This traditional German Christmas Stollen bread is a festive addition to your holiday celebration!
Servings 2 medium-sized loaves
FOR THE FRUIT
- 1 cup raisins
- ⅓ cup golden raisins
- ⅓ cup sweetened dried cranberries
- ⅓ cup dried cherries (coarsely chopped if the cherries are particularly large)
- 3 tablespoons dark rum or orange juice
FOR THE SPONGE
- 2 packets (¼-ounce each) active dry yeast
- ¼ cup warm water (about 110 degrees F)
- ⅔ cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
FOR THE DOUGH
- ⅓ cup honey
- 1 large egg, beaten
- ½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ cup chopped nuts (such as almonds or pecans)
- 3-4 cups all-purpose flour
- Vegetable oil, for coating bowl
FOR THE FILLING
- 2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
FOR THE TOPPING
- ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
Combine the raisins, golden raisins, cranberries and cherries in a small bowl. Add rum (or orange juice), cover, and set aside. Stir occasionally to make sure that the fruit is evenly coated in the rum.
In the large bowl of a stand mixer, sprinkle the yeast in the water to soften. Warm the milk to 110 degrees F and add it to the yeast. Stir in honey and 1 cup of flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot until light and bubbly, about 30 minutes.
In the large bowl with the sponge, add fruit mixture (with the rum), honey, egg, butter, lemon zest, salt, nutmeg, almonds, and 2 cups of flour. Using the paddle attachment, beat the mixture on medium-low speed for 2 minutes. Gradually add the remaining flour, ¼-cup at a time, until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
Remove the paddle attachment and change to the dough hook. Continue to add flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough just begins to clean the bowl. Knead 4-5 minutes on medium-low speed.
Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and turn to coat the dough with oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel and set aside to rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours (but in some cases it may take at least 3 hours for the dough to double in bulk, so just keep an eye on it).
SHAPE AND FILL
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in half and roll each half into a 7 x 9-inch oval. Brush the melted butter over the top of each piece of dough.
In a small bowl, combine cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle over half of the dough, lengthwise.
Fold each piece of dough in half lengthwise and carefully place the breads on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Press lightly on the folded side to shape the dough into an even loaf.
Cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel and let rise in a warm spot for 45 minutes - 1 hour.
About 10 minutes before baking, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Bake bread for 25 minutes (or until the internal temperature of the bread reaches 190 degrees F). Remove from the baking sheet and place on a wire rack to cool.
Just before serving, dust with a hefty coating of powdered sugar.
Storage: Once cool, wrap the bread tightly and store at room temperature for up to 1 week. The bread will actually become slightly more moist as it sits and absorbs the liquid from the soaked fruit. If the bread starts to become stale or dry, don't despair -- it still makes great toast with butter!
To Freeze: Allow the bread to cool completely, do not dust with powdered sugar, wrap tightly and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw the bread on the counter overnight, and then dust with powdered sugar right before serving.
Serving: 1loaf | Calories: 2546kcal | Carbohydrates: 409g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 83g | Saturated Fat: 41g | Cholesterol: 242mg | Sodium: 1770mg | Potassium: 1465mg | Fiber: 21g | Sugar: 141g | Vitamin A: 2736IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 321mg | Iron: 16mg