Grandma Baker's Christmas Stollen

Ingredients

Bread:
3 cups milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons (3 packages) dry yeast
11 cups flour
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
5 eggs
1 cup golden raisins, plumped
1/2 cup candied fruits, plumped
1/2 pound ground almonds
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
2 teaspoons cardamom
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Topping:
4 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

Scald the milk. Add sugar and salt. Cool to lukewarm. Add yeast and 6 cups of the flour; mix well. Cover; let rise until double in volume. Cut the butter into the remaining 5 cups of flour, then add eggs, fruit, nuts, lemon rind, and spices. Combine both flour mixtures; mix to a soft dough. Place on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Let dough rise in a greased bowl until doubled in bulk. Butter top of dough and cover. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Punch down the dough, divide it into five portions, and shape the pieces into plain or braided loaves. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over the loaves. Bake 20 to 25 minutes for braided loaves, 40 to 45 minutes in loaf pans.

Yield: 

2 loaves

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