Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I first heard about Stollen in baking class. The last time I went through the recipe box, I found Grandma's version. Hers was heavy with glacéed fruits, nuts, and brandy. It also was a big enough recipe to feed a town, and used 5 eggs. There should be a baking law against using a prime number of eggs in a recipe. So, I'm using the Bible's, which makes about half as much with 3 eggs.

Stollen uses similar flavorings to fruitcake, but people actually like eating it because it is light, sweet bread. It also makes awesome French toast. If you don't want to use glacé fruits, you can substitute any dried fruit. Briefly soak them in brandy, rum, or warm apple cider to soften them.

This bread is traditionally made for Christmas, and I make 8oz loaves to give as gifts. Or, you can make three larger loaves to have for breakfast, snack, or even dessert.

1/2 C sugar
1-1/4 C milk
2/3 C butter
5 tsp (2 packages) yeast
5-6 C flour
1-1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 C sliced or slivered almonds
1 C cut-up candied (glacé) fruits
1/2 C raisins
powdered sugar for dusting

1. Warm butter, milk, and sugar to 100º. Butter does not need to melt. Stir in yeast, and let sit until slightly foamy, 5 minutes.

2. In mixing bowl, stir together salt and 2 C flour. Beat in milk mixture until smooth. Add eggs and beat again until smooth. Beat in 1 C flour, then another cup of flour, to create a light dough.

3. Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead until smooth, 5-10 minutes. Because of the eggs, the dough will never stop being sticky. It is done when the seams magically disappear. Place into greased bowl and let rise in warm place until doubled, 1 hour.

4. Punch down dough and let rest 10 minutes. Knead almonds and fruit into dough until evenly distributed. Divide into 8oz loaves (about 7) or three equal pieces for larger loaves.

5. With a rolling pin, roll each piece of dough into an oval. Fold in half lengthwise and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Do not pinch them shut. It's normal for the "halves" to come out slightly uneven. Place in warm place and let rise about 1 hr.

6. Bake at 350º for 20 minutes for smaller loaves, 25-30 minutes for larger. They are done when well browned and not squishy. Place on cooling racks immediately and dust with powdered sugar.

makes 3 - 8 loaves, depending on size and how much flour you use.

Difficulty rating :-0

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