I think Autumn is my favourite time of year. I love the colours and the light. Daylight is at a premium and maybe that is why when it is around, it is appreciated all the more.
It is now that the buildup to Christmas begins for me. I know as a parent I should be stressing out about getting the tree, buying presents, etc etc. I however have pretty much planned the cooking days. ordered the turkey and ham and I’m happily thumbing through cookbooks coming up with inspiring festive recipes. I’m not going to bang on too much about christmas now, however I will tell you about the most delicious Stollen Recipe I found. Stollen orginates from Dresden. Its a really old recipe dating back to the 1500s. I am not mad about fruit bread and to be honest I cannot stand candied peel but there is always an exception. I have brought it for many years and put up with the candied peel because for me it signifies that christmas is here. Its a staple in my house like gingerbread cookies made for the tree and mince pies.
I found a wonderful recipe from a former head chef at the Dorchester. For me the best thing about making my own Stollen is that I can remove the candied fruit and peel and add my own variation of mixed fruit. I prefer currants to raisens but I totally don’t mind glace cherries. I added a bit more marzipan (you can never have too much). I wish I had a photo of the finished article but it was late and to be honest it looked like a giant white slug!! My photographic skills are not so wonderful..yet. I did attempt to shoot it cut up the next morning, but I turned my back on it and the 7 yr old snarfed it….Oh well thats a good sign i suppose.
I leave you with my version of Stollen. Please make it, if not just to make your house smell divine. I also leave you with a few photos of our Autumn Ramble through leafy Hackney.
Please feel free to amend the quantities of dried fruit etc to your taste. I did!!
- 2 teaspoons dried active baking yeast
- 175ml (6 fl oz) warm milk (45 C)
- 1 large egg
- 75g (3 oz) caster sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 75g (3 oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 350g (12 oz) bread flour
- 100g (4 oz) currants
- 50g (2 oz) red glace cherries, quartered
- 175g (6 oz) diced mixed fruit
- 200g (7 oz) marzipan
- 1 heaped teaspoon icing sugar
Prep: 2 hours | Cook: 40 mins