Stollen

Preparation time: 3½ hours
Cooking time: 40 minutes

stollenIngredients

350g (12oz) strong white flour

Pinch of fine salt

2 tsp easy-bake yeast

40g (1½oz) currants

25g (1oz) whole candied peel, finely chopped

50g (2oz) sultanas

40g (1½oz) no-soak apricots, chopped

40g (1½oz) natural glacé cherries, quartered

25g (1oz) almonds, chopped (skin on)

Grated zest of 1 lemon

40g (1½oz) golden caster sugar

110g (4oz) spreadable butter

110ml (4floz) hand-hot milk

1 large egg, beaten

175g (6oz) white almond icing (marzipan)

FOR THE GLAZE

110g (4oz) icing sugar, sifted

1 tbsp lemon juice

EQUIPMENT

You will need a large baking sheet with a liner, or well-greased, and one or two large polythene bags

Method

1 First put 300g of the flour, together with the salt and yeast, into a mixing bowl and give it a quick mix. Sprinkle in the currants, candied peel, sultanas, apricots, glacé cherries, chopped almonds, lemon zest and caster sugar and give it all a stir before making a well in the centre.

2 Then add the butter and pour over the milk. Add the beaten egg and mix everything together with a spatula until the mixture is well blended. Now sprinkle 25g flour on to a board (you’ll need this because the mixture is very sticky), and pile the mixture on top. Then turn the dough over in the flour and knead lightly to form a ball.

3 Now return the dough to its bowl and place it in a polythene bag closed with a clip. Leave it at room temperature until it has doubled in size (the time can vary depending on the temperature – it could take up to 2 hours).

After than, turn the risen dough out on to a board floured with the remaining 25g of flour. Punch the air out of it and knead it back into a smooth ball, then shape the dough out to an oblong about 15cm x 20cm with a floured rolling pin.

4 Using your hands, roll out the marzipan to form a sausage shape about 14cm long and place width ways in the centre of the dough, finishing just short of the edges. Simply bring one side of the dough over the marzipan, followed by the other. Carefully turn it over so that the seam is underneath, and place it diagonally on the baking sheet allowing plenty of room for expansion. Put the whole thing in one, or you may need two, lightly oiled polythene bags and leave it to prove in a warm place until it has doubled in size again (this will take about an hour).

5 Pre-heat the oven to180°C/R4. Remove the bag and bake for 40 minutes in the centre of the oven.

6 Allow it to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before lifting it on to a wire rack. Meanwhile, make the glaze by mixing the sifted icing sugar with the lemon juice, then use a palette knife to spread this all over the top of the stollen while it is still warm.

7 It’s best eaten as fresh as possible, cut into thick slices, with or without butter, but the next day it’s very good lightly toasted too.

NOTE If you want to make it in advance it can be frozen on the day of baking as soon as it has cooled (without icing it) then defrosted, warmed and iced on the day you want to serve it. Also, it can be cut and frozen in two halves and if you’re not keen on marzipan this recipe can be made without it.

To watch this recipe video, click here

For more Delia Christmas recipes go to deliaonline.com

Recipe adapted from Delia’s Happy Christmas, published by Ebury Press 2009 © Delia Smith 2014

Recipe and image courtesy of waitrose.com

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