Maureen E, 8 Jan 09, Recipe Thread
Stollen (originally from The Cooking of Germany)
Italicized ingredients can be omitted if desired.
1 c dried currents
1 c golden raisins
1 c mixed candied citrus peel
¼ c candied angelica, diced
½ c candied cherries, halved
½ c rum
¼ c lukewarm water
2 pkgs (T) yeast
¾ c sugar
5 ½ c + 2 T all-purpose flour
1 c milk
½ t salt
½ t freshly grated lemon peel
2 eggs at room temperature
¾ c unsalted butter, cut into bits [this year we used ½ cup of butter, ¼ c margarine left over from something else]
8 T melted unsalted butter (This is approximate. If you commonly dab your rising bread with bits of softened butter, or turn it over in a greased bowl, you really only need 2 T melted butter.)
1 c blanched slivered almonds [since we had both almond paste and almond extract this year, we left this out]
1 can almond paste
¼ c powdered sugar, sifted
Combine fruit and candied stuff in bowl. Pour rum over, soak for at least 1 hour. We usually just do candied cherries. This year it was ½ c, but I’d increase that a bit next year. Of course, I like candied cherries. We also didn’t do the rum because Stollen is flavorful enough without it.
Prepare the yeast by dissolving it in lukewarm water with a pinch of sugar.
Drain fruit, reserving the rum, pat dry. Place candied fruit in a bowl, sprinkle with 1 T flour, turn about with spoon until flour is absorbed. Set aside. (You may want a bit more than 1 T flour—I put too much in but I’d say you want it to actually stop being absorbed.) Set aside.
In a heavy saucepan, combine milk, ½ c sugar, and salt. Heat to lukewarm, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Take off heat, stir in almond extract, lemon peel. [This next bit is the way I did it this year and everyone agreed the Stollen was excellent. So.] Pour milk mixture then yeast mixture into large mixing bowl. If you have an upright mixer, I’d use it. Mix well.
Add about 4 c of flour, mixing after every cup or so. Add the eggs and the ¾ c unsalted butter. Let rest ten minutes. Add enough more flour to make a sticky dough, keeping in mind that you’ll be kneading in at least ½ more cup. [End my method.]
Turn out dough onto board with ½ c flour. Knead until dough is worked into flour. If necessary add more flour. This is where prior bread experience is handy. It should make a nice elastic dough. At some point in the kneading, press fruit into dough about ½ c at a time, knead it in but be careful not to overhandle as it will discolor the dough. (This is why you flour the fruit earlier.)
Coat deep bowl with 1 t melted butter, drop in dough. Brush top with 2 t melted butter. (Or grease your bowl with non-melted butter or what have you, drop in the dough, wiggle it about a bit and turn it over.) Cover, set in a warm place for 2 hours or until dough doubles.
Punch dough down and divide in two equal parts. Let rest for 10 min. Roll out into strips 12” long, 8” wide, ½” thick. Brush with 2 T melted butter and sprinkle with 2 T sugar. Fold strips lengthwise by bringing one long side over to center of strip; press down edge lightly. [If you are doing almond paste, before folding the Stollen over, roll the paste out into a cylinder about ½ in thick. Put it in the middle of the rolled out dough and fold the dough over, sealing in the almond paste.] Fold other long side across it, overlapping seam by 1 inch. Press edge gently (or not gently—you don’t want it springing up) to keep in place. Taper ends of loaf slightly. Should be about 3 ½-4 inches wide and 13 inches long. Place on greased cookie sheet, let rise until double. Bake at 300 until golden brown and crusty, about 45 minutes. You can brush with melted butter and sprinkle with granulated sugar to help seal the bread and keep it soft. Just before serving, sprinkle with sifted powdered sugar.