EASY HOLIDAY STOLLEN
Indulgence alert: This is a luscious, rich, holiday treat especially good with coffee. I’ve reduced the amount of butter (the original called for another half stick of butter to be melted and poured over along with even more confectioner’s sugar). That much butter and extra sugar isn’t necessary. I also replaced candied fruits with natural, dried fruits and nuts. Other, more complicated stollens use yeast and take hours to make, but this is a terrific quick-bread method that is worthy of praise.
Easy Holiday Stollen
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 stick cold butter, divided into 6 T and 2 T (set aside 2 T)
1 cup Greek yogurt (the thick kind)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 1 tsp. dried cardamom)
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 cup mixed dried fruits: golden raisins, cranberries or cherries, dried pineapple (chopped), apricots (chopped) or your favorites.
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 Tablespoons melted butter
½ cup confectioner’s sugar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut 6 T butter into the flour mixture until the butter is in pea-sized lumps (much like you would do if making pie crust). Mix in the dried fruits and nuts.
In a separate, small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, vanilla, lemon juice and zest. Stir these wet ingredients into the flour and fruit mixture. Using your hands, squeeze handfuls until dough begins to stick together. Knead 4-5 times or just until it holds together.
Place dough onto the parchment-lined baking sheet and shape into a log about 8-9 inches long, 4-inches wide, 2-inches high. It will spread slightly while baking. Place in oven and bake about an hour or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center.
Remove from oven and brush with reserved 2 Tablespoons butter and dust with confectioner’s sugar. (To dust, place powdered sugar in a wire strainer and tap the edges to shake out the sugar.)
Once cool, wrap in plastic wrap. Will keep at room temperature for about two weeks—if it lasts that long. Give it a fresh dusting of powdered sugar when serving if desired.
Shaping and baking option 2: Line a loaf pan with greased parchment paper with edges up above the sides (to allow for lifting out later) and bake for 1 to 1-1/4 hrs. Finish with butter and powdered sugar.