German Stollen

German Stollen

3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped mixed candied fruits and peels
1/4 cup currants
1/4 cup rum (optional)
4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons grated orange peel
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1/2 cup chopped blanched almonds
Confectioners' Icing

Soak raisins, mixed fruits, and currants in 1/4 C. water (or rum). In large mixer bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of the flour and the yeast. Heat milk, butter, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt til warm (115-120°F), stirring constantly to melt butter. Add to dry mixture; add eggs, almond extract, and peels.
Mix thoroughly by hand or the dough hook of a heavy duty mixer. Stir in fruit-rum mixture, nuts, and enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead on floured surface til smooth (8-10 minutes), or in a mixer until the gluten is developed. Shape into ball. Place in greased bowl; turn once. Cover; let rise til double (about 1 1/4 hours). Punch down; divide in half.

Cover; let rest 10 minutes. Roll each half to 10X7-inch oval. Fold long side of oval over to within 1/2 inch of opposite side; seal edge. Place on greased baking sheets. Cover, let rise until double (about 45 minutes).( Breads made with lots of nuts and fruits will not rise as high as regular breads.) Bake at 375°F til done, about 15 to 20 minutes. While warm, glaze with Confectioners' Icing. Garnish with candied fruits, if desired. Makes 2 coffee cakes.

Confectioners' Sugar Icing: In small bowl, combine 2 cups confectioners' sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 2 to 3 tablespoons milk. Beat until smooth.