Almost every country in Europe has its favorite sweet bread. The German have Stollen, sweet and filed with fruits. Traditionally, it is served at Christmastime – thinly sliced, with coffee or perhaps a glass of wine.
1 cup milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
2 packages active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water, 105 to 115F
4-1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup seedless raisins
1/2 cup diced mixed candied fruit
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 cup un-sifted confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk
8 to 10 candied cherries
1. In a large saucepan, heat milk until bubbles from around edge of pan. Remove from heat. Stir in granulated sugar, salt, and shortening; let cool until lukewarm.
2. Sprinkle yeast over warm water in large bowl; stir until dissolved. Then stir in milk mixture; stir until dissolved. Add 2 cups flour; beat until thoroughly combined and smooth.
3. Cover bowl with damp towel; let dough rise in warm place (85F), free from drafts, until double in bulk – about 30 minutes.
4. Sift remaining flour with nutmeg and cinnamon.
5. Stir raisins, fruit, and almonds into dough. Then stir in four-spice mixture until well mixed.
6. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead 10 minutes or until smooth. Place in greased bowl; cover with damp towel; let rise in warm place until double in bulk – about 1 hour.
7. Punch down. Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Knead 5 minutes. Divide into 2 balls. Place on greased cookie sheets. Cover with damp towel; let rise in warm place until double in bulk – about 1 hour.
8. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
9. Bake Stolen 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees; bake 40 minutes more. Cool on wire rack.
10. Make Frosting: Combine sugar and milk in small bowl until smooth. Frost top of Stollen. Decorate with cherries and bits of angelica.