Homemade stollen is far superior to shop bought versions and the smell of it baking fills the house with a wonderful festive scent. This is one to make when you are in for much of the day due to the time it takes for the dough to rise. However, it’s not too much work and is well worth it for a delicious stollen that will keep you going for a few days. The recipe also adapts very well to become No Added Sugar, particularly due to the amount of dried fruit and our adaptation of the “marzipan”.
Makes 1 large stollen
Zest of 1 orange
2 tbsp brandy
Juice of half an orange
160ml whole milk
3 tsp dried active yeast
410g strong white flour, plus 1 tbsp
150g butter, plus 2 tbsp to glaze
4g fine sea salt
1 tsp mixed spice
25g almonds, roughly chopped
25g pecans roughly chopped
2 tbsp powdered erythritol
100g ground almonds
½ tsp vanilla extract
1. Warm the brandy and orange juice in a pan and pour over the dried fruit and zest and leave to soak whilst you make the dough.
2. Warm the milk until it is tepid (hot and it will kill the yeast). Whisk in the yeast and extra 1 tbsp of flour and leave to sit for an hour until the top is covered with bubbles. Melt the 150g of butter and set aside to cool slightly.
3. For the “marzipan” soak the dates in boiled water for 30 seconds. Then drain and blitz with the almonds and vanilla. The mixture should come together into a ball.
4. Mix the remaining flour, 50g of erythritol, salt and mixed spice in a large mixing bowl and then pour in the milk mixture along with the beaten egg. Mix well, then stir in the butter until you have a dough. Turn out on to a clean surface and knead for about 5 minutes until smooth. Cover and set aside somewhere warm for about an hour until risen.
5. Drain away most of the liquid from the soaked fruit and add the remainder and the fruit itself, into the dough along with the chopped almonds and pecans and knead in the bowl until well mixed. Put back into the bowl, cover and leave for another 30 minutes.
6. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and flatten into a rectangular shape that is 2-3cm thick. Roll the marzipan into a sausage slightly shorter than the dough and place along the middle of the rectangle. Then fold the larger side over the top of the marzipan and roll to from a log. Put on a lined baking tray and leave to rise for 1-2 hours until nicely risen. Heat the oven to 200C.
7. Bake the stollen for about 30 minutes until it is golden and a skewer comes out clean. Pick off any burnt dried fruit from the outside. Now, melt the extra butter, then brush over the loaf, sprinkle with powdered erythritol using a sieve, and repeat this once or twice so the stollen has a white glaze.
8. The stollen will benefit from being wrapped and left for a couple of days but it’s still fine to eat straight away (and it’s hard to wait that long!).