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Holiday Stollen

3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 packets active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
4 to 5 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 1/2 cups dried currants
1/2 cup chopped candied citron
1/2 cup chopped candied lemon peel
1/2 cup chopped candied cherries
Grated lemon rind of 1 lemon
1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
Confectioners' sugar

Scald the milk over medium heat; then stir in the sugar and salt.
Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. In large mixing
bowl, dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water; then stir in the
1 cup flour. Gradually pour in the scalded milk mixture; then
mix until blended. Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel and
let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk.

When the sponge has risen, add the eggs, softened butter, 4 cups
flour, and the nutmeg, and mix well. Fold in the currants, chopped
candied fruits, grated lemon rind, and nuts. Remove the dough to
a floured board and knead until the dough is very elastic. Add a
bit of flour, if necessary, to keep the dough from sticking.

Remove the dough to a buttered mixing bowl and brush the surface
with some of the melted butter. Cover the bowl with the towel and
let the dough rise again until doubled in bulk. Punch down the
dough and divide it into two equal portions. Roll each half into
a rounded rectangle about 1/2 inch thick, and brush the surface
with the remaining melted butter. Fold the dough over lengthwise,
not quite in half, and place on a lightly greased baking sheet.
Cover the loaves with the towel and let rise again until doubled
in bulk.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Bake the loaves about 50 minutes, or
until they are nicely browned. Remove the loaves to wire racks
and cool to room temperature. Just before serving, dust with
confectioners' sugar. Serve sliced with soft butter. Makes 2


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