Stollen is a traditional German fruit cake, prepared for the Christmas holidays. German bakers have already begun making it, even though there is still plenty of time till Christmas.
Actually, a stollen can be made long before Christmas - if it is well wrapped, it will last up to 45 days without its taste properties changing at all, claim bakers. In fact, The longer it sits, the tastier it will become.
To store it properly, the cooled stollen needs to be wrapped in foil, then placed in a plastic bag and left in a dry and cold place. Before we can wrap the traditional German fruit cake, we need to gather the necessary ingredients to actually make it.
Ingredients: 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 cup milk, 2/5 cup sugar, 1 1/3 tsp dried yeast, 1-2 vanilla packets, salt, marzipan, 2 2/3 tbsp almonds, 2 2/3 tbsp walnuts, 2 tbsp dried prunes, 2 tbsp dried cherries, 3 1/3 tbsp dried sour cherries, the zest of an orange and mandarin, 4/5 cup butter, melted and cooled in advance, powdered sugar.
Preparation: Sift 2 cups of flour and pour it into a large container, then add the sugar and vanilla to it, along with a pinch of salt. You will need the remaining flour to knead the fruit cake - you might need more.
Mix the dry ingredients and add the cooled butter, as well as the dried fruits and the yeast that you've melted in the warm milk and left to bubble. Then add the almonds and knead the dough well.
Smear the stollen with oil and leave it to sit in a large bowl. Once it has doubled in volume, you can continue with the recipe - but it may take an hour or more for it to rise. Everything depends on the room temperature in which you are preparing it.
Then roll out the fruit cake, put the finely chopped walnuts and marzipan in it and shape it. Transfer it to a tray that you've covered with baking paper and cover the stollen with a towel (or foil). Leave it for another hour to rise once again.
Heat the oven to 360°F (180°C), cover the stollen with foil to prevent it from burning and bake for about 50 min. to an hour. Once it is baked, smear it well with butter while it's still warm and sprinkle very generously with the powdered sugar.
Let the cake cool completely, then put it away until the upcoming Christmas holidays, when you can have it ready and truly enjoy your Christmas, without having to pace back and forth around the oven.