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(Braided Coffee-cake)

Grandma's Stollen was one of her very special productions. The dough was always beaten, at great length, using her bare hand and beating in only one direction. She was sure that this procedure made the dough strong and very light. The Christmas Stollen had candied fruit added to the dough, but Stollen was also made without fruit, and just decorated with almonds. The following recipe has been adapted for use with a KitchenAid Mixer.

Oven: 335-350 F

7 C. flour

1 C. sugar

½ lb. butter, softened

2 pkg. dry yeast

6 eggs (grade AA large. Should be 1 1/3 C. eggs)

½ tsp. Mace

2 tsp. salt

Grated rind of one lemon

1 ½ C. milk, lukewarm

Optional: 3/4 1½ Cups finely chopped candied fruit, mixed with "golden"' raisins

1 beaten egg for glaze

1 C. blanched almonds to decorate outside.

1 .In the large KitchenAid bowl, starting with mixing paddle: dissolve yeast in milk, add 2 Cups flour and ¼ Cup sugar to make a sponge. Mix and let stand while assembling other ingredients. (About 15 min.) 2 . Add eggs, butter, lemon rind, 1 Cup flour, 3/4 Cup sugar, salt and Mace; mix till smooth. 3 . Add fruit. 4 . Add remaining flour, 1 Cup at a time, changing to dough hook when the mixture becomes too stiff for the paddle. 5 . Knead for about 15 min., or until dough is smooth and shiny, scraping sides of bowl when necessary. If it is sticky because of the moisture in the fruit, add a little more flour. Dough will be soft, so don't add too much more flour. (If moisture in fruit makes dough sticky, add a little more flour.

6 . Put into large greased bowl to rise in warm place, about 2 hours, or till doubled. 7 . Turn out on floured board, cut into 4 pieces. (Knead a little flour into each if dough is too soft. 8 . Cut each piece into 3, roll each section into a short rope about 1 ½ -2 inches in diameter and about 9 inches long. 9 . Lay these 3 side by side, pinch together at one end, and gently braid, loosely, just a few crossings. 10 . Transfer to cookie-sheet (either greased or non-stick.) 11 . Repeat with the other 3 pieces, putting each finished braid on a separate cookie sheet. 12 . Allow to rise till nearly double. (Additional rising will take place in oven.) 13 . Brush with beaten egg, decorate with halves of blanched almonds, and bake at 335-350 o for 25-30 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.



TO BLANCH ALMONDS : Put 1 Cup shelled almonds into pan, cover with hot water, bring to boil. Turn off heat, allow to stand for 5-10 minutes. Drain hot water off and cover almonds with cold water, letting them stand for a few more minutes. Skins will readily slip off when pinched. Split each almond in half; otherwise they are too bulky, do not cling to the dough as well, and are too hard to cut through after Stollen is baked.




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Last updated December 12, 2008