This German bread is traditionally eaten at Christmas. There are many variations, another one includes a thin marzipan layer.

To make 1 loaf you will need teaspoons dried yeast and a pinch of caster sugar, 6 tablespoons warm milk, 250 g (8 oz) strong white flour, ¼ teaspoon salt, 75 g (3 oz) butter, 25 g (1 oz) caster sugar, 150 g (5 oz) mixed dried fruit, 25 g (1 oz) quartered glace cherries, 25 g (1 oz) chopped blanched almonds, ½ beaten egg and icing sugar.

  1. Mix together the dried yeast, a pinch of sugar, milk and 50 g (2 oz) flour. Leave in a warm place until frothy. Rub 50 g (2 oz) butter into the remaining flour and the salt. Stir in the sugar, fruit, cherries and nuts. Add the yeast liquid and egg.

  2. Mix well and knead for 10 minutes. Cover and leave until doubled in size. Knead again 2-3 minutes, then roll into a 25 × 20cm (10 × 8in) oval. Spread with remaining butter. Make an indentation along the centre.

  3. Fold in half lengthwise. Put on a greased baking sheet, cover and leave to rise again until doubled in size. Bake at 200°C, 400°F, Gas Mark 6 for 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack, then dust the stollen with icing sugar.