Stollen is the perfect morning sweet bread to accompany a special holiday morning. It goes quite nicely with a latte and the clatter of a happy family.
Make vanilla sugar: The vanilla sugar for the topping is best if it sits for a few days prior to Stollen making—simply split a vanilla bean and cover with a cup of sugar and keep it sealed for 2 or so days.
Whirl 3/4 cup blanched almonds in a food processor until they are finely ground.
In a mixer bowl, combine 2 ½ cups flour, 2 tsp baking powder, ¾ cup vanilla sugar, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp fresh grated nutmeg, ½ tsp cardamom, and ¾ cup blanched almonds. Cut cube of butter into about 12 pieces and add to the bowl, blending on medium until the mixture resembles sand.
Melt another 3 tablespoons butter and set aside for finishing touches later.
In a separate bowl blend:1 cup cottage cheese—(whirled smooth in a blender or food processor), 1 egg, ½ tsp vanilla, 2 T rum, ½ tsp almond extract, ¼ cup currants, ½ chopped figs, ½ cup dried cherries, ½ cup dried cranberries, and the zest of one lemon or orange.
Mix the flour mixture in with the wet ingredients and mold the dough into a ball. On a floured board, knead the dough just until smooth—only 6 to 10 turns. Roll the dough on a freshly floured board into an oval, about 8 x 10. Fold 1/3 of the dough over itself lengthwise. Brush the loaf with half of the melted butter. Then, put parchment paper (or a cut open paper bag) onto on a cookie sheet and put the loaf on top.
Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes, or until the crust is browned and a knife poked into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Brush with the remaining butter and sprinkle with vanilla sugar.
Traditionally, stollen is served surrounded by candles, to light and warm the holiday season. May you have a warm and happy holiday season! We eat stollen on Christmas morning, with a latte.
- 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¾ cup vanilla sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp fresh nutmeg
- ½ tsp cardamom
- ¾ cup blanched almonds, ground
- 1 cup cottage cheese—(whirled smooth in a blender or forced through a wire sieve)
- 1/2 cup + 3 T butter
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 2 T rum
- ½ tsp almond extract
- ¼ cup currants
- ½ cup chopped figs
- ½ cup dried cherries
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- Zest of one lemon or orange