STOLLEN

The best of all stollens—I worked on this recipe for years and feel it is well worth the extra effort. For years I’ve been making a recipe every other year for serving on Christmas morning with champagne.

Temperature: 325 F

Baking time: 1 hour

Yield: 2 large loaves

Stollen¾ cup unsalted butter

½ cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon mace (if you do not have mace, substitute more nutmeg)

Grated rind of 1 lemon

Grated rind of ½ orange

2 eggs

¼ cup dark rum, brandy or sherry

1 cup milk 1 package active dry yeast

¼ cup warm water

6 cups all-purpose flour, approximately

1 cup raisins

1 cup currants (if unavailable, substitute more raisins)

¼ pound each candied orange peel, lemon peel, and citron

1 slice candied pineapple

1 cup toasted almonds1 ½ pound candied whole red and green cherries

¼ cup melted butter

Powdered sugar

  1. 1. Cream butter, add sugar gradually and cream until fluffy. Blend in salt, nutmeg, mace, lemon and orange rind.
  2. 2. Add eggs. One at a time, beating well after each addition. Add liquor and milk.
  3. 3. Soften yeast in water and stir into mixture. Add flour until dough is easy to handle. Turn out on a lightly floured board and knead until the dough is satin smooth and the gluten is well developed.
  4. 4. Do not add more than ½ cup flour into the dough while kneading as too much flour will make the bread dry and coarse.
  5. 5. Mix together all fruit except cherries, then dredge with ¼ cup flour, making sure each piece is covered.
  6. 6. When the dough is smooth, add the fruit and almonds, a small amount at a time, until the fruit is spread throughout the dough and all is used.
  7. 7. Poke holes in the dough with your forefinger and place a cherry in each hole. This prevents mashing the cherries.
  8. 8. Divide the dough in half and place in large well-greased bowls; brush generously with melted butter and set a warm place to rise. Since the dough is heavy with fruit, it will require about 8 hours to rise.
  9. 9. 9. To form, turn out on a lightly floured board, punch down and divide in half. To make typical stollen or crescent shaped loaves, first pat the dough into an oblong shape, then fold in half lengthwise.

10. Place loaves on a greased baking sheet; brush with butter and let rise until doubled.

11. Preheat oven to 325F during last 10 minutes of rising. Bake for 1 hour, brush several times with melted butter as the loaves are baking. When baked, dust generously with powdered sugar just before serving. Serve warm.

Reprinted with permission from Jane Butel’s Freezer Cookbook

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