Stollen

The distinctive oval shape of this traditional German Christmas cake is said to represent the Christ child wrapped in swaddling clothes.

Number of servings : makes 10 to 12 servings

Prep time:

Cooking time:

Type of meal : | Cakes | Cakes

Special diet :

Ingredients

3 to 4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/4-ounce packet dry yeast

1/2 cup warm (105° to 115°F) milk

1/3 cup sugar

2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, melted, plus 4 tablespoons, melted

2 tablespoons cognac

1 cup blanched almonds, chopped

1-1/2 cups raisins, chopped

1/3 cup mixed candied citrus peel

1 tablespoon grated zest of lemon

Sifted confectioners sugar

Directions

Step 1:

Into a large bowl, sift 3 cups of flour with the salt. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in half the milk. Make a well in the center of the flour and salt mixture; then add the yeast and milk, sugar, 2 sticks of butter, and cognac. Mix well to combine, adding enough additional flour to form a smooth, elastic dough.

 

Step 2:

On a lightly floured surface, turn the dough out and knead for 3 minutes. Lightly oil a bowl and place the dough in it, turning to coat well with oil. Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place for about 1 hour.

 

Step 3:

On a lightly floured surface, turn out the dough. Knead in the almonds, raisins, citrus peel, and zest. Allow the dough to rise once more until almost doubled in bulk.

 

Step 4:

Remove the dough from the bowl and shape it into a 10-inch round. Fold the round almost in half, flatten, and shape to form an oval. Place on a greased baking sheet, cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap, and let stand in a warm place for 30 minutes.

 

Step 5:

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Brush the stollen with remaining melted butter. Bake, brushing with butter every 10 minutes, for 45 to 50 minutes or until a tester comes out clean when inserted.

 

Step 6:

Remove from the oven and cool on a rack. When cooled, wrap in several layers of foil and store in the refrigerator — the cake will keep for 3 to 4 weeks. To serve, slice thinly, wrap the slices in foil, and warm in a moderate oven for 15 minutes, or toast the slices. Dust with confectioners sugar before serving.

Nutritional information:

Stollen