Stollen is a traditional German fruit cake topped with confectioners’ sugar made for the holiday seasons. Its origins can be traced back to the 1400’s in Dresden, Germany, resulting from a baking contest held by the Bishop of Nauruburg. It was originally made strictly with flour, oats, and water because the church heavily banned the use of butter and milk during the Lenten season. This changed when Elector Kurfürst Ernst and his brother Albrecht petitioned the pope to lift the ban on butter and stollen gradually evolved to the buttery, fruity treat it is today. Its traditional shape and size is based on the infant Jesus in swaddling clothes.
Today, there are a lot of stollen varieties that may contain spices, nuts, candied fruits, and raisins. Grated lemon zest, along with orange juice, give stolenit its distinct citrus flavor. It’s better to use freshly squeezed navel oranges rather than store-bought orange juice cartons since those can contain additives and sweeteners, which may make dough sweeter than you prefer.
How to make a Christmas Stollen
PREP – 30 – 45 mins.
BAKE – 30 – 35 mins.
TOTAL – 3 hrs 1 min. to 4 hrs 8 mins.
YIELD – 3 stollen
- 3 cups Fruitcake Fruit Blend Dried Fruit
- 1/3 cup of Fresh Squeezed Pittman & Davis Navel Orange juice
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup Baker’s Special Dry Milk
- 3 1/2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mace
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
- 1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds
- 3/4 cup almond paste or marzipan
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- Baker’s Special Sugar
- Confectioners’ sugar or non-melting white sugar
- To prepare the fruit: Combine the fruits and orange juice, cover, and set aside at room temperature for up to 12 hours.
- To prepare the dough: Using a stand mixer, mix and knead together all of the dough ingredients (except the almonds) to make a smooth, soft dough.
- Cover the dough and let it rise until puffy, about 60 to 90 minutes.
- To make the filling: Divide the marzipan into three pieces and shape each into a flattened 7″ log.
- To assemble the stollen: Knead the fruit and almonds into the dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased surface, divide it into three pieces, and shape each piece into an 8″ x 6″ oval.
- Place one 1-inch strip of almond paste or marzipan down the longer center of each oval, and fold dough over it lengthwise, leaving the top edge of the dough just shy of the bottom edge.
- Press the top edge firmly to seal it to the dough below.
- Place the loaves on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover them, and let them rise for 45 to 60 minutes, until puffy.
- While the stollen are rising, preheat the oven to 350°F, with a rack in the upper third.
- Bake the stollen for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown and its internal temperature reads 190°F on a digital thermometer.
- Remove the stollen from the oven, and brush them with melted butter. After 5 minutes, dust with Baker’s Special (superfine) sugar and/or confectioners’ or non-melting sugar.
- Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Wrap airtight and store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Freeze for longer storage.
- Yield: 3 stollen.