1cupcandied fruit mix or mixed dried fruit(apricots, cranberries, cherries, etc; plus additional for sprinkling)
1/2cupbrandy, rum, or schnapps(4 ounces; I used white rum)
2 1/2ouncesall-purpose flour(about 1/2 cup)
4teaspoonsinstant or active dry yeast
10ouncesall-purpose flour(about 2 1/4 cups)
zest of half an orange(optional)
5tablespoonsunsalted butter(at room temperature)
1teaspoonlemon or orange extract
1/2cupslivered almonds or marzipan
vegetable oil(for brushing ;I think this will be 1-2 tablespoons per recipe, but possibly more)
powdered sugar(for topping)
When you start the bread recipe, or up to two days in advance, combine the 2 cups fruit with the alcohol. I did this about 18 hours in advance. Stir occasionally to redistribute the fruit in the liquid.
Warm the milk to 100-105F. Add 1/2 cup flour and yeast and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 1 hour, until the sponge is very foamy.
Combine the sponge, flour, sugar, salt, zest, cinnamon, egg, butter, lemon or orange extract in the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir with the dough hook and add enough of the water to create a soft but not sticky dough. This will take 1-2 minutes. Once the dough is together, let it rest for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, remove the fruit from the alcohol and add the drained fruit to the dough. (After 18 hours of soaking, my fruit soaked up 6 tablespoons of alcohol, leaving behind 2 tablespoons.)
Stir the dough to distribute the fruit, then knead the dough on medium speed for about 4 minutes. The dough should be soft and tacky, but not sticky. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let ferment at warm room temperature for 45 minutes. Dough will rise, but will likely not double in size.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. If you will make 2 loaves, like I did, divide dough in half. Pat each half into a 7x5 inch rectangle (9x6 for a full-sized loaf) and sprinkle with additional fruit and the 1/2 cup slivered almonds (or a marzipan log roughly the length of your dough). Fold the bottom third of the dough up to the center; press the dough into the crease to seal and create surface tension. Fold the top of the dough over the bottom edge of the dough; pinch to seal the seam closed and to increase the surface tension.
Transfer stollen to a baking sheet lined with baking parchment, and curl it into a crescent. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about an hour, until dough is 1 1/2 times its original size.
Bake the 2 small loaves stollen on the middle oven rack at 350F for about 40 minutes, rotating once halfway through the baking time. (This could take up to 70 minutes for a full-sized loaf of stollen.) Bread will be dark when it is done. It should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom, and will register 190F in the center. (This took about 35 minutes for each of my batches.)
Brush bread with vegetable oil while hot. Sift powdered sugar generously over the loaf. Let rest another minute, then coat with more powdered sugar. Bread should have lots and lots of powdered sugar. (Mine may not have had enough, since I had to add more powdered sugar today.) Remove bread to cooling rack. Wait 1 hour before cutting and serving. When completely cool, store in a plastic bag to keep it from drying out.