Handmade Stollen, German Christmas Bread Recipe

Home 9 Festive Breads 9 Handmade Stollen, German Christmas Bread Recipe

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.

Ingredients

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.

 

Filling

100g (3.5oz) marzipan, shaped into a long log

 

To finish

Melted butter for brushing

Icing sugar for sprinkling

Method

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. Cover and ferment for 3 – 3.5 hours.
  4. Flatten the dough out and place the marzipan log in it. Fold over.
  5. Cover & ferment for 3 – 3.5 hours. During the last hour of fermentation preheat your oven to 160C (320F) fan on.
  6. Bake for 40 – 50 minutes or until internal temperature reads 94C (200F).
  7. Brush the loaf with the melted butter all over while still hot.
  8. 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

Understanding the principles of bread making will let you be in complete control every time you make bread. It will reduce the failure rate and turn you into an even more confident home baker.

I highly recommend you check out the Learning page where I have detailed, easy to understand explanations on each step of the bread baking process and the principles behind it.

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