How To Make Stollen In An Aga Range Cooker
Our good friend Christine has gifted us this fabulous recipe for festive Stollen. In her usual style she has tested this over and over, with her dear husband and neighbours on the hillside happily devouring her samples!
Here is Christine's recipe for a marzipan & stollen - This recipe is the perfect fit for our heavy duty baking tray & cold shelf.Photos taken on a rainy Northumberland day, but you can still see how sticky and festive this bejewelled sweet bread is!
You may need...
- A heavy duty baking tray naturally non stick!
- Or a fits on runners baking tray
- A mixing bowl and worktop space for kneading
- A recycled bag for proving
- Extra flour for dusting
- A spatula, bowl,
- 110g unsalted butter
- 350g strong white flour
- 50g caster sugar
- 7g yeast
- 2g salt
- 150ml milk
- 1 large egg
- 40g raisins
- 40g sultanas
- 40g currants
- 40g dried apricots chopped
- 60g glacé cherries halved or quartered
- 40g mixed candied peel, chopped (I used homemade)
- 25g flaked almonds, chopped almonds, or chopped hazelnuts
- Zest of a small lemon
- About 175g marzipan
Right, lets get cooking!
1. Divide butter roughly into 4 and leave to soften but not melt
2. Put flour, sugar, salt and yeast into a large bowl. If using fresh or dried active yeast, add a teaspoon of sugar to milk with yeast and allow frothy head to develop
3. Make a well in the flour and add milk and beaten egg. Mix with hand or spatula to make a rough dough, then add 1/4 of butter to dough. Mix in roughly then turn out and knead for about 4 - 5 mins until smooth
4. Lift the dough and return to the mixing bowl, keeping the join side uppermost. Flatten the dough over base of bowl with fingertips and add another 1/4 of butter. Lift and stretch the dough away from the centre, pulling it up and over, pressing and pushing into the middle. Turn the bowl and repeat the kneading action. The butter will eventually come through to the bottom of the bowl, but keep going and it will eventually be incorporated and you are left with a smooth dough again
5. Repeat the flattening and adding 1/4 butter until the last 2 pieces are incorporated. It may help to lift the dough to finish getting it smooth, turning it over so the dough can be stretched and tucked in underneath using the fingers. It is very soft at this stage. Leave the dough - join side down, dome side up - in the bowl for a few minutes while you prepare the fruit
6. Flip the dough over, dome side down in the bowl, and flatten it out gently with fingertips. Then add the fruit and lemon zest. Fold inwards as before until fruit incorporated. The fruit will pop out the bottom like the butter did, but keep going until only a few fruits are falling out
7. Turn the dough join side down again, cover the bowl and leave to rest until doubled in size 1 - 2 hours
8. Very lightly dust work surface with flour. Tip the dough out, dome side down onto work surface, and flatten into an oblong with fingertips - about 20 x 25 cms
9. Make a sausage of the marzipan (recipe below) and place down length of dough, leaving a space at each end. Fold one long side of dough over marzipan, and then the other, pressing the seam gently in. Pull each end over so the marzipan is fully encased
10. Flip stollen over so seams are underneath and transfer to baking sheet. Place inside a reused plastic bag and leave to double in size - an hour is about right in a warm kitchen
11. Baking time will depend on your Aga range cooker. Place tray into Roasting Oven on shelf on lowest set of runners or on shelf on floor. Put cold shelf 2 sets of runners higher. For those with a Baking Oven, no problems!
12. Bake for about half an hour, but check after about 15mins - it may need covering to stop it burning, moving down in oven and/or turning around. It will be nicely risen and brown when cooked
13. Cool on a tray for about 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
Ice when cold with either lemon grace icing or dredge with icing sugar - YUM!
14. Store in an airtight container, if you manage not to eat it straight away!
Marzipan - very old recipe!
Christine used double this quantity, which was enough for 3 stollen (or other goodies)
- 110g icing sugar
- 110 ground almonds
- 1 egg white (or use whole egg if making double quantity)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla (or almond) extract
- Squeeze lemon juice
- Simply mix all ingredients together and knead until smooth!
Covering/proving tip! Be Green! - "You can use a tea-towel that has been wetted and rung out to cover the bowl (eco friendly and can be used again later to cover the bread in the tin)or put the bowl in a clean kitchen bin bag that can then be used as intended to line the kitchen bin once the bread is finished."
We asked Christine why she bakes -
"We all need to eat and taste should be a pleasure. I don’t like ready made supermarket baking because it is usually sweet, low on flavour with a homogenous texture. And it costs too much! If I make something, not only is it flavoursome, it is satisfying in a way that shop bought is not. I like baking. There is nothing nicer that rustling something up, using skills that are relaxing, and bringing others pleasure with the result.