Tuesday 28 December 2010


This month's challenge is not the most daring I've ever done. Despite that it's the first time that I've been 100% certain that the recipe will be one I make again and again. This has already become part of the fabric of our Christmas. I really can't thank Penny enough for this truly delicious recipe. 

The 2010 December Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Penny of Sweet Sadie’s Baking. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make Stollen. She adapted a friend’s family recipe and combined it with information from friends, techniques from Peter Reinhart’s book.........and Martha Stewart’s demonstration.

A few days before I made the stollen, I made the candied orange peels to go into it. I'm very glad I did - they added a really lovely touch and were so superior to the usual peel. I made the marzipan to go in the middle too but I haven't given the marzipan recipe because it didn't come out exactly how I wanted it to. My main changes were to substitute in brown sugar and to use whole almonds, which gave it a pretty speckle. 

I didn't make any massive changes to the stollen recipe. The vanilla paste worked really well and I'm glad I used brown sugar. Otherwise it was just adding some golden sultanas, skipping the cherries and citrus extracts and using whole almonds.  I used the fresh yeast suggested because I adore working with it. 

When I pulled stollen after stollen out of the oven I wondered if we would ever manage to eat it all. It turns out that it's incredibly addictive and mum and I polished off three of them very quickly. We found we liked it fresh the best, then very lightly toasted in the next few days and finally toasted with some salted butter. One of the stollen is still sitting in the freezer as mum is saving it for new year.

All in all, a really wonderful challenge.

Finally, make sure you have a big bowl and don't put it at the top of the fridge like I did or this will happen within a few hours... (whoops!)


juice of 3 clementines
1 tbsp rum
150g raisins
90g golden sultanas
26g fresh yeast
60ml lukewarm water
240ml milk
140g unsalted butter
770g plain flour
115g soft brown sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 large eggs
zest of an orange and a lemon
2 tsp vanilla paste
115g candied orange peel*
100g whole almonds, chopped
50g butter, melted
icing sugar to coat

On the first day (of christmas, my true love gave to me...), mix the clementine juice and rum together in a small saucepan. Add the raisins and sultanas and heat on a very low heat for 15 minutes. Leave to soak overnight. 

On the second day, break up the yeast into the lukewarm water. Let sit for a few minutes then stir to dissolve. Put the milk and butter into a small saucepan and heat until the butter has melted.  Beat the eggs and vanilla paste together in another small bowl. Measure the flour, sugar, salt, zests and spices into the mixer bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add the yeast mixture, the milk mixture and then the egg mixture. Beat until it comes together - about 2 mins. Cover with a damp cloth and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Tip in the soaked fruit, candied peel and chopped almonds and mix to combine. Transfer your beater to a dough hook (or move to the counter to hand knead) and knead for 6 minutes (8 by hand). The dough should be soft and smooth, not sticky and the dried fruit might start coming away on the surface. Transfer to a very big oiled bowl, cover, and put in the fridge. Leave to rise overnight. 

On the third day, take the dough out of the fridge and leave on the side for two hours to warm up a bit.   Line two oven trays with parchment paper. Tip the dough out onto the surface and punch down. Knead for a minute or two. Divide the dough into four. Take each piece of dough in turn and roll out into a rectangle (think mine were vaguely 30cm by 20cm). Place a sausage of marzipan along one of the long edges (like this), then roll up tightly around the marzipan into a rope. Curl round into a circle and join the two ends,  pinching the dough together. Use scissors to cut incisions around the edge of the wreath. Place on the baking tray. Repeat for the other three pieces, placing two on each tray. Cover the trays with cling film and leave in a warm place to rise for about 2 hours or until they have nearly doubled in size. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C. Bake the stollen for 15 minutes, then turn the tray and bake for another 15-20 minutes. They should be a deep brown and sound fairly hollow when knocked on the bottom.  Brush with plenty of melted butter while still hot, then dredge with icing sugar. Leave for a few minutes then add more sugar. Be generous. Leave to cool.  

(Makes 4 medium stollen wreaths)

* I make my own candied peel - the recipe I use is here.


  1. Love your challenge! Your stollen are great!
    My bowl also was too small for the dough!
    I agree with you! This is a recipe to make again and again!
    Certainly one of the best challenges of this year on DB!
    Amazing pictures!

  2. The stollen looks beautiful and I am so happy you enjoyed the challenge.
    Have a very Happy New Year!

  3. Hi Emma! Love your blog, added it to my Google Reader to keep up with your new posts!

    Your Stollen looks great. And I agree, this recipe is the one to keep and to make again and again :)

  4. Love that you made small ones. Next time I'll do that too. They are gorgeous!
    Happy New Year!

  5. Definately a great recipe! I love the fact you split it it 4. I only divided it into two - still large! Happy New Year!

  6. WOW!! 3 stollens!!! but yes truly worth it I agree :))

  7. That dough certainly rises fast! I didn't have that problem since I used sourdough starter instead of yeast. Excellent work on this challenge, your Stollen looks delicious! :)

  8. What beautiful photos and post. I like the idea of making smaller ones too. I made an orange glaze for the day old pieces and it was so good. You are quite a talented baker, I love the beautiful cakes. I decorate cakes but haven't done a neat one lately for the blog. I am saving your blog to my reader to get your updates. Glad to have met another DB.

  9. YOur stollen looks perfect. True, it wsn't the most challenging to date, but I would have probably never made a stollen otherwise. :)
    Season's greetings and best wishes for a happy new year.

  10. Stollen, has stolen my heart! These delectable treats have an explosion of taste! The use of clementines against vanilla and rum couldn't produce more flavour! Surely this is something to impress your guests.

  11. Beautiful job on the challenge this month! Your stollen look delicious. I love the shot you got of your dough rising into the roof of your fridge!!! Lol. Thanks for sharing. :) Happy New Year!

  12. That shot of the stollen in the fridge is hilarious! Great job on the challenge :) Have a wonderful new year.

  13. LOL certainly did rise like a beast! Love that you made 4 smaller ones...they look delicious! I too really enjoyed this challenge.

  14. This sounds wonderful and I hope to try this recipe. Bought ones from supermarkets can be rather dry.

  15. Lovely! I'm inspired to make my own peel next time :)

  16. Love the recipe but what is 'vanilla paste'. Can't be the seeds from the vanilla stick?

    1. Yes, you could use seeds, or you could use extract - it's just a thick, seedy paste.

  17. I am just about to make your lovely Stollen for Christmas, but I can't see whereabouts in the recipe it says how much marzipan to use?

    1. I'm really sorry but I've looked at my notebooks and it looks like I never weighed and recorded the ropes of marzipan - this photo along with the finished ones should give you a sense of scale. Marzipan freezes very well so if you make extra it won't go to waste. Apologies - it's so frustrating when I did something wrong years ago and can't fix it!

    2. No problem, thanks for the reply. I'll just take an educated guess on how much to use from the picture. What could possibly go wrong...!
      Best wishes to you for Christmas and the New Year. Love the blog!

  18. Will the recipe work if I halve or (third?) the recipe to make a smaller quantity?

  19. poiresauchocolat14 March 2013 at 16:59

    I don't see why not, though I haven't tried it. Halving would be easier, as there's 2 eggs. Let me know how it goes if you try it.

  20. Hi Emma,
    I live in Australia and we don't have clementines so what could I use as a substitute.
    Also do you make your own Marzipan and if so do you have the recipe on your blog.
    I love that all your ingredients are in metric, you save me having to convert them.



If you would like to leave a comment or question, please do - I appreciate every one and will reply as soon as possible.