This Month's Recipe...
December – Christmas Stollen
From page 302 of Kitchenella.
Sybille Wilkinson is a great baker, and this is her Austrian grandmother Maria Vogginger's recipe, blissfully free of the marzipan worm that most commercial stollen has in its middle. Note that you need a day and two nights to make this – not that you will have to work hard: the slowness of the recipe develops the flavour. Sybille recommends making this cake two weeks in advance of eating it.
4 tbsp rum
15g dried easy-bake yeast
125ml milk, heated until lukewarm
125g caster sugar
500g plain flour
175g softened butter
2 eggs, beaten
pinch of salt
1 tsp cinnamon
100g candied peel (optional)
100g chopped almonds
zest of 1 lemon
To glaze: 30g melted butter; icing sugar
Soak the raisins and sultanas in the rum overnight. The following day, mix the yeast with the lukewarm milk and caster sugar. Put the flour into a bowl, make a well in the centre, add the yeast mixture and partially mix. Leave for 30 minutes.
Work in the butter, using a wooden spoon, then stir in the eggs, salt and cinnamon. Beat with a wooden spoon until smooth and bubbly. Drain the raisins and sultanas and add them to the mixture along with the candied peel, chopped almonds and lemon zest. Leave overnight to prove.
Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas 3. On a floured work surface, roll the dough into an oblong about 2.5cm/1in thick. Make into a stollen shape with two overlapping folds, one from each side. Place onto a floured baking sheet and brush with melted butter. Leave to 'prove' for 20 minutes, then bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes – the stollen is ready when an inserted skewer comes out clean.
Take out of the oven, brush with more melted butter and dust with icing sugar. Wrap in foil and cling film when cool and store.