Wrap up edible Christmas gifts of delicious mini stollen. (These can be baked and frozen in advance.)
175g/6oz dried mixed fruits
50g/2oz glacé cherries, chopped
50g/2oz almonds, chopped
2 unwaxed lemons, finely grated zest only
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp brandy
375g/13oz strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
1 x 7g/⅛oz sachet fast-action dried yeast
50g/2oz caster sugar
1 free-range egg, beaten
70g/2½oz unsalted butter, melted
150ml/5fl oz warm milk, plus extra for glazing
icing sugar, for dusting
Mix the dried fruits, cherries, almonds, lemon zest, nutmeg, vanilla extract and brandy together in a bowl. Cover with clingfilm and set aside.
Put the flour, yeast and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the egg, 50g/2oz of the melted butter and the milk. Mix the ingredients together to form a dough, adding a further 1-2 tablespoons of milk if the dough is a little dry.
Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with oiled clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm place for 1-1¼ hours, until the dough has doubled in size.
Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface. Gradually knead in the fruit mixture until it is evenly distributed through the dough. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rest for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
Divide the marzipan into six pieces and roll each one into a 10cm/4in log.
Knead the dough lightly for one minute. Divide into six pieces and roll each piece out into a rectangle. Place a marzipan log just off centre of each piece of dough, brush the edges with a little milk, then fold the dough over the marzipan and press to seal.
Arrange the stollen on baking trays, cover loosely with lightly oiled clingfilm and leave in a warm, draught-free place until doubled in size.
Bake the stollen, on the middle shelf of the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until risen and golden-brown. Cool on wire racks, then dust liberally with icing sugar.
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