Perhaps one of the most well-known Christmas breads. It dates back to the 15th century.
Stollen is a traditional German festive bread. Filled with dried fruit and nuts. Flavoured with nutmeg, orange, and cardamom. And a whole log of marzipan running through the middle. These is a lot going on, but it all works together well making this bread super delicious.
More dense than other breads because of all the ingredients weighing it down. It contains more dried fruit and marzipan than flour. The Germans got their priorities straight on this one.
Make sure you let this bread ferment properly. The relatively large amount of sugar slows down fermentation as the sugar competes with the yeast for water.
If your dough is not rising during the given time, then leave it for longer. Between the sugar slowing fermentation and the fillings weighing it down this bread takes around 7 hours of total fermentation time. The conditions in your kitchen may be different. If it is warmer, then it may rise more rapidly. If it is cooler, then it may take longer. Bake the bread when the bread is ready, not when you are ready.
Watch the video down below for detailed instructions.
For the dough –
210g (7.4oz) strong white bread flour, cold
5g (0.17oz) dry yeast or 3x the amount of fresh yeast
1 egg yolk, cold from the fridge
60g (2.1oz) soft butter
15g (0.5oz) milk powder *optional
25g (0.9oz) sugar
3g (0.1oz) salt
1g (0.03oz) nutmeg
2g (0.07oz) cardamom
2 oranges worth of zest
30g (1oz) toasted sliced almonds
100g (3.5oz) cold water
To learn more about dough temperature control click here.
230g (8.1oz) mixed dried fruit. I used a mix of pineapple, apricots, pears, strawberries & mango. This should also be refrigerated.
100g (3.5oz) marzipan, shaped into a long log
To finish –
Melted butter for brushing
Icing sugar for sprinkling
- In a bowl combine the water, yeast, egg yolk, milk powder, sugar, salt, nutmeg, cardamom, orange zest and mix well. Add the flour and mix to a dough.
- Knead for 3 minutes. Add the butter & knead for another 6 minutes. Add the dried fruit & knead for another 6 minutes. Desired dough temperature 26-27C (79-80F).
- Cover and ferment for 3 – 3.5 hours.
- Flatten the dough out and place the marzipan log in it. Fold over.
- Cover & ferment for 3 – 3.5 hours. During the last hour of fermentation preheat your oven to 160C (320F) fan on.
- Bake for 40 – 50 minutes or until internal temperature reads 94C (200F).
- Brush the loaf with the melted butter all over while still hot.
- Sprinkle with icing sugar generously all over.
Let it cool down completely & enjoy!
This bread can also be made a couple of weeks ahead of time. The butter and sugar crust will prevent it from drying out. You can wrap it up in some foil to keep it fresh.
In commercial bakeries they actually dunk the whole loaf in melted butter and then coat it generously with powdered sugar.
Watch the video here