Stanislava Dimitrova
How it's made: 

A few weeks ago I attended a Stollen baking workshop organized by Der Beck - a local bakery. We tried different combinations of dried fruits, nuts and marzipan and all of them were delicious. Ever since, I've been planing to bake one of my own and today, I finally found the time.

Stollen is a bread-like fruit cake with very turbulent history. During Advent, the bakers were not allowed to use butter or eggs, and the cake was tasteless and hard. Only after the Saxon Prince Elector Ernest sent a formal request to the Pope, the use of butter was granted but with the condition of having to pay annually 1/20th of a gold Gulden. The ban on butter was removed when Saxony became Protestant. Over the years the recipe changed and today stollen is soft, juicy, sweet and enriched with dried fruit cake.

Dissolve yeast in warm milk. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

Beat the egg and sugar with the melted and cooled butter.

In a large bowl, combine the sifted flour, salt and vanilla sugar. Add the rest of the ingredients and form a dough. When the dough has begun to pull together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and soft. Lightly grease a clean, dry bowl with melted butter and place the dough in the bowl. Coat with butter and cover with a damp cloth. Let it rise in a warm place until it doubles its size.

Bring the dough again to the kneading surface and knead in the raisins, chopped plums and candied orange. Roll the dough 1 inch thick. Roll the marzipan into a thick string and place in the center of the dough. Fold over to cover it. Pinch the seams together to seal. Place the loaf on a baking sheet covered with baking paper, coat with melted butter and let it rise for half an hour.

Bake in preheated to 175 ℃ oven for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 150 ℃, and bake for another 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow the stollen to cool on a wire rack, then coat with melted butter and dust with confectioners' sugar.

Shopping list: 
10 g yeast /about 1/3 cube/
1 large egg
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
2/3 cup milk
½ tbsp. salt
3 cups flour
1 pack vanilla sugar
1/3 cup raisins
2/3 cup candied orange
2/3 cup dried plums
100 g marzipan
confectioners' sugar
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