Date, Almond and Clementine Christmas Stollen
Portion/Yield:Makes two loaves
I adore almonds in all shapes and styles and marzipan is in my opinion food for the gods. Especially a good quality marzipan. So at every opportunity to create a recipe using either one of these will be grabbed with both hands. With Christmas just a few weeks away I thought it’s the perfect time for me to make one of my favourite Christmas celebration recipes. As per usual I like to be different and gave this stollen recipe the true British larder twist and experience.
Instead of using candied orange and lemon zest I used fresh clementine zest and I replaced the glace cherries with dates and together with the raisins I soaked these in strong Earl Grey tea.
I made two large loaves with this recipe, one to enjoy now and one for the freezer, perfect!
This recipe does require a bit of effort but it’s definitely worth every minute spent making it. I made an egg wash to glaze the stollen, by mixing a whole egg with a splash of brandy and a teaspoon of sugar; I brushed the stollen with this egg drunken wash as I placed the stollen in the oven and then again five minutes before end of the baking time, this gave my stollen a beautifully crispy sweet and glossy crust, delicious.
I served thin slices of stollen slightly warm for afternoon tea along with a lovely cup of earl grey tea and had a slice or two lightly toasted for breakfast. After a few days the stollen will be a touch stale, I find it makes a super delicious bread and butter pudding, now that’s different and definitely worth the effort!
Ingredients & Method
- 80g chopped dates
- 80g raisins
- 60ml hot strong Earl Grey Tea
- 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
- Zest of two clementines
- 550g strong white bread flour + a bit extra for dusting
- 14g dried yeast or 40g fresh yeast (do not use fast action yeast)
- 1tsp ground mixed spice
- 100g unsalted butter, cut into small even size pieces
- 30g caster sugar + 1 tbs for the egg wash
- 1tsp salt
- 280ml full fat milk
- 1 large free-range egg + 1 for egg wash
- 1 tsp brandy
- 2 x 100g marzipan logs (10cm long)
- Caster Sugar for dusting
First soak the fruits. In a small bowl pour the hot tea over the dates, raisins and bicarb of soda leave to soak for 30 minutes, then add the clementine zest. Set aside until needed.
Weigh the flour, yeast, ground mixed spice and butter into the mixing bowl, attach the dough hook and mix until the butter is rubbed in and represents fine bread crumbs.
Add the salt and sugar and mix swiftly. The sugar and salt can have an effect on the yeast especially fresh yeast and for that reason I add the salt and sugar after the initial mixing stage.
Whisk the whole eggs and milk together. While the machine, with the dough hook, is mixing on low speed add the milk and egg mixture, continue kneading the dough for 8 – 10 minutes on the slow speed setting. The dough will look sticky and wet but it’s perfectly good.
Weigh the flour, yeast, ground mixed spice and butter directly into the TM bowl using the build in weighing scales. Gradually turn the dial to 8 for 30 seconds until the butter is rubbed into the flour and represents fine bread crumbs. Add the salt, sugar, eggs and milk, lock the lid and press the pulse button twice. Set the timer for 1 minute 30 seconds, lock the lid and press the dough button. WARNING: this dough is meant to be sticky, do not panic. Continue the recipe as below.
Turn the sticky sweet dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough into a smooth ball and place it in a medium size lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl with cling film or a clean dry tea towel in a warm place. Prove the stollen dough until it has doubled in size about 40 – 50 minutes.
Turn the dough gently our onto a lightly floured work surface and divide the dough into two even size logs. Spread and move each log into a rectangle of about 25cm long by 15 cm wide. I try not to use a rolling pin as it compacts the dough too much and all that time waiting for it to prove is sort of defeated, use your fingers.
Drain the soaked fruit mixture and dived between the two, spread over each piece of dough, fold the dough over to cover the mixture, retaining the 25 cm long side. Place one marzipan log in the middle of the 25cm stollen dough, roll the dough over the marzipan like an envelope, turn the loaf over so that the joint is at the bottom of the stollen loaf. Do the same with the second loaf.
Place the stollen loaves on a large lined baking tray with a 15cm gap between them. Lightly cover the loaves with cling film or a clean tea towel and leave to prove for the second time, about 35 – 40 minutes.
While the stollen is proving for the second time preheat the oven to 180°C.
Prepare the egg wash in a small bowl whisk the remaining egg, brandy and tablespoon caster sugar.
Once the stollen is ready to be baked brush each loaf generously with the egg wash and dust it heavily with extra caster sugar. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, repeat the egg wash for the second time and return the stollen to the oven for a further 5 minutes. Transfer the stollen loaves to a cooling rack to cool completely.
To serve heavy dust the stollen with icing sugar, slice and serve.
Replace the dates with dried cranberries and if you really want a boozy kick replace the tea with dark Rum, Brandy or Cognac. Make a delicious bread and butter pudding with the left over stollen. This stollen freezes well. If you do decide to freeze the stollen make sure you freeze it on the same day that you have baked them to ensure freshness. I normally use dried dates but if you do have medjool dates to hand remove the stones and cut them in finger nail size pieces. Start the soaking process with the raisins, bicarbonate of soda and the hot tea and soak for 30 minutes. Add the chopped medoul dates and use. I also find soaking the fruits overnight works perfectly for me, does not matter if it’s completely cooled.