Since 1474, Dresden Christmas Stollen has been a favorite advent season treat. A buttery, moist and heavy cake-like fruit bread made simply with yeast, dried fruits and the zests of citrus. Liberally dusted with confectioners sugar, it’s a tradition all of its own.
4–1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast (2-1/4 teaspoons)
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1–1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries
zest of one orange
1/4 cup chopped blanched almonds (or pecans, walnuts)
confectioners’ sugar for dusting
In the bowl of a stand mixer add 2 cups flour, yeast, and cardamom. Set aside. In a saucepan, add milk, 1/2 cup butter, granulated sugar, and salt; warm until butter is almost melted. Add butter to the flour mixture along with the egg. Beat on low for 30 seconds; scrape bowl. Increase the speed to high and continue to beat for 3 minutes. Stir in as much remaining flour as you can. Stir in raisins, cranberries, orange zest and almonds.
First Rise: Turn dough onto a floured surface; knead in enough additional flour to make a soft dough; 3 to 5 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and add to a bowl coated in cooking spray. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free space until double; about 1-3/4 hours.
Second Rise: Punch the dough down and turn onto a floured surface. Divide the dough into thirds; cover and let rest 10 minutes. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or coat with cooking spray. Take one portion of the dough and roll into a 10×6-inch oval. Without stretching, fold one long side almost in half, leaving a 1-inch border on the bottom. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and repeat with additional 2 loaves. Cover and let rise until nearly dough; about an hour. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Bake: Bake in a preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the baking sheet and transfer to a rack for cooling. While still warm, brush melted butter over each loaf. Once cool, dust liberally with confectioners’ sugar before slicing.
Keywords: Stollen, Christmas Stollen, German Stollen