Stollen had always been something that I had heard of, kind of knew about, but never really incorporated into my holiday baking. As a pretty big skeptic of traditional fruitcake, I wrongly assumed that stollen would fall into the same stale box. And, admittedly like many things in my life, I was wrong. This stollen will absolutely become customary in our house during the holiday season and I look forward to the many inevitable iterations that I will attempt. One of the best aspects of stollen? It lasts FOREVER. Because we dowse stollen in powdered sugar, the shelf life spans a few weeks. So, you can totally make a few batches at the start of holiday season and parse them out to friends and family over the next few weeks.
This stollen is loaded with flavorful fruit and buttery pine nuts. The bread is soft and tender, sweet and crunchy. Stollen can be served anytime of day so it's perfect for hosting holiday guests; with a cup of coffee in the morning, for an afternoon treat, or the perfect way to end a meal. And stollen french toast? Don't even get me started.
1 cup [115 grams] dried blueberries
1 cup [140 grams] dried cherries
1 1/4 cup [140 grams] dried cranberries
1/2 cup [125 grams] cherry liquor
3/4 cup [170 grams] warmish water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 stick [113 grams] butter, room temp
1 whole egg
1/4 cup [25 grams] dry milk powder
3 1/2 cup [500 grams] all-purpose flour
1/3 cup [80 grams] granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Zest of one large lemon
On the sidelines:
3/4 cup [90 grams] toasted pine nuts
Powdered sugar, for topping
In the first bowl, combine all ingredients and let sit for a few hours. The dried fruits will soak up most of the liquor and you can discard the rest. If you prefer to skip the liquor, substitute with any juice you have on hand.
In the second bowl, combine all ingredients to form a soft dough. Knead for about ten minutes, preferably with a standing mixer, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for a few hours until doubled in size.
Punch down the dough and knead in the soaked fruit and pine nuts until everything is evenly distributed. Mold the dough into a roundish log and place on a parchment-lined baking pan. Cover with your kitchen towel and let rise for another hour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Bake the stollen for one hour. The bread will be golden brown and smell toasty. Let cool for about ten minutes.
Brush the warm bread with a few tablespoons of melted butter and let sit for a few minutes. Liberally dust powdered sugar on top of the bread and let sit for about 30 minutes.