The tradition of making Christ Stollen dates back to the year 1329 in the city of Nauruburg, Saxony not far from Dresden. But Stollen are made all over Germany and made just a little differently from region to region.
2 ½ cups raisins
4 tablespoons rum
8 cups flour
1-2 cups milk
2 packages dry yeast (or 2 cubes of fresh yeast if available)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
grated rind of 1 lemon
½ teaspoon ground mace or nutmeg
1 lb unsalted butter
3.5 oz almonds ground or finely chopped
4 oz candied lemon peel finely chopped
4 oz candied orange peel finely chopped
unsalted butter for coating
confectioner’s sugar for dusting
Soak raisins in rum overnight.
Combine flour, milk, yeast, sugar, salt, and butter to form a smooth yeasted dough. Incorporate almonds, candied lemon and orange peel, mace, and raisins, one after another always kneading the dough thoroughly. Let rest for 1 hour. Knead the dough once more, divide into two and shape two Stollen loaves.
Bake for about 1 hour in preheated oven at 350°F.
After baking the Stollen, brush them with melted butter and dust generously with confectioner’s sugar.
Stollen has a long shelf life and can be made weeks ahead of Christmas.