Now here’s a kind of sweet Christmas bread we always had during Advent when I was a child, though bought rather than self-baked. Last year we got this recipe from a friend and gave it a try. Turned out very tasty, although technically, we did not make “Dresdner Stollen”: By law of the EU, only Stollen made in Dresden and according to set standards can be sold as “Dresdner Stollen”. Well, we rather ate than sold ours, and thus avoided the legal hassle. 😉 Oh, incidentally, no marzipan in this one, just almonds.
Stollen has a long shelf life if you can keep it away from hungry people.
Ingredients (for 2 Stollen)
- 2 1/2 cups raisins
- 4 Tbl rum (I use port wine or orange juice)
- 8 cups flour
- 2 packages dry yeast (or 2 cubes of fresh yeast, if available)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg or mace
- 1 lb unsalted butter, soft or melted
- 1 to 2 cups warm milk (depending on the kind of flour you are using)
- 1.5 oz almonds, chopped
- 4 oz candied lemon peel, finely chopped
- 4 oz candied orange peel, finely chopped
- unsalted butter for coating
- confectioners sugar for dusting
- Soak the raisins in the rum (or port wine) over night. You can use orange juice instead, if you wish to avoid the alcohol.
- Combine flour, yeast, sugar, salt, zest and nutmeg. Add melted (but not too hot) butter, then enough warm milk to make a smooth yeast dough. If butter or milk are too hot, they will kill the yeast.
- Incorporate almonds and candied peel. Finally knead in raisins. Let rise for 1 hour.
- When the dough is done rising, preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Punch down and knead the dough once more, then divide into two pieces and shape two Stollen loaves.
- Bake for about 1 hour on a baking sheet.
- Take out of the oven, brush generously with butter and dust with confectioner’s sugar.
Store tightly wrapped so it doesn’t dry out. Tastes great with butter, or dipped in coffee or cocoa, or just as it is.