- 1/2 Cup water, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 Teaspoon yeast
- 1 Cup bread flour (do not use all-purpose flour)
- 1 large egg
- 3 Tablespoons milk
- 1 Tablespoon yeast
- 3 Tablespoons sugar, preferably Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 Cup bread flour
- 1 1/2 Teaspoon salt
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, soft
- 1/3 Cup dried cherries or dried cranberries
- 1 1/4 Cup raisins
- 3 Tablespoons brandy or rum
- 1/2 Cup unsalted pistachios (if salted rinse under water)
- 1/2 Cup dried apricots, chopped in 6-8 pieces
- 1/2 Cup pecan pieces or hazelnuts
- 7 Ounces almond paste (not marzipan)- optional
In a mixing bowl (preferably a stand mixer) large enough to hold all ingredients, combine water and first listed yeast, using a firm whisk or by hand.
Add first listed flour and mix smooth.
Cover with plastic food wrap and set aside in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile pour brandy onto raisins to rehydrate and set aside.
Add egg, combine second listed yeast with milk and add to above, add sugar, vanilla, flour and salt.
Mix using a dough hook for 6 minutes on medium speed. Scape when necessary.
Add butter in 3 increments waiting for previous added amount to be fully incorporated before adding next.
Add fruits and nuts excluding almond paste and mix until combined.
Cover with plastic food wrap and set aside in a warm area until doubled in volume, about 45-60 minutes.
Roll almond paste into a 9-inch tube using flour if it sticks. Set aside.
Divide dough in 2 equal halves and shape round. Cover with plastic and rest for 5 minutes.
Gently press each dough into a football shape, about 9-10 inches long.
Place almond paste tube in the middle and fold dough over almond paste. Press dough right next to almond tube a bit more flat.
Place on parchment lined cookie sheets and cover with plastic until loaves have gained 30-40% in volume. Do not let it double! Stollen is a dense but soft bread.
Meanwhile preheat oven at 350°F.
Bake for 43 minutes. If loaves are getting too dark place a buttered sheet of aluminum foil over bread during baking.
Upon removal from oven you can optionally brush the loaves with melted butter prior to sprinkling with powdered sugar.