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Many cultures have holiday breads. German Christmas bread goes by many different names in German: Stollen, Dresden Stollen, Strutzel, Striezel, Stutenbrot, or Christstollen. The traditional German Christmas cake, is a colorful collection of nuts, raisins, currants, candied orange and lemon peel, traditional spices of Christmas such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, mace or cloves, brandy or rum and lots of butter. This recipe is courtesy of the Prussian, Pomeranian and Westphalian immigrants who settled in the great Midwest of North America. From the Wisconsin Dutch chapter of the United States Regional Cookbook, Culinary Arts Institute of Chicago, 1947.
- 1 pint milk, warmed
- 2 compressed yeast cakes
- 8 cups flour, sifted
- 1 lb butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1⁄4 cup rum
- 1 grated lemon, rind of
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 cup almonds, chopped
- 3⁄4 lb raisins
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Add crumbled yeast and 1 cup of flour to the warmed milk.
- Beat well and allow to stand in a warm place until light.
- Cream butter and sugar together, reserving 3 tablespoons of the butter for brushing on top of the loaves.
- Beat in eggs, one at a time.
- Add yeast mixture, rum, lemon rind, salt, almonds, raisins and remaining flour.
- Knead on a floured board until smooth and elastic.
- Cover and let rise until double in bulk.
- Divide into 3 loaves.
- Roll out slightly; press down center with a rolling pin.
- Brush with reserved melted butter, fold over and brush top with butter.
- Place in greased bread pans; let rise until double in bulk.
- Bake at 350F for 45 to 60 minutes or until golden and done.
- Cool slightly; brush with frosting.
- **Variation: Napfkuchen; use half recipe above, increase sugar to 3/4 cup and use only 3 cups flour. Omit rum; bake in a tube pan or bundt pan.