Christmas Stollen

Serves 16.

This holiday bread won't bother your calorie conscience as egg substitute is used to keep the fat count down. A very small amount of butter is brushed over the tops of the loaves for flavor.

Serve one loaf hot from the oven and freeze the second loaf to have on hand for breakfast Christmas morning. Wrap the bread tightly in foil before freezing. Heat in a low oven to warm before serving, then sprinkle with powdered sugar.

  • 1 c. nonfat milk

  • ½ c. sugar

  • 2 envelopes active dry yeast

  • ½ c. warm water (105 to 115 degrees)

  • ½ c. nonfat egg substitute (equivalent to 2 eggs)

  • 1 tsp. vanilla

  • 1½ tsp. salt

  • 5 to 6 c. flour, divided

  • Grated zest from 1 lemon

  • 1 c. mixed candied fruit

  • 1 c. golden raisins

  • 1 tbsp. butter, melted, divided

  • Powdered sugar

  • Red candied cherries and pineapple

    Heat milk and sugar in saucepan to scalding, then cool to lukewarm. Combine yeast and warm water in mixing bowl, stirring until yeast is dissolved. Add cooled milk mixture to yeast mixture in mixing bowl. Stir in egg substitute, vanilla and salt. Beat in 3 cups flour and lemon zest. Beat in remaining flour to make soft dough.

    Knead in mixed candied fruit and raisins. Knead about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.

    Place dough in greased bowl and let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch down. Divide dough in half. Roll first half of dough on lightly floured surface into oval about ¼-inch thick. Fold in half lengthwise. Place on greased baking sheet. Brush with half of melted butter. Repeat with second half of dough.

    Cover loaves and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown. Let cool to warm. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and decorate with candied cherries and pineapple.

    Nutrition information per serving:

    Calories254

    Carbohydrates55 g

    Protein6 g

    Fat1 g

    including sat. fat0 g

    Cholesterol2 mg

    Sodium276 mg

    Calcium42 mg

    Dietary fiber2 g

    Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2½ bread/ starch exch., 1 other carb. exch.

    Italy's Panettone

    Serves 10 to 12.

    Adapted from a recipe by Donna Deane.

  • 2 packages active dry yeast

  • ½ c. warm water (105 to 115 degrees)

  • 1/3 c. granulated sugar, divided

  • ¼ c. warm (105 to 115 degrees) milk

  • ½ tsp. salt

  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg

  • 2/3 c. butter or margarine, softened

  • 2 tsp. grated orange zest

  • 1 tsp. vanilla

  • 3¾ c. flour, divided

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 egg yolks

  • ¼ c. Marsala wine

  • ½ c. golden raisins

  • 1/3 c. slivered candied cherries

  • 1/3 c. dried mixed candied fruits

  • ¼ c. pine nuts or slivered almonds

  • Powdered sugar

    Sprinkle yeast over warm water in large bowl of electric mixer. Add 1 teaspoon sugar and let stand until yeast is soft, about 5 minutes. Add remaining sugar, warm milk, salt, nutmeg, butter, orange zest and vanilla. Blend in 2 cups flour, then beat until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Beat in eggs and egg yolks, 1 at a time. Gradually beat in remaining 1¾ cups flour, then beat at medium speed until batter is elastic, about 3 minutes.

    Transfer batter to greased bowl. Cover and let rise in warm place until bubbly, about 1 hour.

    While batter is rising, pour Marsala over raisins in small bowl and set aside.

    Stir batter down, then stir in raisin mixture, cherries, candied fruits and pine nuts until well distributed. Spread batter in well-greased, lightly floured, 9½-to 10-cup charlotte mold (about 7½ inches in diameter and 4 inches deep). Let rise until doubled, 30 to 45 minutes.

    Bake at 325 degrees until bread is well browned and tester inserted in center comes out clean, 1 to 1¼ hours. Let stand in pan on wire rack about 15 minutes, then remove from pan. Transfer bread to rack to cool, rounded side up. Dust with powered sugar while warm.

    Nutrition information per 1/12 serving:

    Calories340

    Carbohydrates47 g

    Protein7 g

    Fat14 g

    including sat. fat7 g

    Cholesterol99 mg

    Sodium200 mg

    Calcium32 mg

    Dietary fiber2 g

    Diabetic exchanges per serving: vegetable exch., fruit exch., 3 bread/ starch exch., other carb. exch. and 3 fat exch.

    Portugal's Bolo-Rei

    Makes 1 loaf.

    Whoever gets the bean or trinket that's in the bread is king for the day and is obliged to make the Bolo-Rei the following year. Adapted from "Breads at the Academy" by the California Culinary Academy.

