I’ve made various stollens over the years but always come back to this recipe as it’s the stollen I recognise. I spent some of my childhood growing up in Berlin and remember the Christmases there with fond memories. Nothing compares to their Weihnachtsmarkts of which there is over 50 spread all over the city. The smell of the glühwein, gingerbread, bratwurts and kartoffelpuffer intermingled with the crisp, cold winter air and, if you were lucky, the odd fleck of snow.
There are two ways of making stollen; with yeast or without yeast. This version doesn’t contain yeast and is the type I prefer. Now don’t let various supermarkets make you believe stollen should be a pappy, sweet, air filled fruity bread. It isn’t. It should be dense, full of fruit with the majority of the sweetness coming from the marzipan and icing sugar coating. If you didn’t want to make a stollen the most authentic stollen you can buy in the UK is either from Aldi or Lidl, though be careful you don’t get waylaid by the lebkuchen and pfeffernüsse. Lethal for the waistline, yet delicious.
250g plain white flour
¼ tsp salt
60g butter, softened
1½ tsp baking powder
100g caster sugar
few drops of vanilla extract
25ml dark rum
zest of 1 lemon
1½ tsp ground mixed spice
65g flaked almonds
20g mixed peel
125g creme fraiche
1 large egg, beaten
125g Marzipan (see below for marizpan recipe if you want to make it from scratch)
15g melted butter
1) Preheat oven to 180oc. Rub flour, salt and butter together until it is the consistency of breadcrumbs.
2) Add baking powder, sugar, vanilla, rum, lemon zest, mixed spice, suet, dried fruits, almonds. Mix in the creme fraiche and egg to form a dough.
3) On a floured surface roll to form an oblong 15cm x 23cm x 2cm. Form the marzipan in a sausage shape and place in the middle. Fold dough over marzipan and seal.
4) Place on a baking sheet seam side down and bake for 25-30min.
5) Once cooked remove from the oven and place on a wire rack. Brush liberally with melted butter and dust with lots of icing sugar. Allow to cool.
6) Wrap tightly in foil. Keeps for 2-3 weeks. Personally I find the flavour and texture improves after a week.
(just be aware this is an uncooked marzipan and uses raw egg. In the stollen it is fine as it’ll be cooked, but like any other product that uses raw eggs take care who eats it when it is in its uncooked form)