Christstollen

“Christmas without Stollen? it would be like winter without snow!”

Stollen is a fruit bread of nuts, spices, and dried or candied fruit, coated with powdered sugar or icing sugar. It is a traditional German bread eaten during the Christmas season. Every year Stollenfest takes place in Dresden.

(Ingredients for two Stollen)

1000g Flour
80g Yeast or 2 packets dried yeast
100g Sugar
1 pinch salt
2 eggs
3/8l milk
500g butter

Extras:-

1/2 teasp. Cinnamon
1/2 teasp. Cardamon
300g currants or sultanas
1/8l rum
200g chopped almonds
100g candied lemon peel
100g candied orange peel
100g butter for spreading
100g icing sugar for dusting

1. Prepare the ingredients and set aside to reach room temperature.

2. Sieve the flour into a large bowl.

3. Warm the milk gently over a low heat.

4. Crumble the yeast into the lukewarm milk.

5. Add 4 tablespoons flour to the yeast mixture, stir to a thick mixture.

6. Add a pinch of sugar.

7. Cover the bowl with a teatowel and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes.

8. Add the cinnamon, cardamon, sugar and salt to the remaining flour, stir and make a well in the centre.

9. Break the eggs into the flour.

10.Cut the butter into small pieces and add on top of the eggs.

11.Pour the yeast mixture over the top of the butter and eggs.

12.Work all these ingredients together until you have a smooth dough.

13.Place a tea towel over the bowl and leave in a warm place to stand for 2-3 hours.

14.Knead the dough thoroughly again.

15.Soak the currants in the rum, to soften.

16.Roll out the dough to a thickness of 2cm. The drained currants, almonds,candied peel,sprinkle over the top of the rolled out dough. Knead again gently, so as not to discolour the dough but to make sure the ingredients are equally distributed. Divide the dough into two pieces and form a loaf shape with each piece. Cover and leave to stand for a further 20 minutes.

17.To form a traditional Stollen shape – take a wooden rod and roll flat to one side of the stollen. Take this piece and fold over the top of the other side and press down.

18.Place the two Stollen on a baking tray or in loaf tins, cover and leave to stand for a further 2-3 hours.

19.Pre-heat the oven to 180°, and bake for 75 minutes.

20.While still warm coat the top of the Stollen with melted butter and give a thick dusting of icing sugar. Wrap in foil, and leave to stand for 2-4 weeks for the flavour to mature. Before serving dust again with fresh icing sugar.

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