STOLLEN (Christmas Tea Ring)  

Servings: 2 rings

1/2 cup warm water
2 pkg. active dry yeast
3/4 cup lukewarm milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup shortening
2 eggs
4 1/2 to 5 cups flour
1 cup walnuts

Soak yeast in warm water for 5 minutes. Pour lukewarm milk over sugar and salt in bowl. Beat in shortening, eggs and softened yeast. Beat in 1 cup flour. Add remaining flour to make a soft dough. When dough leaves sides of bowl, turn out onto lightly floured board. Knead until dough becomes smooth and elastic.
Place in lightly greased bowl. Grease top of dough and cover with waxed paper. Allow to rise in warm place (80 – 85 degrees) until doubled in bulk (1 – 1 1/2 hours).
Divide dough into two portions. Roll each into a 7 X 16 inch oblong. Spread with soft butter, sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon and nuts.
Roll up as for cinnamon rolls. Start with long side, seal edges, place sealed edge down in circle on greased baking sheet. Seal edges together. Cut 2/3 of way into ring at 1 inch intervals.
Let rise until doubled (35 – 40 minutes). Bake at 375 degrees F. for 20 – 25 minutes. Frost.