1 cake (3/5 ounch) fresh yeast or 1 envelope dry
1 c warm milk
1/4 c sugar
1/2 c (1/4 pound) butter or margarine, melted
2 t salt
1/2 t ground cardamom
4 T very finely ground blanched almonds
2 eggs, beaten
3 1/2 c all purpose flour
2 T butter
1/3 c apricot preserves
1/2 c sliced blanched almonds
1/4 c diced candied orange peel
1/4 c glace cherry halves
1/4 c yellow raisins, plumped in hot sherry or liquor
1/4 c quartered pitted prunes
Dissolve yeast in warm milk (105 fresh, about 120 if dried) in bowl. Add sugar, butter, slat, cardamom and almonds; combine. Seet aside 2 T of egg. Add remainder of egg to bowl along with 2 c. flour, beat until smooth. Add remaining flour gradually, beating until a soft, pliable dough is formed. Beat until smooth and not sticky. Sprinkle with a little flour; cover and let rise in warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 1/2 hours, or cover and refrigerate to let rise overnight.
Punch down dough, turn onto lightly floured board and knead until smooth. Roll out dough into a rectanglular strip about 10 x 18. Spread with melted butter, then with apricot preserves; sprinkle with nuts and fruits on dough to withing 1 inch of long edge. Roll lengthwise. Place roll seam-down on a greased coookie sheet (about 12 x 18) setting it on an angle to accommodate length and tuchking ends under. With sharo scissors, make incisions about 1 inch apart, almost but not through bottom. Pull slices alternately left and right, then pinch the top outside of each slice to a point. Let stand in a warm place to rise, about 1/2 hour. Brush top with reserved beaten egg. Bake in preheated 350 oven until golden, about 25 minutes. Cool, wrap in transparent wrap on a base of foil-wrapped cardboard or wood board. Makes 1 long loaf.
Ring Cake: Tor form ring, prepare roll as above but 20 inches long. Place on cookie sheet in a circle; overlap ends, pinch closed. Cut slits as for long bread.
Stollen: Prepare dough as above except, after initial rising, beat in almonds, orange peel, cherries, and raisins (omit purnes and preserves). Roll into a 12 inch circle. Fold almost in half; press edges togethger. Place on greased coookie sheet. Brush top with melted butter. Let rise 1/2 hour in warm place. Brush with reserved egg. Bake at 350 about 30 minutes. Cool. Frost with confectioner's sugar moistened with water.