“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
"Winter is dead.”
~AA Milne, when we were very young
NOTE: I am away at the moment helping my mother with her treatment for lung cancer. I have set up a few posts to post whilst I am away as a special surprise. Some are new and some are reposts of old favourites that you may have forgotten, or if you are a new reader may not even have seen. I'll be back at the end of May, but in the meantime . . . Enjoy!
PS - I will only have sporadic internet use, so if you ask a question and I don't get back to you . . . it's not that I don't want to. It just may take me a while.
Sunday, 14 November 2010
I don't want all of you purists out there saying that Stollen doesn't belong in an English Kitchen . If the shops are anything to go by at this time of year, Stollen is definitely an English Christmas tradition, even if it is a German recipe. The supermarket shelves are filled with them!
There's almost as many stollen on the shelves as mince pies! And not just full sized stollen either, scrummy stollen slices and little stollen bites . . . another weakness of mine . . . I just adore them.
All buttery and fruity and moreishly yummy.
I haven't quite taken to the full sized loaves though . . . they always seem a bit dry and dull, that's why I always go for the bites or slices . . . they're definitely a moister mouthful.
Up until recently I had never tasted anything other than a store bought Stollen and like I said, I was not totally impressed. This year, since the arrival of the new breadmaker, I thought I'd try to make one from scratch.
Using the dough cycle of the machine, natch. How hard could it be?
It turns out, not hard at all! It was really quite easy, and you get the bonus of an extra loaf to give away to a beloved friend.
This was so good we've already eaten the first one all up . . . time to make another couple of loaves!! Yummo!!
I wonder how long the next one will last. This one didn't even make it through the week waiting period . . . sigh . . . I know . . . ME<====CoMpLeTeLy InCoRrIgIbLe!! ahem . . . and a bit of a pig . . . but shhh . . . don't tell anyone! ☺
(One to keep and one to give away!)
I had never eaten anything other than storebought stollen up until this year. I'll never buy it again. There is just no comparison!
Done in the dough cycle of the bread machine for ease.
7g packet of easybake yeast
1 pound 2 ounces of strong white bread flour (4 1/2 cups)
3 ounces golden caster sugar (scant 1/2 cup)
1 tsp fine sea salt
5 1/2 ounces unsalted butter, cut into small bits (2/3 cup)
150ml of milk (approx. 2/3 cup)
2 large free range eggs, beaten
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Fruit and nut mixture:
5 ounces raisins (1 cup)
4 ounces currants (2/3 cup)
4 ounces chopped mixed peel (2/3 cup)
4 ounces chopped, blanched almonds (1 cup)
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
finely grated zest of 1 orange
1 tsp ground cinnamon or cardamom
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 TBS rum (Optional, can use fruit juice)
250g (1/2 pound) marzipan
5 ounces unsalted butter melted (scant 2/3 cup)
icing sugar to dust
Put all the dough ingredients into your breadmaker according to the directions for the breadmaker. Select the white dough setting and press start.
Meanwhile combine the fruit and nut mixture in a bowl and leave to stand while the dough works. Once the dough cycle has finished, turn the dough onto a lightly floured surgace and knead lightly, knocking out the air until smooth. Roll out until about an inch thick. Spread the fruit and nut mixture over top, roll up and then knead until well incorporated. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and roll each out to an oval about 1 inch thick and pleace each on a seperate buttered baking sheet.
Using the side of your hand make an indentation down the middle of each oval. Roll the marzipan into two long sausage shapes. Lay one roll down the length of each oval slightly off to one side. Fold the dough over top to cover (lengthwise) so that the top layer doesn't quite meet the side of the bottom layer. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise in a warm room for about 30 minutes. It does not need to double in size.
Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Remove the tea towels and then bake the stollen for 45 minutes in the heated oven until cooked through. Remove from the oven to a wire rack to cool. Brush all over with the melted butter until it is all used up. Dust generously with some icing sugar. Allow to cool completely, and then dust generously with icing sugar again.
Store tightly covered for one week before serving.