My house reeks in butter and sugar. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, mind you.
These stollen were time consuming to make, but worth the effort. Besides, you get a house that smells like sugar and butter as a bonus!
This recipe makes three good-sized stollen, but you could easily get four, possibly five from the recipe. As I'm sending them as gifts, I did a powdered-sugar topping, but if you prefer a glaze, omit the final butter wash and caster sugar as it comes out of the oven.
You Will Need:
4 1/2 teaspoons granulated yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups scalded milk, then cooled to lukewarm
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup shortening
6-7 cups + all purpose flour
1/2 cup sultanas
1/2 cup citron
grated zest of an orange
1/2 cup currants
optional pinch of cardamom and allspice
Caster sugar for dusting
additional butter for brushing (you'll need about 1 cup)
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Scald the milk, then cool to lukewarm. When milk is cooled, combine in a bowl with yeast, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening and three cups of the flour. Slowly knead-in the additional flour. Before you add the last cup or so of flour, flatten out the dough and spread with fruit and spices. Fold over and knead well, adding as much flour as required to make dough elastic and no longer sticky. Place in a greased bowl and let rise until doubled (about two hours).
Punch down dough and divide into 3 or 4 balls. Flatten each into a large round and spread generously with softened butter. Fold over and pinch closed tightly. Place on a greased baking sheet and cover. Let rise until almost doubled (30-45 minutes). Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Before baking, brush tops with melted butter. Place in oven (if using two sheets, rotate halfway through) and bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to racks and immediately run a stick of butter over the loaves coating completely. Sprinkle generously with caster sugar to seal. Let cool completely (and I mean completely, or the sugar will gum-up) and dust with confectioner's sugar.
Wrap tightly in foil as the cake will improve with storage.