Thursday, December 9, 2010

Holiday Stollen

I have this note on the stollen recipe:  "December 1980.  Very good.  Very easy."  And it is both very good and very easy.  I've been making it every year since--at least four and sometimes more.  Although you can only bake this in December, you can freeze several for the winter months of the new year.  O.K., how would I know if you baked some in January?  Go ahead!  There's something so comforting when the scent of yeast wafts throughout the house.

Holiday Stollen from the Century of Success Cookbook from Gold Medal Flour

1 pkg active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 egg, separated
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped blanched almonds
1/4 cup chopped candied citrus peel
1/4 cup raisins 
1 tbsp grated lemon peel
Another bit of butter (1/4 cup for spreading on shaped stollen before baking) softened
1 tbsp water

1.  Dissolve yeast in 3/4 cup warm water in large mixer bowl.  Beat in the sugar, salt, eggs, egg yolk, 1/2 cup margarine and 1 3/4 cups of the flour on medium speed, scraping the bowl occasionally, for ten minutes.  Stir in the remaining flour, the almonds, fruit and lemon peel.  Scrape batter down from the sides of the bowl.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

2.  Punch batter down.  Cover tightly and store in refrigerator overnight.

3.  Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface and turn to coat with flour.  Divide into halves.  Press each half into an oval, 10 x 7 inches.  Spread with the butter and fold in half, lengthwise.  Press the folded edge down firmly.  Place on a greased cookie sheet large enough to hold both loaves (or use two smaller sheets).  Beat the remaining egg white with the tablespoon of water and brush over the ovals.  Let rise until double.  I do this in the oven with the light on.  It will take 45 to 60 minutes.  

4.  Remove the risen loaves from the oven.  Preheat the oven to 375.  Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.  If the loaves brown too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil.  

5.  Cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.