough
- 200g strong white flour
- 200g plain white flour
- 20g caster sugar
- zest of ½ orange, grated
- zest of ½ lemon, grated
- 5g salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 14g fast action yeast
- 100g white sourdough starter
- 1 medium egg, lightly beaten
- 170g full-fat milk, room temperature
- 75g butter, softened
- For the frangipane
- 100g unsalted butter, softened
- 100g caster sugar
- 100g ground almonds
- 25g plain flour
- 2 eggs
- 50g flaked almonds, plus extra for decoration
- melted butter or oil, for brushing after the bake
- Icing sugar for decoration
The day before baking, in a bowl soak the dried fruits, peel and zest in the brandy or rum and cover with cling film.
Combine the flours, sugar and zests in a large bowl. Add the salt and cinnamon on one side of the bowl and mix in. Mix the yeast in on the other side of the bowl, just to keep it separate from the salt until the liquids are added as the salt can hinder the action of the yeast. Add the starter, egg, milk and butter and combine to form a dough. Cover the bowl with cling film or a damp tea towel and leave for 30 minutes.
On a flat surface, turn out the dough and knead for about 5 minutes – the dough will be a little wet to begin with and then start to become more bonded. Drain the soaked fruit and add about half to the dough. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes more until it passes the windowpane test. Put into a bowl and cover. Leave to prove for 1-2 hours until it has at least doubled in size.
When the dough has proved, make the frangipane, if you are using. In a bowl beat together the butter and sugar until it becomes a smooth paste, mix in the ground almonds, flour and eggs until combined.
Turn the dough out onto a sheet of oiled baking paper and, with oiled hands, flatten it into a rectangle about 2.5 cm thick. Leaving a border of about 3cm, spread the frangipane across the dough. Sprinkle the flaked almonds and the remainder of the drained, soaked fruit on top of the frangipane.
Using both hands, roll up the stollen into a log shape. Keeping the stollen on the baking paper, lift it up and place on to a baking tray. Brush with the melted butter or oil and leave to prove again for 1-1½ hours.
Preheat the oven to 240°C/gas mark 9 about 30 minutes before baking time. Turn the oven down to 180°C once the stollen is ready to bake. Bake for about 1 hour, until it is a dark golden brown all over and it sounds hollow when tapped on the underside.
On removing from the oven, brush with some more oil or melted butter and sprinkle the top with some flaked almonds. Dust with a layer of icing sugar and then after a minute sprinkle some more, coating liberally. Leave the stollen to cool completely before serving. It should keep for a week or two.