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Dessert Recipes

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!


  1. Beautiful, Lora! I've always wanted to make a's on my list for this month. AND, I just so happen to have mace in my spice cupboard (lonely, neglected, don't remember why I bought it in the first place)... ;)

  2. This is a gorgeous bread, but then you´ve made so many in the last months! I can´t believe I missed last months´ theme. Well, will have to make it up. Your pics are great Lora!

  3. Holy moly! That is nothing short of stunning, Lora! What a gorgeous stollen! I love the picture with the glaze dripping down the sides! Yum! Great theme for december! Can't wait to be back and bake along this month! :)

  4. Great. I'm a fan of Stollen. I've tried mano versions. My favourite istituto with ricotta. I want to try yours.

  5. Wow beautiful! I've made stollen twice, two different recipes and now I must make this one this year. The texture is more like a brioche or challah which I really much prefer than the normal cakier stollen. Beautiful!

  6. I remember this recipe from that magazine! It's been on my list of things to bake too. Thanks for the motivation to give it a try. Yours is gorgeous!

  7. Oh my gahh, Lora..this stollen is gorgeous! You and Jamie need to open a bakery together! OK..I need to pin the heck out of this baby xo

  8. Oh..BTW..loved Martha's Mom..was so sad when I heard she passed.

  9. This stollen is gorgeous! I've never had stollen before but reading about yours makes me want to try it. Lovely! As for mace, I actually purchased some right at re grocery store. It tastes like mild nutmeg and when I haven't had some on hand that's what I've substituted mace with, nutmeg. Love the theme for this month and can't wait to get working on some boozy bread :)

  10. Yay, can't wait to make boozy bread :) I've never had to substitute for mace before but sounds like cardamom or cinnamon (as you did) would work just fine!

  11. I am also dying to make this. The only thing stopping me is finding the citron. I love citron but don't know where to buy it. Where did you get yours?

  12. This stollen (pronounced schtullen when I was growing up) is reminiscent of my childhood. My mom made stollen every Christmas and yours looks so much like hers, VERY YUMMY! Thanks for sharing this delicious treat!

  13. Gorgeous stollen, Lora! I can only imagine how wonderful this smelled while baking!

  14. This loaf of bread is GORGEOUS!

  15. Lora, this is a piece of art work! So beautifully done! I haven't really baked yeasted bread before, but seeing your work is so inspiring! I like to eat this kind of loaf, so I just have to get the courage to try something like this!

  16. Stollen reminds me of growing up; my Dad bought one every Sunday morning on the way home from church. Maybe that helped all of us kids be quiet; knowing we would have a treat when we got home.

    This is lovely...the booze sure doesn't hurt!

  17. I am one of those people who randomly has mace.

    This looks so beautiful, Lora - I can imagine the pillowy fluffy oooh... I am at a loss for words now. Perhaps a weekend project for me!

  18. My husband loves stollen, but I've never tried it. I'm thinking it's time to tackle it. Mace sounds similar to Chinese 5 spice. I don't think I've ever looked for it here, but I will. Hope you are having a wonderful week.

  19. One gorgeous stollen Lora and your photos are just dreamy with goodness from this beautiful braided bread;-) I'm glad you finally got around to attempting this wonderful recipe;-)

  20. Wow, this looks fantastic! I'd love to have this on Christmas morning!!!

  21. I'm intimidated by bread-braiding too, but this looks so delicious...I may have to face down that fear! :D

    Gorgeous work, Lora!

  22. Gorgeous Stollen Lora! It's a wonderful bread the the holiday season we are in, and I should make this for my foreign exchange student since she is from Germany!

  23. Every year after Christmas I think I need to make stollen and then conveniently forget until after Christmas. Your stollen is gorgeous! I don't think I've ever seen mace in the stores, not that I've looked through.

  24. As always, gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous!!
    I don't know what mace even looks like so I'll take the pepper and cinnamon combo! :)

  25. Beautiful braiding, beautiful loaf. I've never used mace but I have seen it in the stores around here.

  26. Beautiful Stollen Lora! I am always in awe of your bread making prowess! I wish I had the time to make bread - I guess I need to set aside time. Lovely!!!

  27. What a beautiful loaf Lora! You make it look very simple!!

  28. Gorgeous! I will go for this any day of the week - perfect for the holidays.

  29. That is quite a hunk of deliciousness you have there ;)

  30. I think I'm going to have dreams of this beautiful loaf. It's like challah on Crack (yes, you can put that quote on the back of your book ;-))

  31. What a temptingly gorgeous loaf, and perfect timing for the holidays. You can order mace online from Penzeys
    though I'm tempted to use Penzeys Apple Pie Spice mix instead. It is a fragrant and tasty blend of mace, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

  32. This came out beautifully Lora! Perfect for the holidays :)

  33. i was the looking for the same and related info, what you describe on your article. And found you through google search. Its helps me a lots and i understood that you are one of skill article writer/ blogger. I have book marked your blog and hope to visit again to learn more. Thanks for your valuable efforts and time.

  34. What a gorgeous stollen! Itlooks lovely and light, Ive found stollen to be quite heavy although I always love it!

  35. If you are still looking for mace, Penzys Spices carries it. They have a few retail outlets across the country, but are mainly a mail order catalog. No affiliation, just like their spices and tho't I'd share the thought.