Christmas Stollen


2 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 egg
1 tablespoon yeast
2/3 cup warm milk
2/3 cup currants
1/3 cup plump raisins
2/3 cup diced candied citron
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
(optiona filling: marzipan)

Dissolve yeast in warm milk. Let stand about 8-10 minutes
Beat together yeast mixture with sugar, salt, butter, egg, and 2 cups bread flour.
Add the rest of the flour, 1/4 cup at a time. When the dough has begun to pull together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead in the currants, raisins, dried cherries, and citrus peel. Continue kneading until smooth, about 8 minutes.
Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.Place the loaf, seam side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C), and bake for a further 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow loaf to cool on a wire rack. Dust the cooled loaf with confectioners’ sugar, and a little cinnamon if desired.
(variation: place a roll of Marzipan in center of dough before cooking)