On the second day of Christmas, Bake Good gave to me…Stollen! Yeah, not exactly how the song goes but you get the picture. Don’t worry, I won’t make that joke for all twelve posts, I don’t think anyway.
My mum had requested I make stollen when I’m back home for Christmas, so I thought I better get a practice run in beforehand to avoid disappointment. As usual, I brought this in to work to save eating the whole loaf myself, which could have happened because it tastes amazing! To my surprise, although it went down well, almost nobody had actually heard of stollen before. I assumed everyone had this in their cupboards at Christmas but perhaps it was just my family! Basically it is a dense, sweet fruit bread filled with marzipan. According to my sources (read: Wikipedia) it is originally from Germany.
There were various recipes, some using plain flour and some with bread flour, different levels of spice, different fruits, with and without nuts. Complicated. So I went with one of my kitchen idols Delia….and then went ahead and changed it to suit the ingredients I’d bought! As per a Nigel Slated recipe, I added cardamom which was a really nice touch of soft fragrant spice that seemed to pair very well with the sultanas, cranberry and apricot. This loaf is a little lighter than the shop bought alternative, which is a good thing in my opinion, and is further enhanced by a light toasted before serving.
If you’ve never had stollen before I hope you give it a try and an alternative baked treat this Christmas! (more…)