Baking stollen for Christmas has been a tradition in my family for as long as I can remember. My maternal Grandmother used to bake it yearly for my Grandfather. After Grandma passed away, my Mom continued the tradition and baked several loaves of stollen, reserving the largest and best loaf to ship to Grandpa. This is probably my absolutely favorite Christmas bread. For the past three years, this has been the snack of choice to tide us over until breakfast on Christmas mornings while opening presents.
Prepare Fruit: Combine the mixed fruit, raisins, and rum (or orange juice). Cover and set aside. Shake or stir the mixture every so often to coat the fruit with the rum.
Prepare Sponge: In a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast in the water to soften. Heat the milk to 110 degrees F and add it to the yeast along with the honey and 1 cup flour. Cover the sponge with plastic wrap and let rise until light and full of bubbles, about 30 minutes.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the fruit mixture, honey, egg, butter, zest, salt, mace, almonds, and 2 cups of the flour to the sponge. Using the paddle, beat the mixture on medium low speed for 2 minutes. Gradually add the remaining flour 1/4 cup at a time until the dough begins to pull away from the side of the bowl. Change to the dough hook. Continue to add flour 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough just begins to clean the bowl. Knead 4 to 5 minutes on medium-low.
First rise: Put the dough in an oiled bowl and turn to coat the entire ball of dough with oil. Cover with a tightly woven towel and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
To Shape and Fill, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough in half and roll each half into a 7 by 9-inch oval. Brush the melted butter over the top of the oval. Combine the cinnamon and granulated sugar and sprinkle over one lengthwise half of the oval. Fold the dough in half lengthwise and carefully lift the bread onto separate parchment-lined baking sheets. Press lightly on the folded side to help the loaf keep its shape during rising and baking.
Cover with a tightly woven towel or plastic wrap and let rise for 45 minutes.
About 10 minutes before baking, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Bake loaves for 25 minutes until the internal temperature of the bread reaches 190 degrees F. Immediately remove from the baking sheet and place on a rack to cool.
To serve, drizzle with lemon glaze before slicing.