Thursday, 6 December 2012

Stollen Wreath

Image Source: BBC GOOD FOOD
Whilst we know fruit cakes are a festive favourite at this time of year (especially here at HQ) it's always nice to try other alternatives such as the German favourite fruit bread; Stollen. If you're not familiar with this fruit bread then we'd like to get you acquainted. Yes we must admit it's not for the faint hearted due to the inclusion of yeast but we can assure that if you take the time to battle through the extensive recipe it really is worth the effort.  

Stollen Wreath 

Serves 20-22 slices | To prepare 40 mins + 1 hr 15mins- 1hr 45mins rising | To cook 25mins 

  • 85g raisins
  • 50g dried cranberries, plus extra to decorate
  • 100g carton mixed peel
  • 4 tbsp dark rum
  • 550g strong white bread flour
  • 2 x 7g sachets easy-bake yeast
  • 50g golden caster sugar
  • pinch nutmeg
  • zest 1 lemon
  • 85g butter , cut into pieces
  • 250ml milk
  • 1 egg, beaten, plus extra beaten egg to glaze
  • 50g pistachios , peeled and chopped, plus extra, sliced, to decorate
  • 300g marzipan (bought or homemade)
  • 100g fondant icing sugar
  • holly sprig, to decorate

  • Mix the raisins, cranberries and mixed peel in a bowl, pour over the rum, then leave to soak while you make the dough. 
  • Tip the flour into a large bowl and stir in ½ tsp salt, the yeast, sugar, nutmeg and lemon zest. 
  • Rub the butter in until the mix is like fine crumbs. 
  • Warm the milk to hand-hot, then mix into the egg. 
  • Pour the milk into the flour mix, then stir with a round-bladed knife to make a soft dough, adding a drop more milk if needed to mop up any dry crumbs in the bottom of the bowl. 
  • Gather the dough into a ball, then knead for 3-4 mins on a lightly floured surface. 
  • Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave until the dough has risen to double the size (about 45 mins-1 hr).
  • Knead the dough 2 or 3 times, then roll out to a rectangle about 37cm x 17cm.
  •  Stir the chopped pistachios into the soaked fruits, then spread one-third of the fruit mix down the centre of the dough, leaving all the edges uncovered. 
  • Fold each side into the centre to overlap slightly. 
  • Press the edges with the rolling pin to seal, turn the dough, then repeat the rolling out and spreading of the fruit twice more. Roll out to a final rectangle that is 55cm x 16cm. 
  • Roll the marzipan into a sausage shape, so it's slightly shorter than the length of the dough. 
  • Place it down the centre.
  •  Roll the dough over the marzipan, then turn the dough over so the join is underneath. Lift onto a buttered baking sheet, then curl the dough round a buttered 12cm round cake tin (see tip, below), brushing the ends with a little beaten egg and pinching them well together to seal.
  • Cover and leave to rise for 30-45 mins or until puffy and doubled in size. 
  • Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/ gas 5. When the dough has doubled, brush with beaten egg and bake for about 25 mins until golden. 
  • Cool on the baking sheet briefly, then transfer to a wire rack.
  • Make up the icing. Stir 2-3 tsp water into the fondant icing sugar and, when the stollen has cooled, drizzle the icing over. 
  • Scatter over the extra cranberries and pistachios and decorate with holly.

Tip #1- If you don't have a 12cm round cake tin for making the central hole in the stollen, use an 800g empty clean food can (the hole will be slightly smaller)

Tip #2- Can be frozen un-iced

We hope you're all having a lovely Thursday! With one more day until the weekend officially arrives, we're counting down the hours until we begin decorating the HQ!

Catch up tomorrow.



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