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Nativity, Joseph with the Virgin Suckling the Child, circa 1430
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"To cook is to create. And to create well...
is an act of integrity, and faith,"


Martha Stewart's Stollen



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"The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing
water, is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight..."

~ M.F.K. Fisher, The Art of Eating icon

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Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market), Frankfurt, Hesse, Germany, Europe
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Davies, Ethel
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Christmas Fair at Night, Nurnberg, Germany
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La Belle Cuisine



The Martha Stewart Cookbook:
Collected Recipes for Every Day
Martha Stewart, 1995, Random House, Inc.


Makes 4 large loaves

"Stollen's richness is similar to that of brioche, but dried fruit makes
it sweeter and gives it a more interesting texture. Serve this rich
holiday treat in thin slices as breakfast bread or with afternoon
. Like fruitcake, Stollen improves with age and can be made
up to three weeks in advance."

3 packages active dry yeast
11 cups all-purpose flour, plus
more for dusting
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground mace
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups milk, warmed
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) plus 4 tablespoons
unsalted butter, melted, plus more for bowl
6 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 1/4 cups currants
1/2 cup cognac
2 1/2 cups golden raisins
1/2 cup orange juice
Peel of 4 oranges, diced
Grated zest of 2 lemons
1/2 pound citron, diced
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
2 1/2 cups blanched almonds, chopped
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

1. In a small bowl, combine yeast and 1/2 cup warm water (100 to
110 degrees F), and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. In a
large mixing bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Stir in milk and
1 1/4 cups melted butter. Add dissolved yeast and eggs. Turn
dough out onto a floured surface, and knead until fairly smooth.
2. In two separate bowls, soak currants in cognac, and raisins in
orange juice. Let each stand for 10 minutes.
3. In a medium-size bowl, mix together currants and raisins with
their soaking liquids, the orange peel, lemon zest, citron, apricots,
and almonds. Work mixture into dough. Continue kneading for
about 10 minutes. If dough is sticky, knead in more flour, but be
careful not to overwork.
4. Place dough in a large buttered bowl. Cover bowl with a kitchen
towel, and let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk,
1 to 2 hours.
5. Punch down the dough, and cut in half. Roll each piece into a
12-by-8-inch rectangle. Brush with melted butter, then fold one
long side to the center. Fold other long side over first side, over-
lapping it by 1 inch. Turn dough over, taper the ends, and place
on parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat for second loaf. Cover
with plastic wrap; let rise again in a warm place, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
6. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake Stollen until golden brown,
about 35 minutes. Cool on wire rack; dust with confectioners’
sugar, and serve.

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Stollen, Holiday, Chocolate-Laced
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