With this classic stollen recipe you can make your own amazingly delicious homemade version of the world famous fruit cake loaded with dried fruit, nuts and spices. This one will absolutely impress your family and friends. Step by step photos at the end of post.
Soak the raisins in orange juice, preferably overnight or at least several hours.
Preheat the oven to 500° F.
In the mixing bowl take warm milk and sprinkle the yeast over it. Then scatter couple teaspoons sugar on the top. Allow it to stand in a warm dark place for about 10 to 15 minutes until the yeast foams up on the surface.
Sift the flour into the bowl. Then add sugar, butter, egg, vanilla, salt, anise, cardamom and nutmeg. Combine all the ingredients together.
Knead it well for about 5 minutes using a stand mixer or by hand.Tip: For stand mixer use the dough hook and start the kneading process at low setting initially and advance to the higher setting and knead for 5 minutes.
Cover the dough and let it rise to double in bulk. This may take time. And it may vary between 1 to 2 hours or more. Make sure to give it time to rise nicely.
This rich dough may benefit from additional boosters to help it rise. Check out my tips in the "Notes" section below.
Next add the soaked and drained raisins, candied orange/lemon peel and chopped almonds and knead it into the dough until just incorporated. Set it aside
Tip: Don't overdo the kneading at this step.
SHAPE THE STOLLEN AND BAKE
Take the marzipan and press it with your fingers to flatten it a bit. Using a rolling pin, roll it out into a 12 x 6 inch sheet.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the stollen dough into a 12 X 8 inch rectangle, using as little flour as possible.
Next, place the marzipan sheet over the rolled out stollen dough, leaving a one inch border on the long sides of the rectangle.
Fold one long side of the dough over the marzipan and bring it to the center. Then fold the other long side of the dough over the marzipan and bring it all to the other side and shape it into a stollen with a hump in the middle
Make sure to seal the edges well and shape it into a stollen. Carefully transfer the classic German stollen onto a baking sheet lined with a parchment paper.
Allow the Stollen to rise very well. It may take 30 minutes to an hour for the second rise. (Make sure to check the tips in the notes section).
Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Once the Stollen has risen well, bake it for about 45 to 55 minutes until it is nicely brown.
FINAL STOLLEN COATING
As soon as the stollen is taken out of the oven, brush it with melted brown butter and dust with powdered sugar. Repeat the process two to three more times.
When it is completely cooled off, wrap the stollen twice with baking paper or cling wrap and then in foil and store for at least 2 weeks or more before slicing and serving.