Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Christmas Stollen

The history of the Dresden type Christmas Stollen goes back to the 15th century. The Stollen was designed to symbolize the Infant Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes.

The Stollen is traditional baked during the advent, a holy season of the Christian church – the days of preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Christ. The advent time is also a season of fasting and according to the prevailing church baking a Christstollen was to be made only from flour, yeast and water and oil.
Butter and spices were banned from the bakery, due to church restrictions.

These days the Stollen is full of spice, candied mixed peel, almonds and marzipan. It is available on every Christmas Market, in almost every shop and bakery not just in Germany but all over central Europe.

This recipe makes 6-8 little Stollen or 1 large Stollen

300g Sultanas
3tbsp brown Rum or Brandy
540g plain flour
90g Sugar
85g Vegetable shortening
250g Butter
100g Mixed Candied Peel
120g ground Almonds
30g Marzipan (plus more-see recipe)
1/2tsp salt
1 Lemon, zest
1/2tsp Mace
140ml Milk
1sachet (7g) Fast Acting Yeast
100g Butter
75g Sugar
100g Icing Sugar

The evening before making the Stollen, place sultanas in a small bowl, add rum or brandy, cover with cling film and leave to rest.

Start by pouring half of the milk into a jug, place in the microwave and gently heat until slightly warm. Add yeast and a little sugar to the jug and leave to stand for 5 minutes. 
In a large bowl add flour, mace, lemon zest, salt, rest of the milk, vegetable shortening, butter, almonds and broken up marzipan. Pour the milk/yeast mixture into the large bowl and bring all ingredients together to form a dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and flatten a little with your hand. Now add mixed peel and Sultanas. Carefully knead the dough to distribute added ingredients evenly. Place the dough back into the bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rest for 1 hour.

Divide dough into 6-8 parts, knead through……

 - When you buy an authentic Stollen and cut it into slices you will find a bit of marzipan all the way thorough the Stollen…not everyone is a fan of Marzipan though so it is really up to you if you add it or not ….

If you choose to add marzipan, pat the dough into a disc. Use enough marzipan to form a “sausage” shape, the length of your dough piece. Place on top of the dough and wrap the dough around it.
Place on a baking tray and bake the Stollen, on the middle shelf of the oven at 175C for 20-25 minutes, or until golden-brown. While the Stollen are still hot brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Be very careful when handling the Stollen as it is very breakable when freshly baked.
A Stollen gets better with time and should be stored for at least 3 weeks before serving.
-when the Stollen have slightly cooled, dust generously with icing sugar and wrap very well in a piece of tin foil. Store in a dry and dark place.

If you choose to bake one large Stollen the procedure is the same…shape into an oval loaf and bake for one hour.

Traditionally the Stollen is higher on one side where the Marzipan is. To achieve this place the Marzipan on one end of the dough and roll the dough over the Marzipan ¾ width and fold the last ¼ inwards from the other side. I hope this makes sense if not please let me know and I will try to explain a bit better...
The Stollen will expand sideways when baking which is what it should do!





  1. Oh my, your stollen recipe looks delicious! I'm visiting from craftomaniac!
    Thanks, Dorothy @hensrule.blogspot.com

  2. My brother-in-law is from Germany. I'm sure he'd appreciate this. I'm looking forward to giving it a try. Thank you for sharing the recipe. I'm pinning it to my "Christmas" board.

  3. This looks so yummy, and I love the wrapping! Thanks for sharing on "I Gotta Try That"

  4. This looks so good. I just googled Sultanas! Here they are called golden raisins! That is what i love about blogging! Thanks so much for linking up on Super Sweet Saturday.
    p.s. Your pictures turned out great.

  5. Yum, that looks amazing! I love holiday breads! Thanks for sharing at The Fun In Functional!

  6. Looks and sounds delectable and I never knew the symbolism behind this treat so thank you for that and for linking up this week to BeColorful.

  7. Oh yummy..amazing! I'm making this for sure! Thank you for the recipe and have a happy holiday season.


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