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I am making stollen for the first time, and discovered I don't have time tonight to bake the dough. It is on its first rise right now. Can I keep the dough refrigerated overnight and complete the preparation in the morning?

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This may be too late for your purposes, but usually yeast doughs can handle resting overnight in the fridge, with some recovery time in the morning. Can't say about your specific dough though! – Jefromi Dec 18 '11 at 6:06
This depends on the yeast amount used. The recipes used by advanced bakers have small amounts of yeast geared towards slower fermentation. Home baking recipes often include ridiculously high amounts of yeast, because 1) old housewives are afraid of the dough not rising due to old yeast, so they err on the side of caution, and 2) home bakers don't have the time for long fermentation. If a recipe is high in yeast, it will exhaust the yeast or even overferment in the fridge, producing unpleasant flavors. Low-yeast recipes can be retarded overnight without problem. – rumtscho Jan 4 '12 at 13:48

Most yeast doughs develop additional flavor complexity if retarded in the refrigerator overnight, and there's nothing about a typical Stollen recipe that would cause anything to undermine retardation.

The only caveats: If you've already let the dough rise for several hours before retarding, there's a chance that you may not have enough food for the yeast to digest when the dough comes back to temperature, and the dough may not rise as much as you'd like. Also, if you've already shaped the dough with the almond paste inside, you'll need to take some care to seal in a bag without deforming the shape, and leave enough room in the refrigerator for the dough and the gases in the bag to expand.

But if you've only let the dough rise for an hour or so, as long as you refrigerate, the eggs won't be a problem, and you aren't likely to risk over-fermentation. In my experience, you usually need about 30-40 minutes time for the dough to become active again, assuming a moderately warm room.

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