Mrs. Kostyra’s Christmas Stollen-#TwelveLoaves December

I’ve been dreaming of making this Christmas stollen since I saw it in Martha Stewart Living magazine in 2009. It’s Martha’s mother’s recipe and it looked like it was a good one.

What stopped me from making it year after year? Was it the mace? Was it the braids? I’m thinking it simply had to do with my not taking the time to see what mace is and how it could be substituted.  It also was because I didn’t want to try to tackle making pretty braids. This year I had no qualms about braiding the loaves and I also had no issues with completely omitting the elusive mace. I still have not come across it any of my spice shopping ventures. I found this on wikipedia: Mace is often preferred in light dishes for the bright orange, saffron-like hue it impart. Mace’s strong aroma is similar to a combination of pepper & cinnamon. Do you ever bake or cook with mace and how do you substitute it?


Cheers! It’s a month filled with glorious holidays. We wanted to celebrate with: December- Boozy Bread!

Bake a bread, yeast or quick bread (*did you know a coffee cake is considered a quick bread? You can read about it here), loaf or individual: baked with or even topped with your favorite holiday spirit! You can bake with an extract or a boozy like substitution.  It’s your bread…we want you to have fun with the idea! December is all about holiday baking and I’m sure you have a holiday bread that would be lovely with a kick of booze for December-go on and get baking!:)

Check out Barb’s beautiful Gingerbread Kahlua Date Nut Bread and Jamie’s  delightful Glazed Orange Cointreau Quick Bread. *Jamie’s bread link will appear here soon-stay tuned!

Just follow the rules, it’s as easy as pie:
1. When you post your Twelve Loaves bread on your blog, make sure that you mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your post and mention and  link back to this blog post; this helps us to get more members as well as share everyone’s posts. Please make sure that your Bread is inspired by the theme! This is obligatory if you would like your link to be included!
2. Please link your post to the linky tool at the bottom of my blog. It must be a bread baked to the Twelve Loaves theme.
3. Have your Twelve Loaves bread that you baked this December, 2012 posted on your blog by December 31, 2012.

Do you tweet? We sure do!

Follow @TwelveLoaves on Twitter

See what’s freshly baked for #TwelveLoaves : @TwelveLoaves on Twitter 

Chat with the bakers this December! Lora @cakeduchess , Barb @creativculinary , Jamie @lifesafeast .
It’s been a pleasure #BreakingBread with you since I launched this Breaking Bread Society (now Twelve Loaves) this past May.

Check out what we have been busy baking!

May theme: Focaccia
June theme: Corn Rolls
July theme: Challah
August theme: Summer Fruit
September: Say CHEESE!
October: Seeds, nuts and grains
November: Autumn Fruits: Apples and Pears

I’ve submitted this yummy bread to Susan at Wild Yeast Blog .
Also submitting this to  BYOB bread baking event hosted by:

 –Heather from girlichef
Connie from My Discovery of Bread

November was an incredible bread baking month filled with delicious breads and autumn fruits: Apples and Pears!. We had 18 incredible autumn breads link up. Thank you for baking with us again!! Check out all the fabulous November recipes here!

“Chock-full of dried fruit, almonds, and spices, the German stollen is a dense bread that is traditionally oblong, symbolizing a swaddled infant. The history of stollen dates to 15th-century Dresden, where the first German Christmas market was held (a festival still honors it each year). The bread has evolved since then, gradually becoming richer and sweeter. In this version, a recipe from Martha’s mother, Martha Kostyra, pieces of the dough are braided, letting drizzles of the icing pool in the baked loaf ‘s twists and turns.”

Martha Stewart Living, December 2009


some notes on this stollen: December boozy theme was a fun one for me.   I had quite a few ideas in mind and they were all Christmas related. I knew it was time to finally try Martha’s Stewart’s mother’s Christmas stollen. I’d been wanting to make it since I saw it in the 2009 December issue. This was year was the year to bake this beautiful Christmas bread. I’ve already shown you two stollens here since I started my blog: the first one and the second one. The one I made last year had a funny story with it because I swayed from a recipe I was comfortable with to try a Cooking Light recipe and it just did not turn out well for me. I didn’t give up and tried again with the first recipe that was successful for me the year before and had much better results. 
The dough with this recipe was very easy to work with and if you don’t have Cognac on hand you can substitute it with even brandy. I used a plum brandy the second time I made it. If you aren’t into baking with alcohol, you can just soak the raisins in orange juice and it will still be absolutely wonderful. The bread was soft and smelled incredible while it was baking. The glaze gave it a little extra sweetness and it was not overpowering. My dad told me today that he’s ready for me to bake another one and I told him I would work on it this week. The kids loved it…I loved it. I’d still like to get my hands on some mace and try this recipe again. 😉 This is a recipe that will be made here every year for Christmas.

Mrs. Kostyra’s Christmas Stollen
yield: makes 2 braided loaves

5 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for surface and more if needed
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground mace (I used cinnamon instead)
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup whole milk, warmed
5 ounces (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast (from two 1/4-ounce envelopes), dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
7 1/2 ounces golden raisins (1 1/2 cups), soaked in 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
5 ounces dried currants (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons), soaked in 1/4 cup Cognac
5 ounces blanched almonds (1 cup), coarsely chopped
4 ounces diced candied citron (2/3 cup)
2 ounces diced candied orange peel (1/3 cup)
2 ounces diced dried apricots (1/3 cup)
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Vegetable oil, for bowl

3 cups confectioners’ sugar
5 tablespoons whole milk


Whisk together flour, granulated sugar, salt, mace, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Stir in milk and melted butter. Add dissolved yeast and the eggs. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth.
Drain raisins and currants. Add raisins, currants, almonds, citron, orange peel, apricots, and lemon zest to dough, and continue kneading until incorporated, about 10 minutes. If dough is sticky, knead in more flour.

Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, 1 to 2 hours.

Punch down dough, divide into 6 even pieces, and 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 with plastic, and let rise until doubled in volume, about 2 hours more.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake stollen until golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Beat together confectioners’ sugar and milk. Drizzle stollen with icing just before serving.

Happy Baking!

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