This classic Christmas Stollen recipe is buttery and rich, making it the ideal holiday dessert. This German stollen is perfect for gift-giving or simply snacking on with a cup of coffee because of its generous filling of rum-soaked raisins, candied fruit, and almonds. This marzipan stollen, full of flavor and moisture, is a wonderful addition to your upcoming Christmas feast.
Making a few stollen loaves in advance can take the pressure off during the holiday season. Due to its long storage life, this traditional German bread is ideal for the winter holidays. The bread can be baked in advance and given as presents or used as a snack for guests.
To top it all off, stollen improves in taste the longer you let it age. Originally a dry and hard bread, stollen has evolved over the years into a soft, sweet, and buttery treat.
Materials Required for This Recipe
- Candies, raisins, lemon zest, almonds, and marzipan make up the stollen filling. If you want authentic stollen flavor, don’t forget the filling!
- Yeast: check the expiration date before using it. Using a fresh packet is the best way to avoid making dense stollen.
- Rum: soaking the stollen’s fillings in rum helps keep the bread from drying out, and it also helps the raisins plump up. If you skip the soaking step, the surrounding dough will absorb all the moisture and become dry.
- When it comes to butter, make sure you get unsalted and not salted. Take the butter out of the fridge early to allow it to come to room temperature. When touched, the butter should give slightly.
- Sugar for coating the loaves, also known as confectioners’ sugar. You can learn how to make your own confectioners’ sugar by reading my previous post if you don’t have any.
For the Soaked Fruit:
- ▢1½ cups raisins (240g)
- ▢1 cup candied fruit (240g)
- ▢⅓ cup dark rum (80ml)
For the Dough:
- ▢1 cup warm milk (110-120F/240ml)
- ▢1 packet active dry yeast (.25-ounce/7g)
- ▢4 cups all-purpose flour divided (480g)
- ▢10 tablespoons unsalted butter cubed and room temperature (142g)
- ▢⅓ cup granulated sugar (66g)
- ▢1 large egg
- ▢2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ▢1 teaspoon salt
- ▢1¼ teaspoons ground cardamom
- ▢1 teaspoon ground mace
- ▢Zest of 1 lemon
For the Filling & Topping:
- ▢½ cup slivered almond chopped (60g)
- ▢7 ounces marzipan or almond paste (198g)
- ▢3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and divided
- ▢confectioners’ sugar
STOLLEN: HOW TO MAKE IT
- Put the raisins, candied orange peel, and rum in a bowl of a decent size. While you’re working on the dough, cover it and let it soak.
- Before adding the flour, butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, salt, cardamom, and mace to a mixer, activate the yeast by mixing warm milk with the yeast. Beat the ingredients with the paddle attachment at a medium-low speed until the dough is smooth and combined.
- Rather than using the paddle, swap in the dough hook. Blend in the lemon zest and the remaining 3 cups of flour. To make a smooth and soft dough, mix on low speed for several minutes. The dough needs to be covered and left to rise until it has doubled in size.
- Mix the fruit and almonds together on low speed until the fruit is just combined, then add it to the risen dough. To prevent the dough from sticking to your hands or the surface, turn it out onto the floured surface and knead a few times.
- Cut the dough in half and roll each piece into an oval about 7 by 11 inches. Form the marzipan into two logs, every 10 inches in length, and place one down the middle of each dough oval.
- Gently press along the seam to seal the marzipan and then fold the other long side of the dough over to meet the other side. Allow the dough to rise for 30 to 45 minutes, or until it has doubled in size.
- Bake the stollen for 35 minutes, or until the exterior is golden brown after being brushed with 1 tablespoon of melted butter.
- After 20 minutes, transfer the stollens to a cooling rack and brush with the remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Powdered sugar (also known as confectioners’ sugar) should be liberally applied to the tops of the loaves. Cool completely after you’ve patted the sugar onto the crust. After the bread has cooled, dust the entire thing, including the bottom, with confectioners’ sugar and pat to help it stick.
HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE LIKE A PRO
- Chopped dried or candied fruit of your choice would be delicious in this stollen. Chopped dried fruits such as apricots, cranberries, dates, and cherries are just a few options.
- If you want to make individual loaves to give as presents, cut the dough in half. Shape the marzipan into logs that are about an inch shorter in length than the ovals you made from the quarters. Proceed as directed, but after 20 minutes, check to see if the loaves are done. How long it takes depends on how big your loaves are.
- Chopped pecans or walnuts can stand in for the almonds if you don’t have any on hand.
- Your dough’s rising time will vary depending on how warm your kitchen is. In a cool kitchen, the dough will rise more slowly. The sweet spot is between 75 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Put your stollen dough in an unlit oven if your kitchen is particularly chilly.
- Milk should be between 110 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit; any higher and the yeast will die, and any lower and the yeast won’t activate.
- Always use a double dusting of powdered sugar. Because of how warm the loaves are, the first dusting will melt, and the second will cover the entire loaf.
- Use the right amount of flour. Most pieces of bread turn out dry and dense because too much flour was added to the dough.
- Using a scale to measure flour is the most accurate and convenient method.
- When the stollen is done baking, it will sound hollow when knocked on the bottom.
- The rum-soaked fruits are inside a stollen loaf that has been sliced open.
HOW LONG DOES IT STAY GOOD FOR? Where should I put it?
If stored tightly wrapped and chilled for up to three weeks after baking, this stollen recipe improves with time. As the bread soaks up the liquid from the soaked fruit filling, it will become slightly more moist and flavorful.
HOW ABOUT WE FREEZE THIS?
Freezing stollen bread is an excellent idea if you don’t think you’ll be able to consume both loaves before they go stale. This is perfect for making in advance and storing for the holidays. The bread should be allowed to cool completely before being wrapped tightly in plastic and frozen for up to three months without being dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Butter the bread and dust it with powdered sugar right before serving if frozen.
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