We have been buying (and eating) marzipan-infused Stollen at Christmas for years. But this year (2016) with Henry up from UCSD we decided to make our own, adapting "The Great American Baking Show" recipe (Peter & Henz).
There are four parts to this: The bread dough, the dried fruit filling, the marzipan center and the topping and marzipan holly decorations. So, it's a good recipe to double team. And with the rising of the dough (twice) that takes an hour or so each time you will want to start in the morning.
10 oz white bread flour (2 cups) plus extra for dusting
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon nugtmeg
1 oz superfine sugar (aka confectioners' sugar, powdered sugar or "icing sugar" in Aus parlance)
2 level teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
5 oz whole milk, warmed
1 medium egg
½ teaspoon almond extract
2 oz butter, very softened
Fruit filling ingredients
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
2 tablespoons dark rum
3 oz dark raisins
3 oz golden raisins
3 oz dried cranberries
2 oz candied orange and lemon peel, diced
2 oz blanched whole almonds, roughly chopped
2 oz other nuts (not pistachios on account of Ed): walnuts or pecans maybe, roughly chopped
Marzipan filling ingredients
6 oz ground almonds (we prefer the skin on type but you can use the pure white almond powder too)
3.5 oz super fine sugar
1 medium egg, beaten
1 teaspoon almond extract
[OR you could just buy a marzipan role from the shops]
One third of the above marzipan
15g butter, melted
50g confectioners sugar
Red and green food coloring
A. The dough
1. Measure the flour, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, nutmeg,and sugar into a large bowl. Add the yeast on one side of the bowl and the salt on the other. Beat the milk, egg, almond extract and butter together in a cup and pour over the dry ingredients.
2. Bring the mixture together to form a soft dough. Transfer to a generously floured work surface and knead for 6-7 minutes, until smooth and pliable.
[OR, use your bread maker for this part if you have one.]
3. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with cling wrap and leave to rise for 45 minutes to 1.5 hours somewhere warm until doubled in size.
B. The fruit
4. Place the dark raisins, golden raisins, cranberries, candied orange and lemon peel and the orange zest in a bowl.
5. Heat the orange juice and rum in a small pan to just below boiling point, then pour over the fruit and mix well together. Leave to stand for 45 minutes to 1.5 hours while the dough rises.
C. The marzipan
6. Mix the ground almonds and superfine sugar together in a bowl. Stir in the egg and almond extract. Knead in the bowl to form a stiff paste, but do not over- knead as this will make the paste oily.
7. Roll two thirds of the marzipan into a sausage approximately 26cm long. Wrap in cling wrap and chill. Wrap the remaining one third of marzipan in cling wrap and chill.
D. The risen dough
8. Flatten the dough out to a rectangle approximately 12 x 8 inches and tip the soaked fruit (draining any excess soaking liquor if it has not been absorbed) on top of it. Roll the dough up encasing the fruit, then knead until all the fruit and nuts are incorporated. [If the mixture is a bit wet add more flour.]
9. Roll the dough into a flat oval approximately 12 x 9 inches and place the marzipan roll down the middle of the dough. Roll the dough up to encase the marzipan, sealing the ends and leaving the seam underneath.
10. Transfer fruity dough to a lightly floured baking sheet and place in a proofing bag or cover over with lightly oiled cling film. Leave to rise for 45 minutes to 1.5 hours in a warm spot until nearly doubled in size.
E. Final steps
11. Heat the oven to 350F. Remove the stollen from the proofing bag and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until golden, risen and the underside sounds hollow when tapped. Take care not to overcook. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
12. For the topping, brush the baked warm stollen with melted butter and drench with superfine sugar.
13. You can kneed the marzipan with the food color or paint it once you have your shapes. Roll 3 quarters of the remaining marzipan out on a surface lightly dusted with superfine sugar and cut out 9 holly leaves. Roll 9 holly berries. Decorate the stollen with 3 clusters of holly leaves and berries.