Easter Fruit and Marzipan Bread (my take on a traditional Stollen)
This is a recipe that requires some patience (something I am not overly blessed with) or at least a day of continued returning to the dough. It is a recipe that you need to enjoy - and trust me the end product is worth the effort and process to get there!! Often nowadays I have a large bowl of macerating fruits in the fridge - you just never know when you may need them!! This recipe assumes you start from scratch! Ingredients are in bold to make it easier to identify as they follow the recipe in it's stages.
The day before required..............
- 100g Slivered Almonds
- 300g mixed fruit - peel and raisins
- 150g glace cherries (because my children love them)
- ½ cup brandy
Mix all of the above in a glass bowl and set aside to rest over night.
On the Day......
- 50g sugar
- 12g dry instant yeast
- 130ml slightly warm milk
- 200g plain flour
- Mix the sugar, instant yeast and milk together and set aside for 10 minutes until bubbles form and you can smell the activating yeast.
- Sift the flour into a large bowl
- Add the yeast mixture to the flour and knead until the dough is lovely and warm and supple.
- Cover with glad wrap and leave to rest for around 11/2 hours
Add these further ingredients to the dough:
- 150g plain flour
- 150g unsalted butter - melted
- 1 lemon - rind finely grated
- pinch of salt
- 1 egg yolk
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp cardamon
- Knead together until the mixture is really homogenous and sticky
- Cover with glad wrap and leave for around 3 hours to rise.
- The dough should be springy to the touch when ready
- Finally add the fruit and brandy mix and amalgamate into the dough with your hands.
- Leave to rise for 30 - 45 minutes
Create the Loaf..........
- Turn the dough onto a floured board and knead it and roll into a 20cm by 40cm rectangle.
- Fold it over itself and roll out again to the same rectangle shape
- Roll some marzipan into a long skinny log and place down the long centre of the rectangle.
- Fold the dough in and over the marzipan to create a long log shape.
- Line a baking tray with baking paper and place the dough on top.
- Leave to rise for 30 minutes and............
- Heat the oven to 180C
- Cover the dough with a loose sheet of baking paper and bake in the oven for around 50 minutes.
- When the bread is done, brush with some melted butter and icing sugar (which will melt into the bread) and cool.
- To serve: dust again with more icing sugar.