German Christmas Stollen

German Christmas Stollen

The Spruce

Prep: 35 mins
Cook: 55 mins
Soak and Proof: 13 hrs 25 mins
Total: 14 hrs 55 mins
Servings: 18 servings
Yield: 1 loaf
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
411 Calories
26g Fat
40g Carbs
4g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 18
Amount per serving
Calories 411
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 34%
Saturated Fat 14g 71%
Cholesterol 74mg 25%
Sodium 301mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 40g 15%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Protein 4g
Calcium 70mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A favorite holiday sweet bread, Dresden has the most famous Christmas Stollen. There's no need to take a trip to Germany because you can bake your own at home with little trouble in a few hours. Christmas Stollen, or Christstollen, is full of nuts, raisins, and candied fruit, and creates a delicious holiday treat.

Like other Christmas fruit bread recipes, stollen is best when made weeks in advance. Storing the baked loaf for two to three weeks mellows and softens the flavor perfectly. Mark your calendar each year so you don't miss out on an opportunity to share this holiday tradition with your family.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (145 grams) raisins, dark and golden
  • 1/4 cup (40 grams) candied lemon peel
  • 1/8 cup (20 grams) candied orange peel
  • 1/3 cup (50 grams) blanched almonds, chopped
  • 1 3/4 ounces (50 milliliters) dark rum, about 2 tablespoons
  • 1 (1/4-ounce) envelope yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons, or 30-gram cake of yeast)
  • 1 1/4 cups (295 milliliters) warm milk, divided
  • 1/3 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar, plus a pinch
  • 4 2/3 cups (595 grams) bread or all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped (or 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest , from about 2 lemons
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 7.5 ounces (213 grams/15 tablespoons) softened unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup melted butter, for brushing
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, for dusting

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    German Christmas Stollen ingredients
    The Spruce
  2. In a medium bowl, soak the raisins, candied fruit, and almonds in the rum overnight, stirring occasionally.

    Rum-soaked fruit.
    The Spruce
  3. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup warm milk with a pinch of sugar.

    Yeast in milk
    The Spruce
  4. Proof for 10 minutes, or until bubbles form.

    Proving yeast
    The Spruce
  5. Mix 4 cups of flour with the yeast mixture, egg, remaining 3/4 cup milk, 1/3 cup of sugar, lemon zest, vanilla, and salt using a spoon or in a stand mixer with the dough hook for several minutes. The dough should just come together and not be very smooth yet. Remove from the bowl and set aside.

    mix German Christmas Stollen batter
    The Spruce
  6. Cream 14 tablespoons softened butter and 2/3 cup of flour with the nutmeg and cardamom until smooth. Switch to the paddle attachment if using a stand mixer.

    Creaming the butter
    The Spruce
  7. Add yeast dough mixture to the creamed mixture and begin mixing with the paddle beater until incorporated and a dough begins to form. Switch to the dough hook and continue beating until the dough is smooth.

    Stollen dough
    The Spruce
  8. Let the dough rest, covered, for 30 minutes.

    Covered stollen dough
    The Spruce
  9. Turn dough out onto a tabletop or lightly floured board. Knead in the rum-soaked fruit and almonds. Let rest for 15 minutes.

    German Stollen dough
    The Spruce
  10. Return the dough to the floured board and form into a rectangle with two high sides and a dip in the middle. Fold one-third of the dough over to the middle, filling the dip. Pat into a stollen shape.

    Stollen dough for rolling
    The Spruce
  11. Fold a piece of aluminum foil several times on the two long ends to build walls for the stollen so it holds the shape while baking. You may also use a stollen pan if you have one.

    Shaped foil for stollen baking
    The Spruce
  12. Let the stollen rise for 30 minutes in a warm place. Heat the oven to 350 F.

    Rising stollen
    The Spruce
  13. Dot the top of the stollen with the remaining 1 tablespoon softened butter. Bake loaves for 45 to 55 minutes, or until loaves are golden and done, about 190 F in the center. Cover with foil if it begins to brown too much.

    Stollen dotted with butter
    The Spruce
  14. Brush warm loaf with the melted butter and dust thickly with powdered sugar. Cool on rack.

    German Christmas stollen loaf
    The Spruce
  15. Wrap tightly in foil and keep in a cool place for 2 to 3 weeks to ripen.

    Powdered German christmas stollen
    The Spruce

Can you freeze stollen?

Stollen may be frozen for longer storage. If you will be freezing the entire loaf, omit the melted butter and confectioners' sugar topping until it is defrosted. Wrap the stollen loaf or slices in plastic wrap and foil then transfer to freezer bags. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Tips

  • Tip: Before baking, to avoid burning, remove any raisins that might be sticking out of the dough.
  • To get more butter into the bread, poke it all over with a toothpick before brushing it the loaf
    with melted butter.
  • Miniature bottles of dark rum are exactly 50 milliliters. Some liquor stores carry them, though large 750-milliliter bottles are more common for this style of rum.