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Christmas Stollen

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Christmas Stollen

Dairy-Free Christmas Stollen.

© 2010 Ashley Skabar, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Stollen is a traditional German cake usually served at Christmas. It's similar to a fruit cake or a rich sweet bread, and it almost always calls for milk and butter in its preparation. This dairy-free version is every bit as rich and festive, and it's so good, no one will know that it was made without dairy!

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 1 large loaf

Ingredients:

  • For the Sponge:
  • 1 packet (1.25 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cups warm (NOT HOT) dairy-free vanilla soy milk
  • 1 T. maple syrup
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • For the Fruit:
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup candied ginger
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/3 cup dark rum
  • 1 T. orange juice
  • For the Dough:
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup soy margarine, softened
  • 3/4 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. ground mace
  • 3 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • For the Filling:
  • 2 T. melted dairy-free soy margarine
  • 3 T. dark brown sugar
  • 2 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup marzipan (optional, but advised)
  • For topping:
  • Powdered sugar

Preparation:

1. Prepare the sponge. In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast, warm vanilla soy milk, maple syrup, and flour, mixing until combined. (The mixture should bubble and froth slightly; if this does not happen, your yeast may be "dead".)Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes in a warm place until the dough is risen and very bubbly.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the fruit. In a small mixing bowl, combine the raisins, candied ginger, and dried apricots. Add the rum and orange juice, mixing to coat well. Allow fruit to soak for 30 minutes. (NOTE: this can also be done several hours ahead of time.)

3. Prepare the dough. Using a kitchen mixer with a dough hook attachment or a wooden spoon and your hands, add the maple syrup, egg, softened soy margarine, salt, and ground mace to the sponge until well combined. Add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the bowl and is neither dry nor sticky. Turn dough out onto a clean work surface and knead for 3-5 minutes, or until elastic and smooth. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let dough rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled.

4. Assemble the loaf. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. On a clean or lightly oiled work surface, turn out the dough and roll into an 8" x 12" oval (approximately). Brush the melted soy margarine over the top of the oval, leaving about 1/8" margin on all sides. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small cup, then sprinkle evenly on top of the melted soy margarine. Spread the marzipan, if using, on top of the sugar mixture, then fold the dough in half lengthwise, pressing lightly around the edges to seal. Place the loaf on the prepared baking sheet, cover loosely with a kitchen towel and let rise for 45 minutes more.

5. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Once cooled, generously coat the loaf in powdered sugar and serve.

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