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A wonderful Christmas bread, and really quite easy to make.

100g salted butter

100g sugar

1 medium egg

350g strong white bread flour

160ml milk

15g fresh yeast

60g raisins

60g candied peel

½ tsp vanilla essence

½ tsp salt

200g marzipan

More butter and icing sugar for dusting

  • Melt the butter and mix in the sugar, flour, salt
  • Warm the milk to body temperature, add the egg and yeast and mix well
  • Add the liquid to the flour and mix in, then turn out onto a worktop and knead for 6-8 minutes (it will be a wet, sticky dough but don't add any more flour for kneading)
  • Add the fruit and knead in until evenly distributed
  • Return the dough to the bowl, cover and leave to rise for 1 hour
  • Flour your worktop well and turn out the dough
  • Divide the dough in two and shape each piece in to a rectangle about 150mm x 300mm
  • Slice the marzipan into strips about 50mm wide and 4mm thick and lay it end to end along the middle of each piece of dough
  • Fold the sides of the dough over the marzipan, giving you a double thickness of dough over the marzipan
  • Cover a baking tray in baking paper and turn the stollen over and place them on the tray.  Cover and leave to rise for 2 hours
  • Bake for 20 minutes at 200 Celsius, until golden brown
  • While warm, rub the loaves with a lump of butter (you will need about 50g) so that it melts on to the surface then dust heavily with icing sugar
If you like, you can soak your raisins in rum before you use them


Guests always want our cookie recipe, so here it is.....

115g butter

230g sugar

1 egg

230g self raising flour

60g oats OR ground almonds with a choice of..

60g chocolate chips, raisins, chopped cherries or crystallised ginger

½ tsp vanilla essence

  • Melt the butter and mix in the sugar
  • Add the egg and beat in followed by the oats, fruit etc
  • Add the flour and mix in
  • Put golf-ball sized blobs on a baking tray and bake for 9 – 10 mins at 180 Celsius, or until pale golden brown.
  • Do not overcook, as they are best left chewy in the middle and crisp on the edges

The best cookies you`ve ever eaten!

Wild garlic scented flageolet beans

It’s always nice to do a quick bit of foraging and feature something wild in your dishes and the coming of spring heralds ample supplies of wild garlic (aka ramsons). These can be found from March to May in most shaded hedgerows and woodlands and is easily identifiable by its lush, elongated, green leaves and later, delicate white flowers. Plus the overwhelming smell of garlic, of course.

You can eat all of the plant, but the leaves are generally the best bit – the flowers do look beautiful in a salad but are very powerful. The flavour is garlicky but has a spring oniony quality as well.

Flageolet beans are particularly satisfying as they create a lovely creamy texture but hold their shape and have a delicate flavour. They are perfect served with lamb (slow roast shoulder or griddled chump steaks) or duck breast, and small, crisp jacket potatoes. You can prepare the beans in advance and then just cook your meat and other veg when you are ready to eat. The below is a substantial meal for two.


6 to 8 wild garlic leaves

A rasher of streaky bacon

A ripe tomato

A can of flageolet beans

A couple of “branches” of parsley

A splash of white wine

Extra virgin olive oil

A knob of butter

Salt and pepper

  • Heat the oil gently in a small saucepan, chop the bacon and fry until just browning
  • Dice the tomato, add it to the pan and fry for a minute or so
  • Add the wine and cook for another minute. Add the beans (don’t drain them – the starchy water in the can contributes to the consistency), garlic, parsley and a grind of pepper and simmer for 20 minutes or so
  • Taste and season to your taste. The texture should be silky and substantial but still quite fluid – add a splash of water if required. The beans are now ready and can be refrigerated or served at once. Before serving melt in the knob of butter

For a day spent learning a wide selection of seasonal recipes and techniques have a look at our Game & Seasonal Inspiration courses

Hot Cross Buns

This is quite a simple recipe that produces lovely light, fluffy buns.

For 12 buns:

450g flour

1 egg

c. 230mls milk

50g unsalted butter at room temperature

75g sugar

100g mixed dried fruit

zest of a lemon

1 rounded tsp fine salt

2 tsp ground mixed spice

15g fresh yeast (or dried yeast as per pack instructions)

  • Crack your egg and weigh it, warm the milk until just warm to the touch then add enough to the egg to make a total mass of 280g. Add the sugar and whisk together.
  • Chop the butter into dice then put in a bowl
  • Into a large bowl put the flour, salt, spices and lemon zest, then crumble in the yeast and add the milk/egg mixture. Mix together with a knife until quite well combined then turn out on to the worktop.
  • Knead the dough hard (without adding any more flour) for 10 minutes then add the butter and knead again until no butter is visible (2 minutes or so), then add the fruit and knead until well distributed.
  • Return the dough to the bowl, cover and leave to prove on the side for about 2 hours, by which time it should be roughly twice the size.
  • Turn the dough out and divide into 12 equal pieces and form each into a ball. To do this pull up the sides of each lump of dough and pinch them together on top as if you are making a little pouch, then turn it over so that the join is underneath.
  • Arrange the balls on a floured baking tray so that they have a gap or about 20mm between them. Cover and leave to prove for 1 hour in a warm place.
  • Put an empty roasting tray in the bottom of your oven and heat to 220 Celsius for a conventional oven or 200 Celsius for fan.
  • Carefully cut crosses in the top of your buns with a scalpel or very sharp knife (taking care not to squash them or pull them about too much) and then put them in the oven. At the same time pour 1/2 cup of water into the tray in the bottom of the over to create a steamy environment (this allows your buns to rise well before they crust over).
  • After 10 minutes reduce the temperature by 20 Celsius and cook for a further 10 minutes.
  • Once cooked, cool the buns on a wire rack.
  • Then glaze them with a syrup, made by boiling two tablespoonfuls of sugar with an equal quantity of water and teasponful of lemon juice. The lemon juice will stop the sugar recrystalising. The syrup should be cooked until a drop put on a cold plate is thick and sticky - you can add a bit of water if it goes hard when cold.

Tip: For extra succulence, boil your dried fruit in a bit of orange juice before use.

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