Traditional Dresden Stollen

Just like it’s British counterpart, Dresden Stollen divides the country into those who are fruit cake lovers and those who cannot stand it. Personally, I love a good Stollen. I’d say it reminds me of home, but my mother had a strong dislike for raisins, so we didn’t get to eat it often. Having said that, my grandparents and aunt and uncle usually ensured we got a slice or two around the festive time.

Making Stollen takes time to prepare and to rest, so I’d use a weekend day at least a week or so before Christmas to prepare it.

You need:

  • 250g raisins
  • 50g sultanas
  • 100g candied mixed peel
  • 125g ground almonds
  • 1tsp vanilla sugar
  • 3tbsp dark rum
  • 1/2tsp almond flavouring
  • 550g flour
  • 42g yeast
  • 125g sugar
  • 65ml milk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 275g butter
  • 65g icing sugar

Soak the fruit in rum and almond flavouring for about 3 hours, then add the almonds and vanilla sugar and leave to rest for another 3 hours.

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When you have about an hour of soaking time left, start the dough: sieve the flour into a large container, push a hole in the centre and fill with the yeast and a tbsp of sugar. Heat the milk to 40 degrees C and add to the flour mixture, then briefly knead, cover with a cloth and leave to rise for 10-15min.

Add the rest of the sugar, about 200g of the butter and the egg yolk and knead thoroughly. Cover and leave to rise in a warm place for 30min.

Flatten the dough on a lightly floured surface, add the fruit mix and knead again, then cover and leave to rise for another 30min.

Briefly knead the dough again, then shape into a 3-4cm high oval. Make a slight, lengthwise dent along the middle of the oval, then fold one half of the dough on top of the other. Gently lift into a lined baking tray and leave to rise for a final 15min before baking in a 175 degrees C preheated oven for 60-90min until golden brown and fully cooked.

Melt the rest of the butter and sieve the icing sugar. Pierce the Stollen several times and drizzle half the melted butter into the cake, then dust with half of the icing sugar. Repeat after 5min and leave to cool before wrapping in foil.

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The cake is at its best if left to mature for about a week before cutting into slices and serving.

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