East Prussian Marzipan-Stollen

Posted on 11/08/2011 by lady_of_clunn
Yesterday was the three-weeks-until-first-Advent marker, so I baked the first batch of Stollen to make sure it will have time to mature.

A lot of people don't dare to ever try baking a Stollen because they shy away from the sheer amount of ingredients or think it will be very difficult or don't know how to deal with yeast. Comparing home-made Stollen to the bought variety, it is so very worth the try!

The key is to be patient. Don't rush the times when the dough needs to rest and rise.

East Prussian Stollen, a family recipe.

Yields two Stollen

- about 50g life yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 250 ml warm milk
- 500g flour
- 125g sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar (or 1 teaspoon essence of vanilla)
- 1 teaspoon lemon baking oil or ground lemon peel
- 1 teaspoon bitter almond oil
- 1 generous pinch of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 250g butter (melted)
- 100g raisins
- 100g candied lemon peel
- 100g candied orange peel
- 100g candied fruit mix or chopped candied cherries
- 100g ground nuts (I usually use almonds but want to try walnuts next time)
- 100g chopped nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, whatever is available)
- 200g Marzipan

After baking:

- 100g butter (melted)
- some sugar
- liberal amounts of powdered sugar

In a bowl that has to be much larger than one would think, crumble together the yeast and sugar. Life yeast is best, I was succsessful with dried yeast that needed to be activated with a liquid and have so far always failed with dried yeast that is simply mixed into the flour. Add about 100ml of the lukewarm milk, carefully dissolve the yeast, cover the bowl and let rest in a warm place for 15-20 minutes. There should be absolutely no draught. It frightens the yeast. *nods*

Meanwhile, mix all the dry ingredients including the ground nuts plus the baking oils together in, again, a larger-than-you-think-it-has-to-be bowl. The yeast needs space to grow and there are a lot of ingredients to add later on.

Add the yeast mixture, the rest of the warm milk and the melted butter. I always gently heat the milk (warm, not hot - you don't want to kill the yeast) and let the butter dissolve in the remaining milk while the yeast mixture rests.

With your hands or the dough hooks of your mixer, mix until everything is well blended. The dough is not heavy or hard to manage. If so, add a bit of warm milk.

Cover bowl with a clean dish cloth and let the dough rest for about 20-30 minutes I either put the bowl under the duvet in my bed or into the very, very slightly warmed oven. In any case, it should be a warm place without any chance of draught.

Add the raisins, candied fruit and nuts to the dough and knead well.

Take half of the dough, flatten to a roughly rectangular shape on a surface dusted with flour. Shape half of the marzipan to be rather flat and long-ish. Place on dough. Roll dough up around the marzipan, place on a baking tray covered with baking paper, cover with clean dishcloth (or the one you used before for covering the bowl:)), repeat with the other half of the dough.

Let rest for 20-30 minutes in a warm place. Again, I usually put the tray under my duvet.

Preheat oven to 250 C, bake at 150 C for one hour.

Immediately after baking, brush with melted butter and add a fine layer of sugar. Let cool for a few minutes, brush with butter again and add a thick layer of powdered sugar.

Let the Stollen cool, wrap in baking paper or aluminum foil and store in a cool, dry place for at least a week or three before serving.

You can also quarter the dough and marzipan for gift-size Stollen:

gelbes_gilatier 8th-Nov-2011 11:04 am (UTC)
Okay, probably spammy but... awesome icon *hugs Brandenburger Tor :D (and if I'd actually eat Stollen, I'd so totally try this recipe, just for the challenge of it... or I might, to surprise my parents who both love it ;))
lady_of_clunn 8th-Nov-2011 12:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Feel free to snag the icon, please credit my friend draconis23, who made it for me :)

I don't usually eat Stollen, either. The stuff from supermarkets and bakeries is just too dry for my taste.
burtonlabs 8th-Nov-2011 11:25 am (UTC)
What else is under your blanket?! haha
lady_of_clunn 8th-Nov-2011 12:12 pm (UTC)
LOL, it's probably a residual tradition from the times when windows were generally draughty, homes didn't come with central heating and energy wasn't always available. A way of saying: "don't put the cake on the windowsill in the unheated bedroom."

