Spice Mixture: In a
small bowl combine all the spices. Cover with plastic wrap. (Can be made ahead
and stored at room temperature.)
In a medium sized bowl mix the flour with the yeast and water until thoroughly
combined. Cover and let sit (ferment) at room temperature overnight (about 12-14
Fruit Mixture: In a
bowl, combine all the ingredients. Cover and let sit at room temperature at
least overnight. You can make this mixture ahead and store it in the refrigerator
for a couple of weeks.
With a rolling pin pound the cold butter between two sheets of parchment paper
until it's pliable, but still cold. Cut into pieces and place in the bowl of
your electric stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook. Then
add the rest of the ingredients, including the Spice Mixture and Sponge.
But don't add the Fruit Mixture. Knead the
dough on 1st speed for about four minutes (so everything is mixed together).
Increase your mixer speed to 2nd speed, and continue to knead the dough for
about 15 to 20 minutes or until the dough cleans the bowl and is smooth and
elastic (you want a strong dough).
To check to see if the dough is fully kneaded, use
the 'windowpane' test. (See video for demonstration.) To do this, start
with a small fistful of dough. Gently stretch it. For a fully kneaded dough you
should be able to stretch the dough quite thin so it's almost translucent.
Next, add the
Fruit Mixture and beat,
on 1st speed, until all the fruit and nuts are fully incorporated (this will take a minute or two).
Place your dough in a large
lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic
wrap, and let sit (proof) at room temperature (73 - 76 degree F) (23 - 24 degree C)
for about 1 hour.
When your dough has proofed, remove from bowl and place onto a lightly floured surface. You want the
top of the dough to now be on the bottom. Lightly flour the top of your dough
and divide in half (about 430 grams each). When you divide the dough use a
pastry scraper or knife and cut, don't pull or stretch, the dough.
Then, working with one piece of
dough at a time, pre-shape your dough into a round. Do this by first taking the edges
of the dough and folding them into the center. Gently seal. Then flip your dough
over so the smooth side is facing up. With the palms of your hands rotate the
ball of dough on your surface to create surface tension and to seal the edges of
the dough completely. Place the rounds on a lightly floured baking sheet or
board and cover with plastic wrap. Let the rounds of dough sit at room
temperature for about 30 minutes. (This is to relax the dough and you will
notice that the dough will rise a little.)
Next, place the rounds of
dough, upside down, onto a lightly floured surface. Lightly flour the top of the
dough. (See video on how to form the Stollen.) Form each round of dough
into an long oval shape (about 8 inches (20 cm) long). Take the long edges of
the top 2/3 of the dough and fold into the center (have a bell shape). Then, starting at the
top of the dough, roll the dough five times, sealing the dough after each roll,
until you have a cylinder shape. With the palms of your hands gently roll the
dough back and forth (to create tension) until it's about 9 inches (23 cm) in
length (a batard shape). Have one long edge of the dough closest to you. Next,
about 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the long edge of the dough, using a thin rolling pin
(or the handle of a wooden spoon), create a 2 inch (5 cm) wide trench (the
trench should be almost to the bottom of the dough) down the entire length of
dough. Then take the edge of the
dough and fold it up and over the trench sealing in the center of the dough.
Place the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let ferment (proof) at room temperature for
about one hour.
Meanwhile preheat your oven to 375 degree
F (190 degree C).
When ready to bake, remove the
plastic wrap, and place in the preheated oven. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown
(do not over bake or the Stollen will be dry). While the Stollen is still warm
brush with melted or clarified butter and dredge in granulated white sugar.
Brush off excess sugar. When completely cooled, dust with powdered sugar. Let
sit at room temperature until the powdered sugar dries. Wrap
in foil and then in plastic. The Stollen can be stored at room temperature for
about a week or it can be frozen for about two months.