Tuesday

christmas stollen


as you finish your holiday shopping and last minute running around before Christmas this friday, maybe you'll have some time to bake this yummy holiday bread. we did our baking before we headed west for warmer weather and to see family, but this recipe was a hit. it takes some time with the rising and resting but is definitely worth it for two beautiful braided loaves filled with dried fruit. the recipe is adapted from martha stewart's traditional xmas bread in the december issue. happy holidays to all our readers and hopefully we'll have some time to post from our CA and AZ adventures before the new year.

Christmas Stollen
makes 2 loaves

5 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup milk, warmed
5 oz unsalted butter, melted
1 tbs plus 1/2 tsp active dry yeast (dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water)
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 oz raisins
6 oz dried cranberries
1 cup applejack or brandy
1/3 cup crystallized ginger
zest of 1 orange
confectioner's sugar for dusting (optional)
whisk together flour, sugar, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. stir in milk and melted butter. add dissolved yeast and eggs. turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. combine raisins, cranberries and applejack in a small bowl and soak until plump, about 15 minutes. drain well and add to bread, with ginger and orange zest. continue kneading for about 10 minutes, adding more flour if dough is too sticky. transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl. cover with plastic and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, 1-2 hours. punch down and divide into 6 equal pieces. roll each piece into a 15-inch long log. braid 3 logs together and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. repeat with remaining 3 logs. cover and let rise until doubled, about 2 more hours. preheat oven to 350 degrees F. bake stollen until golden brown, 36-40 minutes. let cool completely on a wire rack and dust with confectioner's sugar before serving. enjoy!

12 comments:

Jennifer said...

This is one bread Ive never made. It sounds SO good! Have a very Merry Christmas!

TaMs* said...

This looks delish! yum yum!

lostpastremembered said...

Really great picture.. looked like snow had fallen on the loaf! Sounds good to eat too!!

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Joanne said...

These loaves look quite gorgeous and I love all the spices you use. Perfect for the holidays.

Luxe Star Cake Astrology said...

i really want to try this!

Anonymous said...

I have a question. Am I correct in assuming that when your instructions say to plump the fruit in the applejack, then drain well and add to the bread....you mean add only the fruit and discard any remaining applejack?
(or drink it? LOL)

gine said...

love it ^^. and wish you a happy new year 2010 :-)!! XOXO

Susan said...

My mother made wonderful Stollen. Each Christmas she made sure she baked up enough to give to our family physician and dentist, no less. Everyone looked forward to this wonderful bread. Thank you for sharing another recipe. I can't wait to try it.

Erika from The Pastry Chef At Home said...

Yes, the holidays are over and we're all supposed to be on diets and what now...but I still feel like making this stollen right now!

Anna said...

This is lovely. I made Martha's recipe for stollen this Christmas as well and it turned out beautifully. It will be the recipe I used from now on, I think.

Stollen is one of the reasons Christmas morning is so magical.

Love the blog....but the, you had me at "pancakes."

Michelle said...

Love the photography, guys! You're both so talented!