Category Archives: Stollen

How to Make Stollen

This is American stollen, mind you. Which is to say it tried hard to be the real German article, but not being truly German, it isn’t. My shape isn’t perfect (I left a little too much lip down below), and I used things like cherries and dark raisins which are verboten among the purist crowd. I bring this up because there are people out there who feel strongly about stollen (similar to those who feel strongly about biscuits), and are going to give me grief after this is over. So be it.

Begin by putting the sponge ingredients, save for the milk, in the bowl of a stand mixer.

Whisk to combine…

Then stir in the milk with a wooden spoon until you get a thick batter.

Cover with a cloth and let sit while you prepare your dough ingredients. Have ready your macerated fruit mixture from day 1. Notice I have dark raisins in there. What can I say, I had them and didn’t want to run to the store for the golden kind. Technically the cherries aren’t kosher either (they will tend to color the crumb a bit) so if you don’t want them, swap them out for more raisins or an equal portion of the other fruit.

Now for the dough. Again put your dry ingredients in a bowl…

…and whisk to combine. You should also combine your wet ingredients at this time, beating them lightly.

After half an hour has passed, check your sponge, it should be bubbly.

Fit the dough hook on the mixer and turn it on low. Add the dry ingredients.

Then the wet ingredients.

Stir (knead, really) until a dough comes together.

Then add your butter in pieces. Looks like brioche, no? Zat iz because eet iz.

When the dough is uniform, add half the marzipan.

Then the macerated fruit and nuts. If they don’t incorporate easily in the mixture, turn the whole mess out and knead it by hand for a minute or two until the mixture is evenly distributed. Let it rest for half an hour.

Now then. Roll the dough out into a rough oval

Make trench in the middle by pressing on it with a rolling pin…

…and fill the trench with the remaining half of the marzipan (some people use much more than that, rolling it into a thick log and putting the log in the trench…it’s up to you).

Then fold the dough over to enclose the marzipan, ideally, leaving less lip than I’ve done here. Oh yes, stollen lovers, I know there are many more ways to shape stollen. However this is the shape my grandmother used to buy hers in, so I’m partial to it.

Bake for 50-60 minutes until it’s well browned. All to cool on a rack.

Paint with butter.

The dust it with powdered sugar.

Slice, toast, eat.

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Stollen Recipe

I adapted it, actually. This is a variation on a formula I came across a few years ago and loved. Notice that the dried and candied fruits are all light in color. No raisins or currants, not even any brown-skinned nuts. This is intentional, since unlike an English-style fruitcake, a light, golden crumb is part of the aesthetic of a perfect stollen. Like fruitcake, however, it is a two-day process.

Day 1:

The fruit mix:

2 cups golden raisins
1/2 cup candies orange peel
1/2 cup candied lemon peel
1/2 cup candied cherries, chopped
1/2 cup candied citron
1 cup slivered almonds
3 tablespoons dark rum
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon

Combine all in a large bowl and toss until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and macerate at room temperature overnight.

Day 2

Preheat your oven to 375.

The sponge:

7 ounces all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons (2 envelopes) instant yeast
2/3 cup milk, room temperature

Whisk together the flour, sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer, then stir in the milk until a thick batter is formed. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap let sit for 30 minutes until bubbly.

The dough:

10 ounces all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
the sponge
1 egg, room temperature
5 egg yolks, room temperature
3 ounces milk, room temperature
10 tablespoons butter, room temperature


6 ounces marzipan, chopped

Whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Lightly beat the egg, yolks and milk together. Attach the dough hook and turn the mixer on low. Add the dry ingredients, sponge and the egg mixture, turn the mixer up to medium and knead until the dough is fairly smooth. Add the butter tablespoon by tablespoon, letting each be incorporated before adding the next.

Turn the mixer back down to low and add half the marzipan and then the fruit mixture from day 1 (draining off any excess liquid first). If necessary, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead by hand until all the marzipan and macerated fruit is evenly incorporated. Let the dough rise for half an hour more.

Cut the dough in half and roll each half out into an oval roughly 12″ long and an inch thick. With the rolling pin, make a depression in the dough running end to end and fill each trench with halk the rest of the marzipan pieces. Fold the dough in half to enclose the marzipan. Place the breads on a sheet pan or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Let rise a further 20-30 minutes.

Bake for 30 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake for 20-30 minutes more until the outside is well browned. Cool on a rack, then paint each stollen liberally with butter (about half a stick) and dust amply with powdered sugar (about a cup).

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