Stollen is a traditional German bread eaten during the Christmas season, when it is called Weihnachtsstollen. It was first mentioned in an official document in 1474. Dark rum or kirsch can be used for Stollen bread recipes. I would pick Kirsch though which means German for "cherry water" (eau-de-vie in French). Kirsch is a clear, colorless brandy traditionally made from double distillation of morello cherries. It originated in Swabia in the Black Forest (Look up for black forest cake 😋) region of southern Germany. For those who don’t feel comfortable using alcohol in cooking, and since the internal temperature of the just baked item would reach 195ºF/90ºC, most of the alcohol would be gone. Another alternative is to heat up and flambe the alcohol prior marinating fruits. Yield two 1.8lb./800g + one 0.9lb./400g Stollen bread. Before you start, make sure your mixer can handle it. Make dry fruit marinade 4 weeks prior mixing. Bake Stollen bread one day before serving.
Make at least 2 weeks prior mixing dough. Toast all nuts lightly. Chop walnuts and prune roughly. Dice candied orange peels. In a large bowl, combine all dried fruits with sugar and add Kirschwasser. Transfer mixture in a plastic container, seal and refrigerate for 4 weeks to marinate. Shake the container every week. Drain before using. Use rendered juice for cocktails.
Use 1.4 lb/625g almond paste 50% from scratch (Look up for the video). Or, purchase Lubeca/Lübecker, or Mandelin. Make 2x8oz/250g almond paste logs + 1x4oz/125g for the half size Stollen bread. Make your almond meal thinner; use your food processor. Cook sugar with water and glucose to 244ºF/118ºC. In the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, pour hot syrup over the almond and mix on low – as soon as the syrup is added, throw in the trimoline or honey add almond extract to taste – scrape the sides of the bowl making sure all ingredients are well combined and continue mixing on medium-low speed for 5 minutes. Transfer the still warm almond paste onto a clean work surface, work out a bit and form a cylinder. Wrap up tight, prick a few holes and leave at room temp to rest. Store almond paste wrapped in plastic wrap and a freezer bag. Keep in a cool area or chill.
Pour liquid first: milk, eggs, and yolks in the stand mixer bowl fitted with the hook attachment. Add spices, salt and trimoline or honey. Mix to combine. Add flours, sugar and yeast. Mix on low speed for 5 minutes to combine. Increase the speed to medium and continue to mix for 15 minutes or until dough comes off the sides of the bowl; scraping out sides of the bowl every so often. Add butter gradually and mix for 10 minutes more or until smooth and elastic. Add the marinated and drained dried fruits and mix en low until well combined. Cover and let ferment for about 90 minutes or until it has double in size.
Transfer dough onto a clean work surface without the use of extra flour. Deflate dough and shape into a fat log. Rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Divide into 2x1.8lb./800g and 1x0.9lb./400g portions. Shape into rounds first and oval; let rest Stollen onto a floured cutting board or countertop. Cover and let rest to relax for 20 minutes. Flatten bread gently onto floured work surface – make a mark with the rolling pin, place the almond paste log and fold over and seal, leaving a leap. Let proof for about 90 minutes.
Bake at 350ºF/180ºC for 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for 2 hours. Brush with melted butter (50g) and coat with some powdered sugar. Wrap up if desired, and keep at room temperature for a few days, or chill for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 4 weeks. Enjoy!