Each year I like to mix it up with my Christmas Cake. As the title suggests this year I went for slightly altered Paul Hollywoods Christmas Stollen recipe. How is it altered? Well, I changed the flours a bit and I added different spices. Oh and I soaked the dried fruit in some booze! Which is totally optional. Read on to find out how and what was changed. By all means, also check out the original recipe.
One of the major changes I made was with the flour. The original recipe for Paul Hollywoods Christmas Stollen calls just for bread flour. (Known as strong white flour to some). Instead, I used a mix of bread flour and spelt flour. I don’t know if it was because I used spelt flour but I found that I needed quite a bit more flour then the original recipe calls for.
I really liked the slightly altered flavour the spelt four bought to this festive bread. Spelt flour has a lovely sweet and nutty flavour to it and really lends itself well to this bread.
One of the other big changes I made was with the spices. I am a huge sweet spice fan. And added quite a bit more then the original recipe calls for. To me, a festive cake or bake should be flavoured with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves at an absolute minimum. So I decided to add all these. Big yum!
I also decided to reduce the milk a little and pre-soak the fruit in a little booze. Which is completely optional, as I understand not everyone wants to use alcohol in their bakes. So just replace the alcohol with orange juice if you want to. I used honey mead to soak my fruit in, but this is not the easiest product to come by. So you can replace the mead with rum, brandy, whisky or even sherry. Use whatever you have on hand.
What is stollen?
Stollen is a German festive bake. It is essentially a fruit bread studded with chopped almonds and has a length of marzipan running through it. And it’s covered in a generous coating of icing sugar, which helps to give it its festive look and feel.
Stollen is made with a rich yeast dough, which basically means it has butter in it. Which gives the dough a sweet, tender almost cake richness to it. And don’t worry if you are a little nervous about baking with yeast, this recipe is so easy to follow and make it will make you wonder why you have ever been afraid of baking with yeast.
I know this recipe is reaching you quite late into the festive baking season, but don’t be put off by that. This slightly altered Paul Hollywoods Christmas stollen recipe is easy to make and so tasty and perfect for last-minute gift-giving. It also freezes really well, which is great because this recipe makes two large loaves and stollen is best eaten within 5 days of baking.
I hope everyone has a fantastic Christmas, a brilliant holidays and a fantastic New Year. Here comes 2020 everyone!
Slightly altered Paul Hollywoods Christmas Stollen
- 150 grams raisins (3/4 cup)
- 50 grams currants (1/3 cup)
- 100 grams sultanas (3/4 cup)
- 125 grams diced candied peel (1/2 cup)
- 70 grams finely chopped almonds (1/2 cup)
- 50 milliliters honey mead (or any alcohol or orange juice) (4 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon)
- 380 grams strong white flour (bread flour) (3 cups)
- 210 grams spelt flour (1 cup + 5/8 cup)
- 100 grams granulated sugar (1/2 cup)
- 7 grams fast-action yeast (2 + 1/2 teaspoons)
- 150 grams unsalted butter – softened (1 stick + 2 & 1/2 tablespoons)
- 200 milliliters milk (3/4 cup + 4 teaspoons)
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 225 grams marzipan (8 ounces)
- 25 grams melted unsalted butter – cooled (2 tablespoons)
- 4 tablespoons icing sugar
- Place all your dried fruit, candied peel and chopped almonds in a bowl and pour over the alcohol or orange juice and give everything a good stir and place to one side.
- Place the flours and sugar into a large bowl. Add the yeast on one side of the bowl and the salt on the other. Add in the softened butter and the milk and stir together.
- Knead the dough until it is smooth and stretchy. This should take 6-7 minutes if you are using a stand mixer and about 10 minutes if doing it by hand. It was at this stage that I needed to add extra flour not in the original recipe. If you too find you need to add extra flour add it in at 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Mix the spices into the soaking fruit, along with the almond and vanilla extracts.
- Carefully knead the fruit into the dough by hand until it is evenly dispersed throughout the dough.
- Lightly grease a large bowl with a touch of oil and cover the bowl with cling film (plastic wrap) and leave to rise for 1-2 hours in a warm place, or until doubled in size.
- Split the dough into 2 and flatten each piece of dough and roll out on a lightly floured work surface into a rectangle.
- Split the marzipan into 2 and roll it out in a sausage shape, the length of the dough. Roll the dough up to enclose the marzipan and transfer to a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Cover and leave to rise for about an hour, or until risen and doubled in size.
- Preheat your oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Once hot and your loafs have risen bake in the lower third of your oven for 35-40 minutes. If you feel it needs a little more time but is golden enough then cover with tin foil and bake for a further 5-10 minutes.
- Once baked through remove your stollen's to a wire rack. While still warm brush your stollen's with the melted butter and dust with the icing sugar. Leave to fully cool down.
- These stollen's freeze really well, just make sure to wrap up really well and eat within 2 months. Kept in an airtight tin this stollen is best consumed within 5 days.