A traditional German Christmas bread, this ricotta version is a quick and easy alternative to the lengthier yeasted recipe. The fruit and nuts give it sweetness and crunch and don’t skimp on dusting it with a blizzard of icing sugar, it’s the final flourish!
Makes: 1 stollen
2 ½ cups plain flour
1 ½ cups ground almonds
½ cup caster sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
pinch sea salt
100 grams cold butter, chopped
½ cup golden raisins or sultanas
½ cup finely chopped dried apricots
½ cup slivered almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
¼ cup candied citrus peel
2 large eggs
200 grams ricotta cheese
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Grease a large flat baking tray and line it with a double layer of baking paper, greasing between each layer so it doesn’t slide off.
Preheat the oven to 170˚C regular bake.
Put the flour, almonds, sugar, baking powder, both zests, salt and butter in a food processor and blitz to a fine crumb.
Tip into a large bowl and add all the fruit, almonds and citrus peel and toss to coat the fruit in the flour so it’s all separated.
Whisk the eggs, ricotta and both extracts together then tip onto the flour mixture and stir everything together to make a loose dough.
Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it a few times until it holds together. Roll into a roughly 25cm x 30cm oval. Fold lengthwise, bringing the top half up and over so the bottom dough extends by about 2 centimetres. (This gives the stollen it’s distinctive shape)
Carefully transfer the stollen to a lined baking tray and bake for about 35-40 minutes or until golden and a thin skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cover the top loosely with foil if it’s getting too brown.
When cool, dust generously with icing sugar. Store well wrapped in baking paper in an airtight container in a cool place for 8-10 days.
COOK’S NOTE: Use a pale rather than black baking tray if possible as this prevents the base of the stollen over-browning.