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Kohlman: Spiced stollen swirl buns

The holiday season is all about slowing down and enjoying your favourite foods.

For some, this is a massive plate of sliced turkey snuggled up to stuffing and mashed potatoes, with gravy poured over the whole deal. These same folks have also been known to raid the refrigerator late at night, assembling turkey buns to be enjoyed in a quiet house, with only the glow of the Christmas tree to keep them company.

Others eat their weight in expensive cheese and chocolate. The panettone lovers nibble on slices every chance they get; the same goes for those with an affection for fruit cake.

While I have deep fondness for all of these things (except the fruit cake), I quite love something sweet and yeasted to munch on while I sip my morning coffee which has been spiked with Baileys.

For the last couple of years I’ve started my own tradition of whipping up a batch of Overnight Spiced Stollen Swirl Buns during those lazy days between Christmas and New Year’s. The recipe is by Aimée Wimbush-Bourque from her award-winning cookbook The Simple Bites Kitchen. It’s a book I reach for again and again in my own kitchen when I want creative takes on comfort food.

These buns have all of the classic flavours of stollen, and are quite impressive when shared with your nearest and dearest. I prepare the buns in the evening, let them hang out in the fridge overnight, then bake them off in the morning after they’ve risen. Baked until golden, they are quite wonderful when served for a lazy brunch.

Because the holidays are so different for so many this year, perhaps delivering some of these buns to your neighbours and loved ones would be a grand way to share a little bit of Christmas spirit.

Overnight Spiced Stollen Swirl Buns

2/3 cup 2% milk

2 tsp active dry yeast

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided

1/2 cup unsweetened dried cranberries

3 Tbsp candied orange peel

1 Tbsp rum

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened, divided

3/4 cup raw cane sugar (or granulated sugar), divided

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground allspice

1/2 cup slivered almonds

Powdered sugar, for dusting

1. Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until scalded, then cool to wrist warm or around 110 F. Pour into a medium bowl and whisk in the yeast. Let stand for five minutes to activate the yeast. Beat in 1/2 cup of the flour, then cover the bowl with a tea towel and let stand in a warm place while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

2. In the same saucepan, combine the dried cranberries, candied orange peel and rum. Warm gently, then turn off the heat and let soak.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream 1/2 cup of the soft butter with 1/2 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the salt and cardamom. Tip in the yeast sponge and add 1/2 cup of the flour. Mix on low speed until the dough comes together.

4. Switch to the dough hook and add the remaining 2 1/4 cups flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing on low speed until a soft dough forms. Knead on low speed for five minutes. Remove the dough hook, cover the dough with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place for one hour or until doubled in size.

5. On a lightly floured counter, roll out the dough to a 12- x 16-inch rectangle. Spread the remaining 1/4 cup soft butter in an even layer over the dough, going right to the edges. Mix the remaining 1/4 cup sugar with cinnamon and allspice, then sprinkle evenly over the butter. Evenly scatter slivered almonds and soaked fruit over the buttered dough. Starting from a short end, tightly roll the dough into a log. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 12 buns, each 1 inch thick. Gently reshape them into rounds if they get overly squashed.

6. Butter two 13- x 18-inch rimmed baking sheets. Place six buns on each sheet and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

7. In the morning, allow the buns to rise in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size. You can do this step in the oven, with the oven turned off but the oven light turned on. If you do this, make sure to remove them before preheating the oven.

8. Preheat the oven to 350 F and position the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Remove plastic wrap and bake buns for 22-24 minutes, rotating once, until golden brown. Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm.

Note: If you want to skip the overnight part, you can always do the second rise after the shaping and bake them right away.

Excerpted from

The Simple Bites Kitchen: Nourishing Whole Food Recipes for Every Day by Aimée Wimbush-Bourque. Copyright © 2017 by Aimée Wimbush-Bourque. Published by Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.


Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020

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