Dear Jeanne: I have been making this Christmas Stollen for my family since 1955. It's time for a low-fat revision. Can you do it? It's so delicious! Thank you. — Jean Pettit, Sun City West, Ariz.

Dear Jean: How nice to have this freshly baked treat during the holidays. I hope you like the revision. My tasters found it delicious. For those of you who don't like candied fruit, you can leave it out. I added the fruit and raisins before refrigerating, and I found no difference in the end result. I also find the dough easier to work with if it has "rested" before rolling it out. Enjoy!


BASIC DOUGH

1 cup milk

5 cups unsifted flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup margarine

2 packages dry yeast

1/2 cup warm water

1 egg

Scald milk; cool to lukewarm. Combine flour, sugar, salt. Cut in margarine very finely. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add yeast, milk and egg to flour mixture. Beat till well-mixed. Cover tightly. Refrigerate overnight.


CHRISTMAS STOLLEN

1 cup raisins

3/4 cup chopped candied mixed fruit

3/4 cup chopped blanched almonds

2 1/4 teaspoons lemon rind

Basic dough

Melted margarine

Mix raisins, fruit, nuts, lemon rind; knead into dough. Divide dough into thirds. Roll dough into 11-by-7-inch ovals. Brush with margarine. Fold in half lengthwise and form a crescent on a greased baking sheet; brush with margarine. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees, about 30 minutes. Cool.

Frost with confectioner's-sugar icing; decorate with almonds, citron and candied cherries. Makes 3 Stollen.


LOW-FAT CHRISTMAS STOLLEN

1 cup low-fat (1 percent) milk

2 packages active dry yeast

1/2 cup warm water

5 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup cold butter

1 egg

1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk

1 cup raisins

3/4 cup candied mixed fruit

1/3 cup chopped blanched almonds

2 1/4 teaspoons grated lemon rind

1 tablespoon melted butter

Icing

1 cup powdered sugar

1 to 2 tablespoons water

1/4 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, scald the milk (bring the milk to the point where little bubbles form around the edges). Remove from the heat and cool to lukewarm.

2. In a small bowl or cup, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Cut the butter in very finely (using fingertips or a pastry blender to blend into the flour mixture until you cannot see any more large pieces).

4. In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg with a fork; add the buttermilk and stir.

5. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Pour the cooled milk, the yeast and the egg mixture into the well. Beat until well-mixed. Add the raisins, mixed fruit, chopped almonds and lemon rind. Knead together until the fruit and nuts are distributed throughout. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.

6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and divide into thirds. Roll each third into an 11-by-7-inch oval. Brush with the melted butter and fold in half lengthwise to form a crescent. Place on a baking sheet that has been coated with nonstick spray. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled. (This could take a while, as the dough needs to warm up to enable the yeast to grow). Check it after 45 minutes, and every 15 minutes after that, until it has doubled. Bake at 350 F for about 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool; then mix the powdered sugar, water and extract of choice together to make an icing that is spreadable and will not drip off the Stollen. Frost with the icing and decorate with almonds, citron and candied cherries. Makes 3 Stollen (30 servings).

Each of 30 servings contains approximately: Original Recipe: 233 calories; 10 gm fat; 7 mg cholesterol; 171 mg sodium; 33 gm carbohydrates; 4 gm protein; 1 gm fiber. Revised Recipe: 155 calories; 3 gm fat; 12 mg cholesterol; 70 mg sodium; 28 gm carbohydrates; 3 gm protein; 1 gm fiber.


You can have lots of fun experimenting with the many different sizes and shapes of pasta available. My booklet "Pasta — Everyone's Favorite Food" is full of recipes for many different pasta varieties. To order, send $3 (check or money order) and a stamped (57 cents), self-addressed, No. 10 envelope to Pasta, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475.

Jeanne Jones is a consultant on menu planning, recipes and new-product development for major hotels and spas. She is also the author of 32 cookbooks, most recently "Jeanne Jones' Homestyle Cooking Made Healthy" (Rondale Press, $27.95). Send your recipe for revision to: Cook It Light, (Deseret News), P.O. Box 1212, La Jolla, CA 92038. Please include a stamped (55 cents), self-addressed envelope. © King Features Syndicate Inc.