As soon as I read that this month's Sourdough Surprise was going to be Stollen I knew I wanted make use of candied orange peel and homemade "marzipan", as the post suggested. I'd made candied orange peel a couple of years ago but never got a chance to use it in any baked goods, now I had an excuse to make it again.
And while I didn't make true marzipan to fill my stollen, I think the method I used was easier and just as tasty. Using this recipe as a guide, I changed a few things along the way to suit what I had on hand. The end result was rich but light and bursting with flavor. It made a feast for breakfast, it was perfect to have on hands when friends came to call, and it was more than one midnight snack while streaming Christmas tunes and watching the lights flicker on the tree.
1 & 2/3 to 2 cups bread flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 more tablespoons sugar
2 cups fed starter (fed with bread flour)
1 teaspoon yeast
pinch of sugar
1/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup soft butter
3/4 cup raisins (soaked in boiling water and drained)
1/4 cup finely chopped candied orange peel
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon egg white (or enough to pliable paste)
for the top
Start the night before you bake stollen. Combine bread flour (reserve 1/3 cup), sugar and salt in a stand mixer fitted with dough hook. Whisk yeast and sugar into warm water. Add yeast mixture and starter to flour mixture and mix on low. Add eggs, vanilla extract and almond extract and blend on medium until everything is well blended. If dough looks particularly sticky, add a bit more flour.
Mix on medium until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. Turn dough out on to a lightly floured surface. It will be sticky, but knead it for several minutes. Place dough in buttered bowl and let it rest for an hour.
Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Start to knead in the raisins and candied orange peel a bit at a time until they're all evenly incorporated. Return dough to bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.
The next morning take the dough out of the fridge. Make the almond filling by combining all ingredients in a food processor until it holds together. On a lightly floured surface pat the dough into a roughly 6 by 10 inch rectangle. Roll the almond mixture into a 10 inch tube and lay on the long side of the dough. Roll the dough around the filling and tuck in the ends. Place dough on parchment lined baking sheet, cover and let rest for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake stollen for 20 minutes. Spin the tray and continue baking 20 to 25 more minutes. Once out of the oven, bush with melted butter and sprinkle liberally with confectioners' sugar. Cool on wire rack until cool enough to cut.