Anyway, as a Christian thing, the shape of stollen and the fact that it's dusted with icing sugar symbolize baby Jesus wrapped in white clothes. Today there are these stollen festivals in Dresden every year with massive stollens. They take place every year sometime in December I believe, and they have this huge stollen, weighing around 3 tonnes. It's cut with a special 1.2m silver-plated "stollen knife" and then sold to the crowd.
.....Definitely on my bucket list.
It's so worth making your own stollen. Yes, it takes forever, but really, it's not that much work, 4 of the 5 hours of prep work is just waiting for your stollen to prove and rise. I got this recipe from allrecipes.com.
Prep time (including proofing): 5 hrs Cook time: 50 min Serves: 10 Suitable for: Christmas or just any other occasion to show off
Recipe adapted from here
1 packet dry active baking yeast (7g)
400g bread flour
75g caster sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp salt
175ml warm milk
75g melted butter (cool or warm but don't have it hot)
1 large egg, lightly whisked
50g red glace cherries, diced
175g mixed citrus peel
1 tsp each of ginger, cloves and cinnamon.
1 tbsp icing sugar
Mix the dry ingredients together then slowly mix in the milk, butter and egg.
Put it on a lightly floured surface and press it down. Roll your marzipan into a long cylinder and put it in the middle of the dough. Roll the dough over and seal the marzipan in. Place on a baking sheet and cover with a damp cloth. Let it rest for about one hour. Again, don't worry if it doesn't rise much, just make sure it's resting in a warm place.
Have your own preheated to 180C. Dust your stollen with the last couple of spices to form a nice spicy crust. Put your baby in the oven and after 10 minutes turn the heat down to 150C. Let it bake for about 40 more minutes or until golden brown.
Leave to cool (resist tearing it apart and devouring it), and dust with icing sugar and some more spices if you'd like, I like spicy things.