In my last entry I celebrated (?) my English heritage with crumpets, and now I can flaunt my more significant German heritage with Stollen. (Plus I live in Wisconsin, where every meal is a bratwurst, sauerkraut and beer.)(Not really, but we can dream.) Unfortunately, my own German grandma doesn't really cook or bake (and is technically of Dutch descent, but I'm told her mother was amazing) so I have no family recipes for this sort of thing, and have to steal them from other German-Americans. Or books, as was the case this time. Specifically, my recent favourite, The Bread Baker's Apprentice.

For the fruit, I used candied citron, dried apricots, dried cherries, dried cranberries, and golden raisins. The recipe offered two sets of instructions on rolling the dough up, and I went for the simpler approach because, at 4:30am, the one that involved rolling the middle of the dough with a rolling pin, then folding in the two thicker edges seemed way too complicated, though it is admittedly prettier. I made the dough into two loaves, one with slivered almonds inside, and one with marzipan (but not everyone in my family likes it as much as I do).

The only changes I made to the recipe were to brush the outside with butter, not oil, and to first coat it in vanilla sugar, then powdered sugar. I'd seen an advertisement for stollen prepared in that manner, and thought it sounded pretty good. It was.

Recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart