Stollen is essentially a yeasted bread, filled with fruit and marzipan, and covered with a snow-like layer of icing sugar. I took up breadmaking this year and frankly enjoy kneading the bread, the texture and heft of the dough, the smell of bread baking in the oven and of course the delectable goodness of freshly baked bread. So when I found a nice-looking recipe from Paul Hollywood (of Great British Bake-off fame), I knew it was time to do a Christmas bread.
It's a straightforward recipe - prepare the dough, add the fruit and spices and let it rise, then roll it out, and add the marzipan. Many recipes require that the marzipan be rolled up like a sausage in the middle of the loaf but Paul's doesn't - you roll it out thinly and then roll it up with the dough. This way the marzipan is better distributed in the loaf itself. (I used half the amount of marzipan stipulated in the recipe.... ours is not a sweet toothed family, and the dried fruit is already sweet.) Let stand for another hour, then bake.
|So does it look like a babe in swaddling clothes?|
I should probably have left it in the oven for another 15 minutes or so, for it did turn out a little underbaked (as Hollywood would say). But it was still a tasty, buttery, fruity loaf, full of Christmas flavours. Perfect with a cup of coffee, for a stollen moment on a busy Christmas morning.
Merry Christmas to all!