A Christmas stollen is called Weihnachtsstollen in Germany.
So, what is a Christmas stollen?
A Christmas stollen is a kind of fruit bread that’s traditionally offered during Christmas time in Germany. It tastes best if it has time to age, meaning if you want to have it ready by Christmas, you should try to make it four weeks before hand. To store it, simply wrap it in aluminum foil and keep it in your pantry.
What do I need before starting?
To bake a stollen, you can either form it in a loaf-like shape or use a baking ring or a special baking pan called Stollen-Backhaube. If you can’t find the stollen form, you could also use as an alternative a loaf baking pan.
NOTE: If you’re going to use the loaf pan or Stollen-Backhaube, make sure to place the pans with the open end onto the baking sheet (upside-down).
(Click the picture to enlarge.)
Christmas Stollen Recipe
- 400 g (14 oz) of all-purpose flour
- 2 packages of dry yeast
- 1/8 l of lukewarm milk
- 200 g (7 oz) of melted butter
- 100 g (3.5 oz) of sugar
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 egg
- 100 g (3.5 oz) of marzipan
- 250 g (9 oz) of raisins
- 50 g (1.75 oz) of diced lemon peel candied
- 50 g (1.75 oz) of diced orange peel candied
- 3 to 4 tablespoons of rum
- 100 g (3.5 oz) of blanched chopped almonds
- 50 g (1.75 oz) of melted butter
- 50 g (1.75 oz) of powered sugar
Mix raisins, lemon peel, and orange peel. Let it soak in rum overnight.
With a spoon, mix sifted flour with sugar, salt, and yeast. Add the egg, melted butter (melt in microwave for about 50 sec) and lukewarm milk (warm in microwave for about 20 sec). Mix it all together and start kneading with your hands until the dough is smooth. Cover with a towel and let the dough rise for about one hour.
Add the marzipan (or substitute with almond paste), soaked fruit, and almonds to the dough and knead again. Let it rise for another hour.
(NOTE: It’s very important to give the dough enough time to rise, because with all the ingredients it becomes a very heavy dough.)
Knead your dough again and either form a loaf or use one of the other possibilities described at the top of the page. If your dough still sticky, powder your hands with flour to form the loaf. Cover a baking sheet covered with 2 to 3 layers of baking paper (parchment paper) before you place your stollen on it.
Preheat your oven to about 160°C (325°F). Place the stollen on the rack just above the middle one. Bake for about 70 minutes. (NOTE: If you have the dough in a stollen baking pan or in a loaf pan, make sure to take the pan off after about 45 minutes baking time. Also, check that the open side of the pan is down on the baking sheet.)
After your Christmas stollen is finished baking, brush the loaf while it’s warm with 50 g (1.75 oz) of melted butter. Immediately after brushing, sift the powdered sugar over it. Let it cool down. Then, wrap the stollen in an aluminium foil and store it in your pantry for about 4 weeks. That’s the appropriate amount of time for it to age. Therefore, if you want to have a stollen for Christmas, you should make it around Thanksgiving time. Enjoy!