    Bread:

  • ½ c. candied citrus peel, chopped

  • 3 tbsp. raisins

  • 3 tbsp. pine nuts

  • 1/3 c. plus 2 tbsp. Port

  • 2½ tsp. active dry yeast

  • 1/3 c. plus 2 tbsp. water

  • 3½ c. unbleached flour

  • 1½ tsp. salt

  • 7 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

  • 1/3 c. plus 2 tbsp. sugar

  • Grated zest of 1 lemon

  • Grated zest of 1 orange

  • 3 eggs, beaten

  • 1 dried fava bean or small trinket

    Topping:

  • 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tbsp. water

  • 10 candied cherries

  • 2 segments candied orange peel

  • 2 segments candied lemon peel

  • 2 segments candied lime peel

  • Lump sugar, crushed, for garnish

  • Apricot jam, for glaze

    To prepare bread: Soak citrus peel, raisins and pine nuts in Port overnight or until plump. Sprinkle yeast into water in bowl and let stand 5 minutes. Stir to dissolve.

    Mix flour and salt in large bowl. Make well in center and pour in dissolved yeast. Use wooden spoon to draw enough flour into dissolved yeast to form soft paste. Cover bowl with dish towel and let stand until "sponge" is frothy and slightly risen, about 20 minutes.

    In separate bowl, beat butter with sugar and lemon and orange zests until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, and beat well after each addition. Add mixture to flour mixture and mix in flour from sides to form soft dough. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead until soft, smooth, silky and elastic, about 10 minutes. Knead in dried fruit and pine nuts until evenly distributed.

    Place dough into clean bowl and cover with dish towel. Let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours. Punch down, then let rest 10 minutes. Shape dough into ring and place on buttered baking sheet. Wrap dried fava bean or trinket separately in wax paper. Insert tiny package into bottom of shaped dough. Cover with dish towel and set aside until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

    To prepare topping: Brush dough with egg glaze and decorate with candied fruit and crushed sugar. Bake at 350 degrees 45 minutes until golden. Warm apricot jam in saucepan over low heat until melted, then brush top and sides of bread with jam. Cool on wire rack.

    Nutrition information per 1/16 serving:

    Calories250

    Carbohydrates39 g

    Protein5 g

    Fat7 g

    including sat. fat4 g

    Cholesterol63 mg

    Sodium260 mg

    Calcium21 mg

    Dietary fiber1 g

    Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1½ bread/ starch exch., 1 other carb. exch. and 1½ fat exch.

    Danish Kringle

    Makes 2 coffee cakes.

    Adapted from "Ultimate Bread" by Eric Treuille and Ursula Ferrigno.

  • ½ c. margarine or butter

  • 2 c. flour

  • 1 tbsp. sugar

  • ½ tsp. salt

  • 1 pkg. active dry yeast

  • ¼ c. warm water (105 to 115 degrees)

  • 1 egg

  • ½ c. lukewarm milk (scalded, then cooled)

  • 1 (8-oz.) can almond paste (1 c.)

  • ½ c. packed brown sugar

  • ½ c. margarine or butter, softened
  • 1 c. powdered sugar

  • 1 tbsp. water, or more as needed

  • ½ tsp. maple flavoring or vanilla

  • ¼ c. chopped nuts

    Cut margarine into flour, sugar and salt in large bowl until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir yeast mixture, egg and milk into flour mixture and beat until smooth (dough will be very soft). Cover and refrigerate at least 2 but no longer than 24 hours.

    To make filling, mix together almond paste, brown sugar and margarine until smooth.

    Divide dough into halves. Return 1 half to refrigerator. Roll other half into 15-by 6-inch rectangle on floured, cloth-covered board with floured, stockinet-covered rolling pin.

    Spread half of filling lengthwise down center of rectangle in 3-inch strip. Fold sides of dough over filling with 1½-inch overlap. Pinch edges to seal. Carefully arrange kringle on greased baking sheet in oval or horseshoe shape. Pinch ends together for the former. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover and let rise in warm place 30 minutes.

    Bake at 375 degrees until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.

    To make glaze, mix together powdered sugar, water and maple flavoring or vanilla until smooth. Stir in additional water if necessary, ½ teaspoon at a time. Spread dough with glaze. Sprinkle with nuts.

    Variation: For pecan filling, mix together 1½ c. chopped pecans, 1 c. packed brown sugar and ½ c. margarine or butter, softened until well combined.

    Nutrition information including almond filling and glaze per 1/24 serving:

    Calories203

    Carbohydrates24 g

    Protein3 g

    Fat11 g

    including sat. fat1 g

    Cholesterol9 mg

    Sodium160 mg

    Calcium32 mg

    Dietary fiber1 g

    Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 bread/ starch exch., ½ other carb. exch. and 2 fat exch.