German Christmas Stollen
by rcoen

from Tipperary, Ireland

Serves 18-24

3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
4-1/4 cups bread flour (not self-rising)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 envelopes active dry yeast
1 egg
3/4 cup candied fruit
3/4 cup nuts, such as almonds, pecans and/or walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
3/4 teaspoon ground mace

2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

1. Stollen: Heat milk, water and butter in small saucepan until 120 degrees F on instant-read thermometer.

2. Whisk 1-1/4 cups flour, the sugar, salt and yeast in large bowl. Add warm milk mixture; beat on medium 2 minutes. Add egg and 1 cup flour; beat on high 2 minutes. Stir in remaining flour until batter is stiff. Transfer to greased bowl; turn to coat. Cover with plastic; let rise in warm place until doubled, 1-1/2 hours.

3. Combine candied fruit, nuts, raisins, rinds and mace in bowl. Knead fruit mixture into dough.

4. Divide dough into thirds. On surface, roll third into oval, 10 x 8 inches. Fold in half lengthwise; curve each end slightly. Transfer each to greased baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in warm place until doubled, 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Repeat with remaining dough.

5. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes or until bottom of stollen sounds hollow when lightly tapped. Let cool on rack.

7. Topping: Brush loaves with melted butter. Sprinkle with granulated sugar. Dust tops with the confectioners' sugar.

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