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!
Vienna Christmas Stollen

Vienna Christmas Stollen
 
A traditional Viennese Christmas bread made with a rich yeast dough, full of sultanas and sweet citron with a light rum flavor.
Author:
Recipe type: Breads and Rolls
Serves: 2 loaves
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. Milk should be cooled to about 100 degrees.
  2. Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water (105 degrees) and add 1/4 Cup of the cooled milk and 3 Cups sifted flour.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Knead in the sultanas, almonds, and citron, along with the lemon rind which should be mixed with the rum.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Press the fingertips down near and below the lips, pulling somewhat apart. Give a pull away from each end, pointing them toward the lips.
  11. The shape should resemble a waning moon. Repeat the process with the second piece of dough. (Unless you have gone completely crazy by now!).
  12. Let the Stollen rise, covered with a clean tea towel in a warm place until they double in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
  13. Bake them in a moderately hot oven (375 degrees F.) for 35 to 40 minutes. Do not overbake them. Cool them on racks.
  14. 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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