1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F.)
1 cup milk, scalded*
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
or bread flour, divided
, slightly beaten
3/4 cup white raisins
1/2 cup candied fruit (Cathy uses pineapple and cherries)
2 teaspoons chopped orange zest
1 teaspoon chopped lemon zest
1/2 cup chopped nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, etc.)
Powdered Sugar Icing (see recipe below)*
* Scalding milk - In a heavy saucepan over low heat, heat the milk just until you start seeing bubbles forming around the inside edges of the pot - do not let the milk come to a full boil. Immediately remove from the heat as it is now scalded. You can scald the milk either on your stove top or in the microwave oven.
In a medium-size bowl, soften yeast in 1/4 cup warm water. Cover with plastic wrap and ferment approximately 20 minutes until the sponge is very foamy.
In a large bowl, combine the warm scaled milk, butter, sugar, salt and cardamom; let cool to lukewarm. When cool, mix in 2 cups flour and beat well. Add yeast (sponge) mixture and egg, beating well. Stir in raisins, candied fruit of your choice, orange zest, lemon zest, and nuts. Add enough additional flour to make a soft but not sticky dough. On a floured surface, knead the dough until smooth, approximately 8 to 10 minutes.
Lightly oil a large bowl. Add dough, turning to coat entire surface. Let rise until doubled, approximately 1 to 2 hours (depending on how warm your room is).
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a large heavy baking sheet.
Prepare Powdered Sugar Icing.
After the dough has risen, punch down the dough and place onto a lightly-floured surface. Divide the dough into 2 or 3 parts depending on how large you want your stollens. NOTE: I cut it into thirds if I am giving them as gifts. Cover the let rest for 10 minutes.
Roll each dough piece into a 10- x 6-inch rectangle and fold in 1/2 lengthwise to within one (1) inch of the opposite side. Place dough on prepared baking sheet, cover, and let rise until almost doubled in volume, approximately 1 hour.
After dough has risen, bake approximately 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. A good check is to use an instant digital thermometer to test your bread. The internal temperature should be between 200 and 210 degrees F. Remove from oven and transfer to wire rack and cool slightly.
While still warm, spread the Powdered Sugar Icing over the top of the stollen. Decorate with candied fruit and chopped nuts. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Stollen can be prepared up to 1 day ahead. Cool completely. Wrap stollen in plastic and store at room temperature.
Makes 2 stollen loaves.
Powdered Sugar Icing:
1 cup powdered (confectioners') sugar
2 teaspoons hot water
2 teaspoons butter, room temperature
In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, hot water, and butter until smooth.