Sweet, delectable, light and aromatic are words that come close, but just short of an accurate description of this flavor-packed recipe. Perfect on a wintry afternoon with tea, coffee, cocoa or eggnog; every bite reminds one of the season. Simply wunderbar!
- 1 1/2 Cups milk; scalded, cooled to lukewarm
- 3 1/2 envelopes yeast; dry
- 3/4 Cup water; lukewarm
- 3 Cups flour; sifted
- 1/2 Cup eggs; yolks, lightly beaten
- 3/4 Cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 Cup flour
- 1/2 Cup butter; softened
- 10 to 11 Cups flour, as needed
- 5 Cups sultanas; (currants)
- 1 1/2 Cups almonds; chopped or slivered
- 1 Cup citron; chopped
- 1/2 lemon; rind only/grated
- 2 teaspoons rum
- Milk should be cooled to about 100 degrees.
- Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water (105 degrees) and add 1/4 Cup of the cooled milk and 3 Cups sifted flour.
- Cover the sponge with a cloth and let it ripen until bubbles appear on the surface and it is about to drop in the center.
- Pour the remaining milk over the sponge. Add the egg yolks, sugar and salt and beat until the ingredients are well blended. Add 1 cup flour and beat well.
- Blend in the butter. Add more flour gradually to make a smooth dough, or until 10 to 11 Cups have been added. Some flours absorb more liquid than others.
- Knead in the sultanas, almonds, and citron, along with the lemon rind which should be mixed with the rum.
- Knead the dough until the fruits and nuts are dispersed well through it and it is smooth. Dust the top lightly with flour and let it rise in a warm place about 45 minutes. Punch it down and let stand for 20 minutes.
- Divide the dough in half and knead the pieces until smooth. Let them stand for 10 minutes longer. Place one ball of dough on a lightly floured board, and with a rolling pin, press down the center of the ball, and roll the pin to and fro 4 to 5 times, pressing all the time to make an elliptical shape 6 inches long and 3 1/2" wide.
- The center rolled part should be 1/8" thick and 4 inches long. Both ends should remain untouched, resembling rather thick lips. Place this rolled out piece of dough on a buttered baking sheet and brush the center part with melted butter. Fold one lip toward the other and on the top of it.
- Press the fingertips down near and below the lips, pulling somewhat apart. Give a pull away from each end, pointing them toward the lips.
- The shape should resemble a waning moon. Repeat the process with the second piece of dough. (Unless you have gone completely crazy by now!).
- Let the Stollen rise, covered with a clean tea towel in a warm place until they double in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Bake them in a moderately hot oven (375 degrees F.) for 35 to 40 minutes. Do not overbake them. Cool them on racks.
- Brush them with butter and cover with vanilla sugar or use vanilla sugar to make a simple icing with milk (optional).
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