Christmas Stollen

    • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
    • 2/3 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
    • 1 large egg
    • 1/3 cup white sugar
    • 1/2 tablespoon salt
    • 1/3 cup butter, softened
    • 2 1/2 cups bread flour
    • 1/3 cup currants
    • 1/3 cup sultana raisins
    • 1/3 cup red candied cherries, quartered
    • 2/3 cup diced candied citron
    • 6 ounces marzipan
    • 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
    2. In a large bowl, combine the yeast mixture with the egg, white sugar, salt, butter, and 2 cups bread flour; beat well. Add the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the marzipan into a rope and place it in the center of the dough. Fold the dough over to cover it; pinch the seams together to seal. 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).
    5. 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 sprinkle with the cinnamon.