Susan Kloepping got this recipe from her husband's German family and each September, she starts baking and freezing stollen for the holidays. "This is a great Christmas bread," says Susan, "and everyone looks forward to getting a loaf.
Serves: 24 (2 loaves, each yielding 12 slices)
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine or butter
About 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 package active dry yeast
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups dark seedless raisins
1 1/4 cups golden raisins
1 (4 ounce) container diced candied citron (optional)
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup blanched whole almonds, coarsely chopped
2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon rum or water
ABOUT 4 HOURS BEFORE SERVING OR EARLY IN DAY:
In 1-quart saucepan over low heat, heat milk and margarine or butter until very warm (120 to 130 degrees F). Margarine or butter does not need to melt completely.
In large bowl, combine 2 cups flour with sugar, salt, and yeast. With mixer at low speed, gradually beat liquid into dry ingredients just until blended. Increase speed to medium; beat 2 minutes, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Beat in eggs and 1/2 cup flour to make a thick batter; continue beating 2 minutes, scraping bowl often. With wooden spoon, stir in 1 1/2 cups flour to make a soft dough.
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, working in more flour (about 1/4 cup) while kneading. Shape dough into ball; place in greased large bowl, turning dough to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm place (80 to 85 degrees F) until doubled, about 1 hour.
In small bowl, mix raisins, citron, walnuts, and almonds; set aside.
Punch down dough. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead raisins, citron, and nuts into dough. Divide dough into 2 pieces.
On lightly floured surface, with floured rolling pin, roll 1 piece of dough into 12" by 8" oval; fold dough almost in half lengthwise, pressing top edge down lightly with fingertips. Place on large cookie sheet. Repeat with second piece of dough, placing it on same cookie sheet about 3 inches from first. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake stollen 35 to 40 minutes until lightly browned and loaves sound hollow when tapped. Remove to wire rack to cool.
When loaves are cool, prepare glaze: In bowl, mix confectioners' sugar, lemon juice, and rum or water. Drizzle glaze over top of each stollen.
Each serving: About 260 calories, 8 g fat, 28 mg cholesterol, 155 mg sodium