It's common for German families to gather on Christmas Eve to eat this traditional sweet bread. I've been cooking and baking for more than 35 years and especially enjoy doing so during the holidays.
- 5-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup chopped candied fruit
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- 1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 to 3 tablespoons milk
- Red and green candied cherries, halved
- In a large bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In a small saucepan, heat the butter, milk and water to 120°-130° Add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Stir in the raisins, candied fruit, walnuts, and lemon and orange peel. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into an 18-in. x 12-in. rectangle; spread butter to within 1/2 in. of edges. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over dough. Roll up, jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seam to seal.
- Place, seam side down, on a greased baking sheet; pinch ends together to form a ring. With a scissors, cut from outside edge two-thirds of the way toward center of the ring at 1-in. intervals. Separate strips lightly; twist to allow filling to show, slightly overlapping with the previous piece. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool.
- For glaze, combine the sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve desired consistency. Drizzle over warm stollen. Decorate with candied cherries. Yield: l loaf (18 slices).
Originally published as Christmas Stollen Ring in Best of Country Breads 2000, p77
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