My family and friends agree that the holidays just wouldn't be the same without this traditional bread.—Valeria Mauik, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
- 3/4 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup chopped mixed candied fruit
- 1/4 cup dried currants
- 3/4 cup apple juice
- 4-1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup butter, cubed
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons grated orange peel
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 cup chopped almonds
- Confectioners' sugar, optional
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 3 to 4 tablespoons milk
- In a large bowl, soak raisins, fruit and currants in apple juice for 1 hour; drain and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups of flour, yeast, sugar and salt. In a small saucepan, heat milk and butter to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Add the eggs, grated peels and extract; beat until smooth. Stir in the almond, fruit mixture and enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
- Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Punch dough down; divide in half. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll each half into a 12-in. x 8-in. oval. Fold one of the long sides over to within 1 in. of the opposite side; press edges lightly to seal. Place on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise until almost doubled, about 30 minutes.
- Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks. Dust with confectioners' sugar or combine glaze ingredients and drizzle over loaves. Yield: 2 loaves (14 slices each).
Originally published as German Stollen in Country Woman November/December 1996, p31
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