So, in my other post about this season of the year, I was talking about how we keep Christmas simple. Simplicity also means to me growing and cooking your own food. This way you know what’s in it and most of the time it’s cheaper and yummier. To get you and your kids baking, I got this old, old, old (gosh, very old) recipe from my Great Great Great Great Grandmother (I leave it up to you whether you believe me) who passed it on for generations…
It’s one of the wholiest things you can get for a true German Christmas celebration. Forget Bratwurst. Let cool down your Gluehwein (Mulled wine). Skip the Bretzels and Lebkuchen. It’s showtime for the unique, special, fabby-do German Christmas Bread – or The Stollen.
Dads (and Mums of course), let’s get baking:
Your Stollen needs:
- A preheated oven at 200Celsius/Gas mark 6)
- 50g Currants and 75g Sultanas (or Raisins do the job as well)
- 4 tbsp Rum (It’s a good excuse to buy a whole bottle)
- 380g White Flour
- 50g Caster Sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon (or a bit more if you love cinnamon)
- 2 tsp Dried Yeast mixed with 160ml lukewarm milk
- 50g melted Butter
- 1 lightly beaten Egg
- 50g Mixed Chopped Peel
- 50g Blanched Whole Almonds, chopped
- For the Almond Filling: 120g Ground Almonds, 50g Caster & 50g Icing Sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp Lemon Juice and 1/2 slightly beaten Egg (no idea what to do with the other half)
1. Get all the currants and sultanas (or raisins) and put them into a bowl. Open the rum (have a small taster to check whether it’s a good one), warm it up (don’t boil) and pour it over the dried fruits. Leave them on the side to soak.
2. Don’t shake, but mix the flour sugar, and spices, pour in the yeasty milk, and make it into a nice batter. Get a cleanish tea towel (yep, that’s always the big problem), cover the batter and leave it in a warm place for about half an hour. Then add the butter and egg.
3. Mix everything into a dough and knead for 8 to 10 minutes (nice job for the kids). Now let’s have a rest for 1 to 2 hours (have more rum) and wait for the dough to double in size. Mix the almond filling ingredients into a paste. Knead all the fruits and nuts into the dough.
4. Now roll the dough into a oval-ish shape. Form the almond paste into a long roll, put it in the centre, fold the dough over the paste, brush the edges with milk, rest for about 45 minutes. Then into the oven and let the Stollen bake for 30 minutes.
5. Once the Stollen has cooled down, cover it with as much icing sugar as you like. Then wrap the Stollen into cling film (or a nice clean tea towel) and put into a coldish place to rest (and don’t tell anyone where you put it).
6. After a week your Stollen is yummy and lovely and ready to eat. Some people even leave their Stollen for weeks or months before they would eat it (my father used to eat Stollen for Easter). Well, we never waited that long, it’s too tempting.
So, get into your kitchen now and surprise your loved ones with something very special this year.