Yelly Eats

First bake!

I did say that my goal was to bake more so that I could blog more.

The first bake of the year is my take on the traditional stollen.  A stollen is described as a yeasted cake containing dried fruit and marzipan.  I love stollen!  While it is a joy to bake (the smell of dried fruit and mixed peel soaked in brandy is amazing!), sometimes, one needs instant gratification and a store-bought one provides the instant pleasure.  I was gutted however, when I found out that Lidl had run out completely of stollen AND stollen bites.  I don’t know about anyone else in the UK, but I think Lidl sources great stollen and panettone!  I’m not sure where they source their stollen from, but whoever makes that stollen, they have a cracking recipe.  The lack of store-bought stollen necessitated the baking (which wasn’t such a difficulty because baking stollen is a pleasure!).

I used Edd Kimber’s stollen recipe from his second book Say It With Cake (I have written about Edd Kimber’s recipes before.  I love his blueberry crumble pie and his red velvet cake recipe is to die for!).  Edd Kimber’s stollen recipe is probably my favourite recipe from all the stollen recipes so far.  I’ve been relatively successful with it (lately!).  But this year, instead of rolling the marzipan into a log to fill the center of the loaf, I’ve rolled the dough into a log with the marzipan forming a swirl pattern when the loaf was sliced.  I thought it would be good to spread the marzipan all over the bread to distribute it better so that you didn’t get a huge lump in the middle of the bread.  And I think it works!

I think this means I’m going to bake stollen again.  It doesn’t have to be Christmas for me to bake stollen, does it?

Stollen with marzipan swirl

Yelly Eats

Stollen from scratch!

So the goal for the holidays, really, was to make stollen from scratch.  I made stollen once before, but it was from a Mary Berry mix.  Everything was prepped for me so all I had to do was mix everything up.  I was determined to find a recipe I could follow that was as close to Mary Berry’s as possible.  I searched for a stollen recipe but suprisingly couldn’t find one in my numerous books (to be completely honest, I didn’t really look very far!  Ha!).  But as luck would have it, Edd Kimber’s book Say It With Cake has a wonderful recipe for stollen.

Stollen proofing

I added a little tidbit:  I soaked the dried fruits in brandy overnight.  Makes for an interesting taste.  It called for nuts in the recipe, but I didn’t have any to put in so I did without that.  And because I like my marzipan spread through out the bread instead of in a big lump in the middle, I rolled my marzipan flat so that it would be distributed throughout the loaf.

Stollen baked

I was quite surprised at the size of the stollen though.  It came out bigger than I thought!  But it did look so pretty when it was dusted with icing sugar!

Stollen dusted

I was quite pleased with how it’s turned out.  The stollen came out beautifully!  Am now not too afraid to make breads, aided of course by my Kenwood chef (obviously not paid advertisement, although, I would love it if Kenwood took notice and gave me free stuff!  Ha!).   I wanted to learn how to make stollen mostly because of my dad.  He talks about the time when his entire family lived in Vienna and stollen eventually filters into the conversation.  It has always been a dream to bake something that reminded my father of happy times with his parents and siblings.  A few more practice sessions so that I can develop my own take on stollen!  But until then, Edd Kimber’s recipe with my own tweaks to it will do me just fine!