Falko Burkert's German Stollen


80ml full fat milk
40g fresh yeast
500g strong white flour
240g butter
60g sugar
1 egg
5g salt
Grated rind of one lemon
Pinch of ground cardamon
Pinch of ground mace
Pinch of all spice
Pinch of grated tonka beans (if unavailable, use a few extra vanilla seeds)
The seeds of half a vanilla pod
350g raisins (wash, then soak overnight in 20ml rum)
110g mixed peel
100g almonds (roughly chopped)
150g butterVanilla caster sugar
Icing sugar

Warm the milk to body temperature and add the fresh yeast and mix until smooth. Pour into a large mixing bowl. Add one third of the flour and mix to a runny paste (this is the starter). Place in a warm place and allow to prove until it doubles in volume (approximately 15 minutes).

In the meantime, place the butter (softened), sugar, egg, salt, lemon rind, spices, tonka beans, vanilla seeds and the rest of the flour in a mixing bowl. When the yeast starter is ready, add to the bowl and knead thoroughly into a yeast-dough. Add the raisins, mixed peel and almonds, then knead them carefully into the dough. Take care not to squash the raisins, as the juice will make the dough grey in colour. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and allow to prove in a warm place for about 20 minutes.

Form the dough carefully into a ball, then roll it into a 25cm-long cylindrical stollen. Place on a greased and floured baking tray. Using a sharp knife, cut the top surface of the stollen lengthways (maximum 1cm deep) leaving about 5cm uncut at each end. Place in the oven at 180C and bake until golden brown (35-40 minutes). Ensure the underneath surface of the stollen is baked and golden brown, too.

As soon as the stollen is taken out of the oven, brush generously with 150g butter to seal the surface, then roll the stollen in vanilla caster sugar. Allow to cool. When cold dust generously with icing sugar and store in a cool place in an airtight container.

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