Richard Bertinet’s Christmas stollen
- December 2011
- Makes 4 loaves; each cuts into 6 slices
- Hands-on time 45 minutes, oven 20-25 minutes, plus at least 3¾ hours resting and proving
Richard Bertinet’s Christmas stollen recipe is perfect for the holiday season. Full of dried fruits, nuts and finished with a rum glaze – it’s a labour of love with a moreish end result.
- 12.3g (5.6g saturated)
- 30.4g (15.2g sugars)
- 500g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
- 10g fresh yeast (from large Sainsbury’s) or 4g dried yeast
- 25g caster sugar
- 250ml milk (at body temperature)
- 100g unsalted butter, melted and cooled (use the wrapper for greasing)
- 5g salt
- 110g free-range eggs (shelled weight) or roughly 2 large eggs
For the filling
- 90g sultanas
- 50g natural glacé cherries
- 100g mixed peel, roughly chopped
- 30g toasted flaked almonds
- 2 tbsp rum
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 125g natural (uncoloured) marzipan, cut into 1cm pieces
For the creme d’amande
- 75g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 75g caster sugar
- 75g ground almonds
- 20g plain flour
- 1 medium free-range egg, beaten
- 4 tsp dark rum or brandy
For the glaze
- 50g unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp dark rum
- Icing sugar to dust
- Put the flour in a mixing bowl and crumble in the fresh yeast with your fingers (or add the dried yeast). Stir in the sugar, then mix in the milk, butter, salt and eggs, using a spoon to combine. When the mixture comes together into a dough, use your hands to turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead for 10 minutes, then form into a ball.
- Lightly flour the mixing bowl and put the dough back into it, cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a draught-free place for 1-1½ hours until doubled in size.
- Lightly flour the work surface again. Turn the dough out and use your fingertips to flatten it into a rough square shape. In another bowl, mix together the ingredients for the filling, except the marzipan. Scatter the filling mixture over the dough, fold over in thirds, make a quarter turn, then fold over in thirds again to incorporate the filling. Form back into a ball, then put back into the lightly floured mixing bowl to rest for another 30 minutes.
- For the crème d’amande, beat the butter with a hand mixer until soft. Keeping the mixer running, gradually add the sugar, ground almonds, flour, beaten egg and alcohol, waiting until each addition is combined before adding the next. Transfer to a small bowl and chill for 15 minutes.
- Lightly flour the work surface and turn out the dough. Cut into 4 equal pieces. Put each piece, smooth-side down, onto the work surface and flatten out with your fingertips into rectangles (roughly 20cm x 15cm). Put a dollop of crème d’amande onto each rectangle, spread over the surface leaving a 2cm border, then scatter with marzipan.
- Grease a large baking sheet with butter. Working with one stollen at a time, fold one of the long sides into the centre (over the crème and marzipan filling), then fold the other side over the top, overlapping slightly. Press down all around the edges to seal. The stollens should be around 20cm x 6cm in size.
- Put the filled stollens, seam-side down, onto the baking sheet. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to prove for 2-2½ hours until they’ve almost doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until light golden. Just before they’re ready, make the glaze. Melt the butter in a small pan, then stir in the rum. Take the stollens out of the oven and brush with the glaze while hot. Immediately dust thickly with icing sugar. Cool on a wire rack.
Don’t worry if the stollen bursts a bit at the seams when baking. The loaves will still look – and taste – great.
You can make the stollen up to a week in advance. Wrap in baking paper and store in an airtight container in a cool dark place. Warm in a medium oven for 10 minutes before serving.
You can freeze the cooled stollens for up to 2 months, wrapped in baking paper, then foil. Defrost at room temperature, then warm in a medium oven for 10 minutes.
Crème d’amande is a thick, sweet, creamed almond mixture used in Continental baking.
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