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Fancy Bread Champion
Honey Date Stollen

Joyce Taylor, Enterprise, Kansas

5- 5 1/4 cups bread flour, divided
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1/3 cup sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
1½ cups milk
½ cup butter
2 eggs, beaten
1½ tablespoons grated orange peel
¼ cup fresh orange juice

Date Filling:
1 cup chopped dates
½ cup honey
½ cup water
¼ cup lemon juice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup finely chopped pecans

Glaze:
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon orange juice

In large bowl, mix together 2 cups flour, yeast, sugar and salt.

Heat milk and butter to 125°F. Add to dry ingredients and beat 3 minutes on medium speed. Let rest 5 minutes.

Add eggs, orange peel and juice. Gradually add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough.

Knead by hand or with hook 10-12 minutes.

Place in lightly greased bowl, turn to coat top. Cover, let rise in an 80°-85°F place until double.

Meanwhile, prepare date filling. In small saucepan, simmer the dates, honey, and water, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until the juice evaporates. Stir in the lemon juice, cinnamon and pecans. Let cool.

Punch down dough. Divide into thirds. Cover, let rest 10 minutes.

Roll each piece of dough into a 9 x 11-inch rectangle.

Leaving ½-inch at each end, spread the middle third with one-third of the date filling. Cut dough along each side of filling into l-inch strips. Starting at one end, fold strips at an angle across filling, alternating from side-to-side.

Place on greased baking sheets. Cover, let rise in an 80°-85°F place until double. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven 20 minutes.

Combine glaze ingredients and brush on breads. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until golden brown. Place on wire rack; cool.

Drizzle with icing made by combining 1½ cups powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon butter-flavored shortening, ½ teaspoon vanilla and about 2 tablespoons hot milk.

Garnish with sliced almonds and maraschino cherries. Makes 3 stollens.

Nutrient Analysis. One serving provides 111 calories, 2 g protein, 16 g carbohydrates, 5 g fit, 23 mg cholesterol, 1 g dietary fiber, 23 mg calcium, 95 mg potassium, and 98 mg sodium.

Variation:
Cream cheese filling: Stir together 4 ounces cream cheese and 2 tablespoons powdered sugar. Spread the middle third with one-third of the cream cheese mixture to within ½ -inch of each end, then top with one-third of the date filling. Continue with shaping and baking instructions. Store this cheese-filled bread in the refrigerator.

Examples of high-protein bread flours are Hudson Cream, Gold Medal Better for Bread Flour, Wall-Rogalsky (W-R) Bread Flour.