Photo Credit: "© [Fahrwasser] / Adobe Stock
Historians believe that the first stollen originated in 1329 as a result of a contest offered by a German bishop. Bakers produced the wonderful bread recipe which remains a favourite world-wide. Here we bring you renowned Breton baker Richard Bertinet’s favourite stollen recipe. Richard bakes and teaches in Bath, Somerset and was acclaimed as a food champion by the BBC.
INGREDIENTS (Recipe makes four small loaves):
- 500g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
- 20g fresh yeast or 10g dried yeast
- 25g caster sugar
- 250g milk, at room temperature
- 100g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 10g salt
- 2 medium eggs plus 1 extra for an egg wash
- 90g sultanas
- 50g natural glacé cherries
- 100g mixed peel, roughly chopped
- 30g toasted flaked almonds
- 2 tbsp rum
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 200g natural (uncoloured) marzipan, cut into 1cm pieces
- 75g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 75g caster sugar
- 75g ground almonds
- 20g plain flour
- 1 medium free-range egg, beaten
- 2 tsp dark rum or brandy
- 250g unsalted butter
- 250g dark rum
- Icing sugar to dust
- Put the flour in a mixing bowl and crumble in the fresh yeast with your fingers (or add dried yeast). Stir in the sugar, then mix in the milk, butter, salt, and eggs, using a spoon. When the mixture comes together into a dough, use your hands to turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Work for 10 minutes, then form into a ball.
- Lightly flour the mixing bowl and put the dough back into it, cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a draughtfree place for 1-1½ hours until doubled in size.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and use your fingertips to flatten it into a rough square shape. In another bowl, mix together the filling ingredients, except the marzipan. Scatter the filling mixture over the dough, fold over in thirds, make a quarter turn, then fold over in thirds again to incorporate the filling. Form back into a ball, then put back into the lightly floured bowl to rest for another 30 minutes.
- For the crème d’amande, beat the butter with a hand mixer until soft. Keeping the mixer running, gradually add the sugar, ground almonds, flour, beaten egg and alcohol, waiting until each addition is combined before adding the next. Transfer to a small bowl and chill for 15 minutes.
- Lightly flour the work surface and turn out the dough. Cut into four equal pieces. Put each piece, smooth side down, onto the surface and flatten out with your fingertips into rectangles (roughly 20cm x 15cm). Put a dollop of crème d’amande onto each rectangle, spread over the surface leaving a 2cm border, then scatter with marzipan.
- Line a large baking sheet with baking parchment. Working with one stollen at a time, fold one of the long sides into the centre (over the crème and marzipan filling), then fold the other side over the top, overlapping slightly. Press down all around the edges to seal. The stollens should be around 20cm x 6cm in size.
- Put the stollens, seam-side down, onto the baking sheet. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to prove for 1-1½ hours until they have almost doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/ fan160C/gas four. Beat one whole egg with a large pinch of salt and egg wash the stollen. Bake for 20 minutes until light golden. Just before they are ready, make the glaze. Melt the butter in a small pan, then stir in the rum. Take the stollens out of the oven and allow to cool. Once cool dip the stollen into the rum and butter bath then roll in icing sugar. Leave to set on a wire rack.
GRAPE TREE TIP: Do not worry if the stollen bursts a bit at the seams when baking. It will store for up to a week and can be frozen for up to two months.
Get your ingredients at Grape Tree
Grab all the bits you need to make this delicious Christmas Stollen online at Grape Tree, including a range of nuts, spices and yeast.