This recipe does have plenty of steps, but plan ahead and you'll find it simpler than you think. Once you've made the initial dough, you can leave it in the fridge overnight and come back to it the next day. This makes 2 large stollen. The key is in the finishing, take time to dose liberally with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. A touch of icing sugar is optional. If you are not a fan of marzipan, simply leave it out. Many traditional versions have no marzipan.
Stand mixer, baking trays, pastry brush, tea towels or large plastic bags
500grbread flourplus extra for dusting
20gr fresh yeastor 10 gr dried instant yeast
30gr caster sugar
200mlwhole milkat room temperature or warm slightly
Fruit to soak
50grdried or glace cherriesroughly chopped
75grmixed peelroughly chopped
25grcandied stem gingerroughly chopped
35mlrumFor soaking fruit
For soaking the stollen
Icing sugar for dustingoptional
Put all the dried fruits in a bowl and add the rum. Soak for as long as possible preferably overnight.
Use a stand mixer if possible to mix this dough. Add the flour to the mixing bowl, lightly rub in the fresh yeast or add the dried yeast. Add the sugar, salt and 10 gr cinnamon. Mix the eggs and milk together and add to the dry mixture. Mix on a low speed for about 5 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and mix a further 3 minutes.
Turn down to a low speed and add cubed butter. Allow to mix in roughly for a further 3 minutes, then increase the speed to medium. When the mixture comes away from the bowl cleanly or the temperature is between 24° and 26°C it is ready. This is quite a soft dough.
Shape into a ball and return to the mixing bowl to prove (about 1.5 hours) covered with a just damp tea towel or alternatively when mixed place in fridge and leave overnight.
Toast the pecans in the oven or in a hot pan. Be careful they do not burn. Chop roughly.
Melt the butter when you are ready to work on the dough - you can use a microwave on the defrost setting to do this. You'll use this in the following stages.
Flour your work surface. Turn the dough out and use a rolling pin to roll out to a rectangle. Exact size is not important.
Lightly spread some of the melted butter over the dough. Scatter the soaked fruit evenly over the dough. With your rolling pin, lightly roll the fruit into the dough to make it easier to fold it.
Fold up one third of the dough, then fold the 2nd third over. Turn and fold in 3 again. Set aside whilst you form your marzipan
Form your marzipan into one long sausage and cut into 2 even pieces weighing 125 grams
Cut the dough into two. Roll each one out to a rectangle about 1.5 cm thick. Press your rolling pin into the dough in the middle. Brush the dough with melted butter, sprinkle with the chopped pecans and place your marzipan in the middle. You might need to adjust the size of your marzipan sausage to fit. Press it down lightly.
Fold half of the dough over the marzipan roll and rather than lining up with the other edge, leave a 2 cm gap. Press the dough down lightly. To give the stollen its traditional shape, press your palms down on the side with the 2 cm gap, creating a lip. Press down on all open edges lightly.
Place the stollens on two baking sheets allowing plenty of space for them to expand. Egg wash to avoid them drying out. Cover with a large plastic sheet or silicon and prove for 1.5 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/gas 4 an hour before you put the stollen in. Brush the stollen again with egg wash before you put them in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Prepare your cinnamon sugar by mixing the cinnamon and caster sugar together. Add rum to your remaining melted butter if you are using it.
As soon as the stollen are baked, prick all over the dough with a fork and with a pastry brush, brush all over with butter. Do this a second time.
Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar whilst still warm not when cooled.
Before serving dust with icing sugar. Well wrapped, this will last a week in a cool place or freeze and use when required.