My grandma used to only half-cook all meals, then wrap them in complicated layers of blankets and newspaper (and duvet on top of everything :)) for an hour or so and when she unwrapped the pots, the food would be ready. Even though WWII was long over, she didn't see any reason to waste gas.
browngirl *8th-Nov-2011 03:15 pm (UTC)
*makes a note of your grandma's technique*
lady_of_clunn Re: *9th-Nov-2011 01:32 pm (UTC)
Most people had a 'cooking box', a highly insulated box to put the pots in. Those boxes were rather huge and when they were no longer neccessary due to power being readily available, the boxes were downsized to blankets and duvets :)
(no subject) - Anonymous
lady_of_clunn 9th-Nov-2011 01:30 pm (UTC)
This is basically the only Stollen I will eat.

My parents can buy Stollen at Aldi and eat it from September to February and be happy. Urk.
baby_rissa_chan 8th-Nov-2011 01:18 pm (UTC)
Hmm...I haven't had real Stollen in years. I'm tempted now, even if it does mean having to candy some orange peels. I'd have to double up on that since I have no lemon peel, and I have no candied fruit, but dried cherries ought to be a more than acceptable substitute since I like those way better than candied fruit any day. Now I just need to find some marzipan...
lady_of_clunn 9th-Nov-2011 01:35 pm (UTC)
You candy your own orange peels? I am in awe!

When I was living in England, I had trouble finding all the ingredients, so I just used 200g of mixed peel (not as colourful but just as tasy) and 100g of candied cherries.

My family is from Koenigsberg, so marzipan is a must, but there are hundreds of Stollen recipes without it, so you could just leave it out.
baby_rissa_chan 9th-Nov-2011 02:29 pm (UTC)
I could leave it out, but it just wouldn't be the same. It's not Stollen in my mind unless there's marzipan involved.

And candying orange peels is fairly simple to do. I can't imagine shelling out to pay for someone else doing so for me when I have a whole bag full of oranges in the fridge. It'd seem so wasteful, especially since I'm broke enough that friends are funding my grocery habits right now.

I actually just got two grocery store gift cards in the mail yesterday, and I used a little bit of one to pay for some marzipan just now >_>
lady_of_clunn 9th-Nov-2011 07:22 pm (UTC)
I'd be very interested in your recipe - when I search German forums, everybody says it's not worth it because you'd need special bitter oranges and whatnot.

Since 100g of orange peel costs about 40 cents, it never even occurred to me...

I hear you about the marzipan. We are fanatic enough to sometimes double the amount :)
browngirl 8th-Nov-2011 03:15 pm (UTC)
This is absolutely splendiferous. I bake fruitcake every year; maybe I'll try adding stollen to my repertoire.
lady_of_clunn 9th-Nov-2011 01:38 pm (UTC)
Before I had children, I also baked Kletze (the other part of the family is from Austria) and saffron bread, but nowadays I am happy to do only the Stollen.

Kletze is just too involved with preparations taking several days. There is only so long that one can have bowls with marinating fruit occupying every surface of the kitchen.
kamaliitaru 8th-Nov-2011 05:41 pm (UTC)
This looks awesome!
lady_of_clunn 9th-Nov-2011 01:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
leslie_levine 8th-Nov-2011 08:35 pm (UTC)
This looks awesome! I love traditional holiday treats from Europe. And I lovvve what looks to be that handwritten note the recipe is written on. :)
lady_of_clunn 9th-Nov-2011 01:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

The little recipe book is from my great-grandmother. My grandma and I added recipes to it, but I am afraid it will soon fall apart. My aunt got the older recipe book and hers is holding up fine so far :(
sleepwalker41 10th-Nov-2011 11:50 pm (UTC)
I make stollen every year, but no spices or marzipan in my version. I'd definitely be willing to give this one a try...thanks for posting. I was just thinking it was time to make the first batch of candied orange peels of the season(they really are quite easy to make) for eating, or using in recipes.
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