Vegan Winter Stollen
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We’re moving house tomorrow! After what seems like a thousand years of paperwork, we’ve finally exchanged on our new house and we move in tomorrow morning. It’ll be sad to leave our wonderful flat - the first home I’ve lived in that wasn’t my parents’ or rented - but I’ll officially be a homeowner and I cannot bloody WAIT. The wild Christmas tree we pulled up last weekend is waiting in Dave’s parents’ garden, so we’ll be able to unpack and get everything cosy, warm and tidy for Christmas. I’m finishing off the packing today while Dave’s at work, but in between boxes I thought I’d bake one last treat to save for our coffee breaks tomorrow.
I love stodge, and I love Christmas food even more, which means stollen is one of my favourite festive treats in the world. It’s a traditional German bread made with fruit, spices and marzipan, but annoyingly most shop-bought stollen loaves contains milk and butter. To create a vegan version I played around with aquafaba (the liquid you drain from chickpea cans) and vegan butter - I use Vitalite which is honestly such a great alternative. Not only does it work well in baking, but even spreading it on crumpets and toast tastes almost exactly like butter.
Enjoy this oozing stollen over the festive season with hot tea or mulled cider!
RECIPE: VEGAN WINTER STOLLEN
For the marzipan:
100g caster sugar
150g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
3 tbsp aquafaba (the liquid drained from canned chickpeas)
4 tsp almond essence
200g ground almond
For the loaf:
600g plain flour
100g caster sugar
7g fast action dried yeast
2 tsp sea salt
150g + 25g vegan butter, like Vitalite
250ml plant-based milk
Pinch ground nutmeg
Pinch ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
2 tsp almond essence
50g ground almonds
450g mixed dried fruit
1. First make the marzipan! In a large bowl, whisk together the icing sugar, caster sugar, aquafaba and almond essence for 5-10 minutes until it forms a thickish liquid around the consistency of single cream.
2. Stir in the ground almond and use your hands to knead the mixture into a firm paste, adding more icing sugar if the consistency is too sticky. Once firm, leave to the side.
3. To make the dough, combine the flour, sugar, yeast, salt, 150g butter and milk in a large bowl. Knead together on a floured surface for 5-10 minutes until they form a smooth, elastic dough, adding more flour if the consistency is too sticky.
4. In the empty bowl, combine the nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla & almond essence, ground almond and dried fruit together until the spices and almond are evenly dispersed through the fruit. Add the dough back into the bowl and combine well for several minutes until the spice/fruit/almond mixture is evenly dispersed through the dough.
5. Cover the bowl and leave in a warm spot for 1-2 hours until the dough has doubled in size.
6. Once risen, knead the dough on a floured surface for a minute to push out the air, then roll into a rectangle around 45 x 35cm. Melt the remaining 25g butter in a pan and brush lightly over the dough. On another surface, roll out the marzipan to around 15 x 35cm and place on top of the dough in the middle, so that the long side of the marzipan lies across the width of the dough. Roll the dough up to enclose the marzipan and transfer to a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Cover and leave to rise for about an hour, until doubled in size.
7. Preheat the oven to 190°C or 170°C fan. Bake for one hour. Remove from the oven, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with icing sugar to serve.