At Christmas time in Austria they traditionally serve something called stollen: it is a rich, fruity yeast bread filled with marzipan and topped with a light glacé icing. If you have a number of people staying over the holiday this is wonderful served warmed through at breakfast. If it is not all eaten when it's fresh you can also lightly toast it in slices. In fact it is so good it is worth making two and freezing one (it freezes beautifully).
|5 fl oz (150 ml) milk|
|2 oz (50 g) caster sugar|
|2 level teaspoons dried yeast (not easy-blend)|
|12 oz (350 g) strong white bread flour|
|¼ level teaspoon salt|
|4 oz (110 g) softened butter|
|1 large egg, beaten|
|1½ oz (40 g) currants|
|2 oz (50 g) sultanas|
|1½ oz (40 g) no-soak apricots, chopped|
|1 oz (25 g) glacé cherries, rinsed, dried and quartered|
|1 oz (25 g) mixed candied peel, finely diced|
|1 oz (25 g) almonds, chopped|
|grated zest ½ lemon|
|6 oz (175 g) marzipan|
|For the glaze:|
|4 oz (110 g) icing sugar, sifted|
|1 tablespoon lemon juice|
|Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5, 375°F (190°C).|
|Need help with conversions?|
|You will also need a large baking sheet, lightly greased.|
This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Christmas
Warm the milk, first of all, till you can just still dip your little finger in it.
Then pour it into a glass jug, add 1 teaspoon of the sugar along with the dried yeast and leave it until it forms a frothy head of about 1 inch (2.5 cm).
Meanwhile sift 11 oz (300 g) of the flour together with the salt and remaining sugar into a mixing bowl, and make a well in the centre. Pour the milk and yeast mixture into this, then add the softened butter and beaten egg.
Mix everything together either with your hands or with a wooden spoon – until the mixture is well blended and leaves the side of the bowl cleanly.
Then work in the fruits, peel, nuts and lemon zest, distributing them as evenly as possible. Knead the dough on a work surface for 5 minutes until it is springy and elastic.
Now leave the dough in a warm place, covered with clingfilm, until it has doubled in size (the time this takes can vary depending on the temperature – it could take up to 2 hours). After that turn the risen dough out on to a board floured with the reserved 1 oz (25 g) of flour, and knock the air out of it and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic.
At this stage roll or press out the dough to an oblong 10 x 8 inches (25 x 20 cm). Using your hands, roll out the marzipan to form a sausage shape and place this along the centre of the dough, finishing just short of the edges.
Fold the dough over the marzipan and carefully place the whole thing on a baking sheet, allowing plenty of room for expansion. Leave it to prove in a warm place until it has doubled in size again, then bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes. Allow it to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before lifting it on to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Meanwhile make the glaze by mixing the sifted icing sugar with the lemon juice, then use a small palette knife to spread this all over the top surface of the stollen (while it is still warm). Serve as fresh as possible, cut into thick slices, with or without butter.
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