Tuesday, 17 December 2013

sourdough stollen with homemade marzipan

even though i love christmas baking some years i just don't get much done but this year i've made puddings ( a friend of mine and i always make these together), christmas cake, fruit mince and mince pies, shortbread and stollen..in the past i've made yeasted stollen but this year i wanted to try making a sourdough version..even though i loved the process of making the stollen i wasn't sure if it would be a success or not..at each stage i was filled with a bit of trepidation and lots of questions..questions such as..will it rise? will these flavours work? have i put it too much/too little of (insert ingredient)? should i have added some spice? will the dough be chewy or heavy? have i over/undercooked it? but after waiting for it to (nearly) cool i tentatively cut a piece..ahh..sigh of relief and happiness..it looked like it should..and..it tasted like it should too..ahh.. 

sourdough stollen with homemade marzipan
tea with hazel
makes 2

ingredients dough (first ferment)

250 gms sourdough starter (100% hydration)
250 gms organic white bread flour
125 mls full cream milk

ingredients dough (second ferment)

625 gms first ferment dough
250 gms plain flour
115 gms softened butter cut into small cubes
75 gms castor sugar
finely grated rind of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon (tsp) salt
1 egg
75 gms sultanas
75 gms currants
50 gms dried cranberries*
50 gms mixed peel (i used homemade)
100 mls dark rum

ingredients marzipan

150 gms almond meal
100 gms pure icing sugar
100 gms castor sugar
1 egg white (50 gms)
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp brandy
1/2 tsp vanilla


beaten egg
30 gms butter melted
castor sugar
icing sugar

day 1

method dough first ferment

~ in the bowl of a stand mixer mix the ingredients
~ cover with buttered cling film and leave overnight

dried fruit marinade

~ mix sultanas, currants, cranberries and peel with rum
~ cover with cling film and leave overnight

day 2

method marzipan

~ beat the egg white with the almond extract, brandy and vanilla
~ add to the almond meal, castor sugar and icing sugar and mix to form a paste
~ shape into 2 logs approximately 3 to 3 1/2 cms in diameter and 20 cms long, wrap in cling film, and refrigerate until needed

method dough second ferment

~ to the first ferment dough add flour, butter, castor sugar, lemon rind, salt and egg and mix until ingredients form a ball
~  rest for 10 minutes and mix again briefly
~ remove the bowl from stand mixer, cover with cling film and leave for 1 hour
~ drain the dried fruit
~ knead the drained dried fruit into dough then cover the dough and leave to prove for 2-3 hours
~ divide the dough in two and roll each piece into an oblong approximately 20 x 25 cms
~ brush the dough with melted butter
~ place the marzipan, adjusting the length to fit if necessary, just off centre of the dough, fold the dough over the marzipan and gently press the dough to seal
~ place on a baking paper lined baking sheet, loosely covered, to prove for about 2 hours until doubled in volume or when a finger pressed into the dough leaves an impression
~ brush stollen with egg
~ heat oven to 250 deg c, place stollen in oven, immediately reduce heat to 180 bake deg c and bake with steam for the first 20 minutes and then without steam for a further for 30 to 40 minutes or until cooked (cover with foil if the top of the dough is browning too much)
~ brush the top of the hot stollen with melted butter and sprinkle with castor sugar
~ remove excess castor sugar and dust generously with icing sugar

note: * i would have preferred to use dried sour cherries but i was unable to find any locally

this post submitted to yeast spotting


  1. I was nervous too Jane. I was sure I'd undercooked it, then I thought I'd over cooked it. It was though, absolutely fine...now I just have to work out how to incorporate stollen into the whole year round.
    (And I'll bet your home made marzipan isn't even vaguely comparable to store bought one...yum!)

  2. Your Christmas baking sounds amazing Jane! I bet it smells wonderful in your kitchen. I love the idea of making Christmas puddings with a friend, what a lovely tradition. Your sourdough stollen looks very good, this is not something I have cooked or eaten before. I do love a bread experiment! Merry Christmas my friend, I hope your festive season is peaceful and restful x

    1. thanks jane..i've been making christmas puddings for over 34 years with my friend and we've never missed a year in all that time..it's a special tradition that i really value..i hope you have a happy christmas too jane with your family..x

  3. PS the shortbread in your Merry Christmas photo made me smile, so cheerful and it reminds me of shortbread that my grandmother makes, it looks almost identical.

    1. it could be the same recipe jane..it was given to me decades ago by a friend's mother..i do tweak it a bit by replacing some of the plain flour with rice flour and the embellishments are mine but apart from that i always make it the same way..i love the way food and recipes link us to our past and the idea that future generations will continue making and evolving recipes to suit themselves..x

  4. I still haven't mastered the art of sourdough taming. I am a bit like that lion tamer who puts his big toe in the lions mouth because "hey...that sucker can BITE you know!" when it comes to sourdough...once bitten twice shy I fear. The rest of my ferments are going great guns so I reckon 2014 might be my year of living vicariously in dough. I made regular stollen last year and made my own marzipan as well. Its gorgeous stuff but I foolishly made it in my vitamix and it was semi nut buttered...tasted great but not the same texture as you would expect but the neighbours liked it :) Have a fantastic Christmas Jane and hugs to your daughter :)

  5. i hope you have a great christmas eve with your family fran and that you get to lie low with steve on the big day..x