Christmas baking has always been a big tradition in our family. Growing up, we were all about Christmas cookies; gingerbread people, gingerbread houses, sugar cookies, short breads, thumbprint cookies and so many more.
Traditional holiday foods for Christopher's family are homemade chocolate rum balls, butter tarts, mince tarts, an absolutely divine homemade eggnog and Christmas stollen.
As I've mentioned before, I LOVE food, but I don't enjoy the highs, lows and belly aches that can come with over indulgence of sweets & refined foods. I always strive to recreate traditional foods that actually nourish our bodies, while still tasting amazing.
Well folks, no shame in tooting my own horn here: This re-imagined stollen is YUM-EEE!
*Kimberley Killebrew, from Daring Gourmet inspired this recipe. You'll love her recipes!*
large & small bowl
damp tea towel
baking sheet, greased
Fruit for a fruit cake
- 1/2 cup sultana raisins
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- grated zest of one lemon
- grated zest from one orange
- 6-7 dried Turkish apricots, cut up
- 1/2 cup chopped almonds
- 1/3 cup brandy *optional*
Ingredients for dough
- 1 cup lukewarm milk (or unsweetened milk alternative)
- 3 teaspoons dry active yeast
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup (just enough to feed the yeast)
- 4 cups whole grain spelt flour
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup melted butter, cooled
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon fresh ground cardamom
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Our Incredible Homemade Marzipan
- 1/4 cup finely ground almonds
1) Melt 3/4 cup butter and set aside to cool.
2) Combine dried fruit, chopped almonds and rum in a small bowl. Set aside.
3) Bring milk to luke warm temperature. Combine with yeast and maple syrup. Set aside in a warm location (near the wood stove or over a heater) until the yeast is nice and bubbly.
4) Combine flour, spices & salt. Mix together the cooled, melted butter, egg, yolks, and yeast/milk mixture.
5) Combine the wet with the dry and then mix until everything has been incorporated. Kneed on the counter for 8-10 minutes.
6) Grease the bottom and sides of your bowl. Return the dough to the bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Set in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
7) Once the dough has risen, its time to mix in the spiked fruit. If you've added the bandy, it should be fully absorbed by now, but if now, strain off the extra.
8) Fold in the fruit by hand and divide in two. Press each half into an oval, about 1/2 an inch thick. Roll the marzipan into two logs and place one in the centre of each oval.
9) Roll up the marzipan in the dough and fold over the ends to seal it in. Lay your two loafs on a greased baking sheet. Set in a warm place until loafs have doubled in size, about an hour. *For this step I warm the oven, turn it off and set them inside.*
10) Once the loaves have grown, bake them off at 350 degrees, for about 35-40 minutes. You'll know they are down when the bottoms are golden and the loaves sound a bit hollow when you knock on them.
11) After you take them out of the oven, rub the tops of each loaf with lots of butter and sprinkle a good amount of fresh almond flour. Cool fully.
12) Enjoy with friends and family, or savour your stollen alone with a nice cup of coffee over the holidays.