Not just for Christmas, this sweet and colourful German bread with fruit and nuts makes for a delicious snack. Filled with rich flavours, this Cherry and Almond Stollen is suited to confident bakers. We like to enjoy a slice with coffee, after dinner, or to make a few loaves as gifts.
Bring the milk to the boil, then remove from the heat and add the butter. Leave to cool until it reaches hand temperature. Mix the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a big bowl. Mix the milk and the beaten egg into the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon.
Tip onto a lightly flour dusted surface and knead for 10 minutes (or use the dough hook attachment on your mixer).
Lightly grease the mixing bowl with some oil. Put the dough back in, cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave to rise until doubled in size – up to 2 hours depending on how warm your kitchen is.
Preheat your oven to 180°C (160°C fan, gas mark 4).
Knead the cherries, sultanas and flaked almonds into the dough. Roll the marzipan into a 30cm long sausage. Roll the dough into a 20 x 30cm rectangle on a floured baking sheet and sit the marzipan along the middle. Close the dough like a book around the marzipan, tucking the ends under to keep it sealed inside.
Cover the dough again with a clean tea towel and leave to prove until nearly doubled in size.
Bake the stollen for 30 minutes until risen and golden. Mix the melted butter and almond extract together, then when the loaf comes out of the oven transfer to a wire rack, and brush all over liberally with the almond butter. Dust thickly in icing sugar and cool completely.
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