- Serves: Makes 4 stollen
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Prep Time: 20 minutes plus rising and 24 hr soaking
- Effort: easy
- 1 kg raisins
- 330 g mixed peel, chopped
- 50 g blanched almonds, chopped
- 50 ml rum
- 250 ml milk
- 120 g fresh yeast
- 1.5 kg unbleached strong bread flour
- 180 g caster sugar
- 700 g unsalted butter
- 2 large eggs
- 15 g salt
- 1 lemon, grated zest only
- 1 pinches grated tonka beans
- tsp ground cardamom
- 1 dashes of bitter almond essence
- 1 pinches ground allspice
- 1 pinches mace
- 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped
For the coating
- 250 g unsalted butter, melted
- vanilla sugar
- icing sugar, for dusting
1. Soak the raisins, peel and almonds in the rum for at least 24 hours.
2. Heat the milk in a pan and add the fresh yeast. Add a small amount of the flour to make a starter. Leave to rise.
3. Put the remaining flour, sugar, butter, eggs, salt, lemon zest, almond essence and spices into a food mixer. Turn the machine on to bring the mixture together into a dough. Add the starter, then turn off the mixer.
4. Stir in the soaked fruit and nuts by hand - this will stop the raisins from splitting. Leave the dough to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
5. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Put a baking tray with a few cubes of ice in the bottom to steam.
6. Knock down the dough, pressing out any air. Divide into 4 and shape into loaves. Run a knife down the length to give the bread a guide as to where to split. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
7. For the coating: pick off any burnt raisins from the edges of the stollen. Brush well all over with melted butter and turn in the vanilla sugar. Dust with icing sugar.
8. The stollen should not be eaten until cold, and is ideally stored for a few weeks to intensify the flavour. Serve with coffee or mulled wine.
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