Traditional Stollen

Our stollen recalls the sophisticated flavor of times past: slightly sweet yeasted bread dough loaded with dried fruit rehydrated in brandy. To finish, we shape our dough in the traditional ceremonial form and cover it in a luxurious, snowy blanket of butter and confectioners’ sugar. Find more variations of this classic in our 2018 November/December issue!

Traditional Stollen
 
Makes 2 loaves
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (128 grams) dried cherries
  • ¾ cup (96 grams) chopped dried apricots
  • ¾ cup (96 grams) dried currants
  • 1 cup (240 grams) apricot brandy
  • 1 cup (240 grams) warm whole milk (105°F/41°C to 110°F/43°C), divided
  • 2¼ teaspoons (7 grams) active dry yeast
  • 4¼ cups (510 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
  • ⅔ cup (150 grams) plus ¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted and divided
  • 1 large egg (50 grams)
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (3 grams) lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • Candied Zest (recipe follows)
  • ¾ cup (85 grams) slivered almonds, chopped
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, toss together cherries, apricots, and currants. Pour brandy over fruit. Cover and let stand overnight or for up to 3 days. (The longer it stands, the stronger the flavor.)
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine ½ cup (120 grams) warm milk and yeast. Let stand until mixture is foamy, about 10 minutes. Add 1 cup (120 grams) flour, and beat at low speed until a smooth dough forms, about 1 minute. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
  3. Using the dough hook attachment, add ⅔ cup (150 grams) melted butter, egg, granulated sugar, lemon zest, salt, remaining 3¼ cups (390 grams) flour, and remaining ½ cup (120 grams) warm milk, beating at very low speed until combined, about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl as needed. Increase mixer speed to low, and beat until a smooth dough forms, about 18 minutes.
  4. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  5. Punch down dough in center; turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Strain fruit, discarding any liquid. Knead fruit mixture, Candied Zest, and almonds into dough until evenly dispersed. (Be patient while kneading. If any fruit pieces or nuts fall out, just place them back in dough, and keep kneading.) Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.
  6. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Divide dough in half (about 815 grams each). On a lightly floured surface, roll half of dough into a 13x9-inch oval. Fold dough almost in half lengthwise, leaving a 1-inch border uncovered. Place on a prepared pan, and cover with plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining dough. Lightly brush loaves with some of remaining ¼ cup (57 grams) melted butter. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until puffed, about 45 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  9. Bake until golden brown, a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 190°F (88°C), 30 to 35 minutes. While still hot, brush loaves with some of remaining melted butter. Liberally dust with confectioners’ sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes. Brush with remaining melted butter, and dust with confectioners’ sugar again. Let cool completely. Dust with confectioners’ sugar once more before serving. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Candied Zest
 
Makes about 1½ cups
Ingredients
  • 2 large navel oranges (650 grams)
  • 2 large lemons (238 grams)
  • 2 cups (480 grams) water
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
  • ¼ cup (48 grams) vanilla sugar*
Instructions
  1. Using a serrated knife, remove zest from oranges and lemons in 1-inch-long strips. Remove most of pith from zest.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring zest and cold water to cover to a boil. Drain, and repeat procedure. Pat zest dry, and cut into 1x¼-inch strips.
  3. In same saucepan, bring 2 cups (480 grams) water, granulated sugar, and vanilla bean and reserved seeds to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Add zest; simmer, stirring occasionally, until translucent and tender, about 25 minutes. Let cool in syrup. Strain zest, reserving syrup for another use, if desired. Let zest dry on a wire rack set over a baking sheet for 1 hour.
  4. Toss zest in vanilla sugar; dice zest. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Notes
*We used Heilala Vanilla Pure Vanilla Bean Sugar.

 

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