Monday, December 19, 2011

Not Stollen, Shared!

Photo and recipe courtesy of Crescent Dragonwagon

We learn sharing as children, but as we get older sometimes we forget that it's the nice thing to do! Author Crescent Dragonwagon shares this delicious stollen recipe, braided and folded-- sugared and spiced, it's a holiday bread that inspires memories. Many of you remember her from The Dairy Hollow House in Eureka Springs, a favorite restaurant for many and a memorable stay for those who had the pleasure of visiting the Arkansas Inn. Nowadays, Crescent resides in Vermont and stays busy with gardening, cooking and  writing new cookbooks. Her latest,  Bean by Bean, has more than 200 Recipes for fresh beans, dried beans, cool Beans, hot Beans, savory Beans...and even sweet beans! Thanks so much Crescent for sharing this great recipe for the holidays!

Shared in Relish magazine, this stollen says Christmas!
8 cardamom pods
1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk, scalded
1/2 cup yellow raisins
1 cup dried cherries
3 tablespoons dark rum or orange juice
2 (.25-ounce) packages active dry yeast
¼ cup warm water
1/3 cup sugar, divided
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
½ cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into 8 pieces
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
1 egg
2 egg yolks
½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
10 ounces almond paste
½ cup salted butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1. Place cardamom pods in a small bowl. Add hot milk. Let stand 10 minutes.
2. Combine raisins and cherries with rum. Let stand.
3. Combine yeast, warm water and 1 teaspoon sugar. Set aside until mixture foams, about 10 minutes.
4. Remove cardamom pods from milk. Squeeze pods open. Scrape small black seeds into milk. Discard pods. Stir milk into yeast mixture. Add 1 cup flour; beat well. Cover this mixture (called the “sponge”) with plastic wrap; let rise 30 minutes.
5. As the sponge rises, place 2 cups flour and butter in the bowl of a food processor. Add salt and remaining sugar. Pulse 6 or 8 times.
6. Drain fruits, reserving soaking liquid. When the sponge is ready, add it to the processor; add lemon rind, egg and egg yolks, and soaking liquid from dried fruits. Process 20 or 30 seconds, until dough is thoroughly mixed. Then, with a few quick pulses, mix in fruits, almonds, and remaining ½ cup flour. Scrape dough, which will be quite tender, into a large oiled bowl, and refrigerate overnight.
7. In the morning, punch dough down, and divide into thirds. On a heavily floured board, gently pull and pat each portion of dough into a 10 x 14-inch oval. Divide almond paste into thirds. Cover half of each oval, the long way, with bits of almond paste, patting with your hands (don’t worry about getting it neat). Fold the other half of the dough over it, enclosing almond paste and making a pastry that is a plump half oval.
8. Gently transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets, shaping if necessary. Let rise until dough is puffy, though not quite doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
9. Preheat oven to 350F.
10. Bake 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Using 2 spatulas, transfer to a wire rack; cool about 10 minutes.
11. Towards then end of baking time, place ½ cup butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. When butter melts, lower heat and let butter cook until browned and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Don’t stir the butter as it browns, but you can shake the pan a little.
12. Spoon browned butter over the tops. Sift powdered sugar generously over tops. Let cool at least 20 minutes, until sugar sets slightly. Serve, in thin slices, slightly warm or at room temperature. Makes 3 stollens (10 servings each).
Note: Make stollens ahead, wrap well and freeze up to one month.

You might not know this, but Dragonwagon has the distinction of having prepared beans and cornbread for a  President (Bill Clinton), titled royalty (Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia), a world-renowned feminist (Betty Friedan) and Marilyn Monroe's first biographer (Maurice Zolotow)! She teaches two writing workshops from various locations, Deep Feast: Writing the World through Food and Fearless Writing. This coming year Deep Feast Writing Workshops are planned in Seattle on Saturday, March 10, 2012, 11-5:00pm and in Boston Saturday, February 18, 2012, 11-5:00pm.


  1. Oh yum! that does look good. I'd have to make mine gluten free and may try it with my gf flour.

  2. Joycee
    Thanks for the stollen recipe. I remember Cresent's first cookbook from eons ago. I have to admit I
    don't have much luck with anything containing yeast. I somehow kill it
    Happy Holidays-Kimberly

  3. Looks like a great alternative to fruit cake, which I've never acquired a taste for. And this one looks much better as well! Richard

  4. Ya just gotta love a confessed criminal!!! Heeehehehe!!!

    Thanks for the great steals sweetie!

    God bless ya and have a marvelous day!!!

  5. Never tasted stollen. Hmmmmmm!
    Merry Christmas
    TTFN ~

  6. That LOOKS awesome, Joycee...I can smell it here!...:)JP

  7. I love it - but have to admit that I buy mine!

  8. I could screw this us big time! Actually, I wouldn't even try it, I'm not that brave.


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