Christmas Stollen-adapted from One Perfect Bite
*1 C raisins plumped in 1/4 C dark rum, preferably overnight
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast-I prefer quick rise yeast
2 Tblsp warm water
1 C warm milk
3/4 C butter, softened
1/2 C sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
zest of one lemon
1/2 tsp salt
4 3/4 - 5 1/4 C A/P flour
**1 C mixed candied fruit
1/2 C chopped almonds-I used slivered almonds-extra are pretty sprinkled on top too
***candied orange peel, one whole orange, 1/4" dice
Sprinkle for middle:
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 C powdered sugar
2-3 Tblsp milk
- Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl.
- Add milk, butter, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, salt and 3 C flour, mix in.
- Add raisins (discard any rum that wasn't soaked up-unless of course a rum/raisin hot toddy sounds good:@), candied fruit, almonds and candied orange peel, mix in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
- Turn onto floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes, adding extra flour if needed.
- Place in greased bowl, turn to grease top, cover and let rise in a warm place until double, at least 1 1/2 hours. (If using quick rise yeast about 1 hour and 20 minutes). This dough can take longer than most to rise because of all the heavy fruit, be sure to give it time...
- Mix 2 tsp sugar, cinnamon and ginger, set aside.
- Note: The following instructions are for the traditional shape that's meant to resemble the swaddled Baby Jesus, I braided mine and sprinkled the cinnamon/ginger sugar over the top of the loaf. I won't add the cinnamon/ginger to the top again, I'd keep it inside the loaf or maybe add it to the glaze.
- Punch dough down and divide in half, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll or press each half into a 12x7 oval and sprinkle half of cinnamon/ginger sugar over each loaf leaving about 1 inch of the edge plain on the opposite 12" side.
- Fold the dough in half (12" side to 12" side) but leave that last 1" uncovered. Press the edge lightly to seal.
- Place on greased baking sheets (I used a silicone liner but will use parchment next year) and curve ends slightly. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 1 hour (about 45-50 minutes with quick rise yeast).
- Place in preheated 375 degree oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown (and the internal temperature is about 198 degrees). Cool on wire rack.
- Combine powdered sugar and enough milk to make a thick drizzle, drizzle over bread. I used a disposable icing bag.
**I like cherries and pineapple. I think Maraschino cherries taste better than the candied ones at the store, next year I'd like to get a jar of red and green. Store bought candied pineapple is fine.
***Quick candied orange peels: Peel of one orange (as little white as possible), sliced into 1/4" wide strips, cover with water and boil for 15 minutes, drain. Boil 1 C sugar and 1 C water until dissolved (try 1/2 C per orange next year), add peel. Bring to boil, immediately reduce to light simmer and cook until peel is soft and translucent, approx 45 minutes-do not stir. Remove peel, save simple syrup if desired,
So there you have it folks, what I've tried and learned from my first couple loaves of German Christmas Stollen. I've really enjoyed making it this year and look forward to continuing this tasty tradition!
I wish you all a wonderful, special and very Merry Christmas,
have fun and I'll see you after the holiday:@)