Paula Peck’s Stollen

This recipe has been tweaked by me and also by Mika.  I guess you could say it is our own, but I have to say that Paula Peck’s cookbook is the place we found this recipe, and I am deeply indebted to her.  She has a fabulous baking cookbook, and if you like to bake and don’t have a copy, you should go right away to buy one at Amazon.com.  It is called the Art of Fine Baking.

Makes 2 big stollens – 

Plan ahead – you will need to soak the dried fruits overnight.

Mix these ingredients together and let set for at least over a night or over a few days.
1 cup white raisins
¾ cup currants
1 and ¼ cup mixed candied fruits
1/4 cup cognac

Note:  I don’t know how you feel about candied fruits, but in our family Char hates orange and lemon peel, so we use ½ cup citron and ¾ cup candied cherries, and it is excellent.
About the ¼ cup cognac, Mika likes to use Brandy.  There is something about cognac that I like better.  One time I used XO cognac that was worth $100 a bottle.  It was sublime.

Prepare:
½ cup blanched almonds which are kneaded into the dough with the fruits at the end.
They taste better if you heat them in the oven and toast them very lightly before using them.

Set out to soften
1 and ½ cups (yes, 3 sticks) butter   Don’t even think of adding less or the stollen will be dry and nasty.  This will be incorporated into the dough.

Next you make the dough.
Dough TRICK:  The original recipe said you should make the dough, and then add in the butter at the end.  Over the years we have settled on adding 3 of the cups of flour to the wet ingredients of the dough,  and then adding half the soft butter.

Once it is well mixed, you can add the rest of the flour, and then the rest of the butter.

To make the dough – Put in a bowl:

4 packs yeast
½ cup sugar
1 tsp salt
½ cup cold milk
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
3 egg yolks

Then add a total of
3 cups of flour (dough will be soft and fairly sticky)
half the butter you set out to soften

Once the dough is well mixed, you continue by adding
2-3 more cups of flour
the other half of the butter you set out to soften

At the end I add knead in the fruits, and the almonds.

Rise until not yet doubled in bulk.

Refrigerate four hours before using.   I like to make the dough the day before, and then bake it the next day.

When you want to bake it:
Cut dough in half.   Roll into an oval about 1/3 inch thick, and fold over not quite in half.
Allow to rise again, at least an hour.  Brush with butter.

Bake at 350 for one hour or a little more, then brush with butter again when still warm, and again after it is cool.

Dust with vanilla sugar.  You can also add a log of marzipan flattened to the middle and gild the lily. Europeans like it this way.  So do I.  But not too much – just enough to be a little surprise inside.

One Response to Paula Peck’s Stollen
  1. Megan
    December 15, 2011 | 2:15 am

    Thanks for the post. Paula Peck was my grandmother. I’m in the process of updating some of her recipes and testing some unpublished ones which I’m documenting on my website: http://meganpeckcooks.com/
    Thanks again.

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