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In Germany, the traditional stollen has been in production since the 1500's or so, and over 150 bakers sell their wares at the Dresden stollen festival each year. There is certainly a variety to choose from, and while some appreciate a drier, cake-like stollen, others prefer a moister version like the one below.

At a glance

Prep
Bake
Total
Yield
2 loaves

Ingredients

Choose your measure:

Fruit Soaker

  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup mixed candied fruits
  • 1/4 cup orange juice or rum

Sponge

  • 1 tablespoon + 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry or instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon mace
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

Dough

Filling

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioners' or glazing sugar
  • 3/8 cup heavy cream
  • red and green candied cherries for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Combine raisins, candied fruits, and orange juice or rum; set aside.
  2. To make the sponge: In a large bowl stir yeast into water to soften.
  3. Add the milk, softened butter, 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, mace, lemon rind, and eggs. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise for 30 minutes. It should be light and full of tiny bubbles.
  5. To make the dough: Stir sponge to deflate. Add softened butter, salt, raisin/fruit mixture, and almonds; mix well.
  6. Gradually add flour, a little at a time, until you have a dough stiff enough to knead.
  7. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead, adding more flour as necessary, until you have a smooth, elastic dough.
  8. Put dough into an oiled bowl, turning to coat the ball of dough with oil, cover with a piece of lightly greased plastic, and let rise until puffy, about 45 minutes.
  9. Turn dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface.
  10. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a 9" x 13" oval.
  11. To apply the filling: Brush melted butter on each oval. Combine the granulated sugar with cinnamon.
  12. Sprinkle half the sugar mixture over one half of each oval lengthwise. Fold dough in half lengthwise to resemble a long Parker House-style roll.
  13. Carefully lift the loaves onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Press the folded side slightly to help the loaf keep its shape during rising and baking. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes.
  14. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  15. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the loaves reaches 190°F.
  16. Immediately remove from baking sheet and cool on a wire rack to prevent the crust from becoming soggy. Let sit for 30 minutes before icing.
  17. To make the glaze: Combine confectioners' sugar with enough heavy cream to have the consistency of honey. Drizzle on the loaves.
  18. Store, well-wrapped, at room temperature for 3 days, or freeze for longer storage.