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Web's Best Recipe Stollen

Recipe stollen is a delicious, German bread usually shaped in a tapered oval. Christstollen is filled with fruits and nuts that have been soaked in spirits.

Trivia: According to legend, stollen's shape represents the baby Jesus dressed in swaddling clothes.

You'll find two recipes for Christmas stollen on this page. The first is a quick bread recipe. The second is made with yeast.

Recipe Stollen -- a Quick Bread Recipe

Gourmet Tip: Use the Madagascar Vanilla Bean for the vanilla in your recipe stollen.

Tip #2: For best flavor, try grating your own spices using a good tool like the Microplane Professional Fine/Spice Grater.

2 1/2 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp mace
8 cardomon seed pods, seeds -- removed and crushed
3/4 cup almonds, blanched, ground
1/2 cup butter, soft
1 cup cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 tbsp brandy
1/2 cup currants
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup candied lemon peel, chopped
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup sugar, powdered

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, mace, and crushed cardamon seeds. Stir in the ground almonds. Cut in the soft butter until the mixture resembles coarse sand.

In a blender, cream the egg with the cream cheese, vanilla, almond extract, and brandy. Pour into a bowl and stir in the dried fruit. Gradually stir in the flour mixture until well blended.

Work the dough into a ball and turn it out on a lightly floured board. Knead it for a few minutes until it is smooth, then place it in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or up to several days if desired.

Shape the recipe stollen dough into a flat, oval loaf, about 10 inches long and eight inches wide. With the blunt edge of a knife, crease the loaf about 1/2 inch off center, down the length of it. Fold the smaller side of the creased loaf over the wider side. Brush the top of the folded loaf with the melted butter. Place the recipe stollen on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for about 45 minutes, until it starts to turn brown on the outside. Remove and cool slightly. Dust recipe stollen lightly with confectioner's sugar.

Recipe Stollen with Yeast

1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup candied red cherries, halved
1/4 ccup currants
1/4 cup candied citron, diced *
1/4 cup rum
4 1/2 cup flour, all-purpose
2 packages active dry yeast
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 tbsp orange peel, finely shredded. Tip: Zesting an orange is a lot simpler if you have a decent tool. The Cuisipro Accutec Grater/Zester is a good one that will last forever and which you can use to grate spices as well.
2 tsp lemon peel, finely shredded
1/2 cup almonds, blanched chopped
Confectioners' glaze **
Optional but recommended: Bread Dough Enhancer. Use per manufacturer's instructions.

1 cup icing sugar
1 tbsp milk or more as needed
Mix together until spreading consistency is reached.

Combine raisins, cherries, currants, citron or citrus peel and rum. Set aside to soak.

In mixer bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups flour and yeast. Heat milk, butter, sugar and salt over low heat, stirring until warm. Add to dry ingredients along with eggs, orange peel and lemon peel. Beat on low for 1/2 minute. Beat 3 minutes at high speed. Stir in fruit-rum mixture, almonds and enough flour to make a soft dough.

Turn onto floured board and knead in enough flour to make a moderately soft, smooth ball. Place ball in greased bowl. Turn once. cover. Rise until double. divide in half. Cover and rest for ten minutes.

On floured surface, roll each half into an oval that is about ten by eight inches. Fold lengthwise in half so top half overlaps to within 1/2 inch of the bottom half. Press folded edges firmly together. Place about four inches apart on a greased baking sheet. Cover and rise until double.

Bake recipe stollen in preheated 375 F oven for 15 minutes or until brown. Cool.

Spread with glaze OR sprinkle with icing sugar. Decorate recipe stollen with candied cherries.

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