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German Stollen

There is nothing like a German stollen, that classic Christmas bread.This stollen will keep for weeks if wrapped in foil, and stored in a cool room. Do not refrigerate. A cool room is sufficient.

  • 1 1/2 cups raisins
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup candied fruit
  • 1 cup chopped blanched almonds
  • 1/2 cup dark rum
  • 2 envelopes dried powdered yeast
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Grated rind of 1 orange
  • 6 - 7 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter to brush over dough
  • Confectioner's sugar to dust top of dough
 

METHOD

Night before: Soak raisins, candied fruit and almonds in rum. Keep at room temperature. In the morning, drain and set aside, reserving rum.

Dissolve yeast in warm water.

Scald milk with 1 tablespoon sugar, salt, butter and orange zest. Stir in rum. Cool to lukewarm.

Sift together flour, nutmeg and cardamom.

When milk has cooled, stir in yeast and 2 cups of flour. Mix well and set in warm draft-free place for 15 - 30 minutes.

Stir in lightly beaten eggs and sugar. Gradually mix in remaining 4 to 5 cups flour. Dough should be soft, but not sticky, just dry enough to be handled. Knead dough on a floured work surface for 5 minutes.

Place dough in lightly greased bowl, cover and put in draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.

Punch dough down, return to floured work surface and add dried fruit and nuts, and work into dough while kneading. Fruits and nuts should be evenly worked into dough. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic.

Cut into three equal pieces. Roll or flatten each piece into an oval 3/4 inch thick, pinching the ends to close.

Brush top of each with melted butter and sprinkle with a little sugar. Place loaves on buttered baking sheet or jelly-roll pan. Covered loosely, and leave in warm place for about 30 minutes to 1 hour or until risen about 2/3 larger.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Bake loaves for 35 - 45 minutes, or until loaves turn golden brown.

Brush with butter and dust with confectioner's sugar. Let cool on wire racks.

Wrap tightly in foil and keep in a cool place for 2 to 3 weeks to ripen.

When ready to serve, dust with another sprinkling of confectioner's sugar.

recipe from www.inmamaskitchen.com

Yield: 3 loaves

Contributor: Alice Kramer

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