Stollen

  • 3 loaves
  • Most of the day, but mostly unattended.

I cobbled this recipe together from several sources, and wrote down what I was doing as I did it, so be warned, if you find it and try it, that I haven’t tested it again after writing it down. You should be fine, in any case, since seasonings are to taste (feel free to substitute other spices for the mace and almond extract) and flour is added “as needed.”

Because the fruit and nuts in stollen make the dough quite heavy, it often doesn’t rise well. To help it, I use a lot of yeast and high-gluten bread flour, but I also let the dough rise once before adding the fruit and nuts. The second rise, with the fruit and nuts before baking, is mainly to let the dough rest; if short on time you could omit it and let the loaves rise a bit longer.

Note that this recipe uses only natural fruit, and orange juice instead of the traditional liquor for soaking the fruit. If I were making it for myself I’d probably use at least part rum or brandy, but I first made this for a setting where I needed to avoid alcohol.

This will keep several days wrapped in plastic wrap or foil, and in fact it’s better a day after it’s made. The double coating of powdered sugar hardens as it cools, creating a protective shell.

    • 1 cup raisins
    • 1 cup mixed dried fruit
    • zest of 1 lemon
    • zest of 1 orange
    • ½ cup orange juice

    Combine and set aside to soak for at least an hour, up to overnight. Drain, reserving the liquid.

    • ½ cup warm milk
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1 tablespoon yeast
    • ½ cup bread flour

    Stir together and let rest until bubbly.

    • 1½ cups warm milk
    • ½ cup butter, softened
    • 1 egg
    • ¼ cup light brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • ¾ teaspoon mace
    • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
    • reserved liquid from soaking the fruit
    • bread flour, as needed

    Combine, adding enough flour to make a soft dough and knead thoroughly. It will stay quite moist, possibly a little sticky, from the butter and egg, but still feel lively; don’t add too much flour, or the bread will be dry. (You’ll have a chance to correct this later, though.)

  1. Let rise until doubled.

    • 1 cup sliced almonds
    • soaked fruit
    • bread flour, as needed

    Deflate the dough. Knead in the almonds along with the soaked fruit and additional flour as needed (up to a cup or so).

  2. Let rise for another hour or so. The dough won’t double in size; the fruit makes it too heavy.

  3. Shape into 3 loaves, oblong and tapered at the edges, and set on a greased baking sheet. Let rise for about 45 minutes (again, they won’t double).

  4. Bake at 350° for about 45 minutes, rotating halfway through.

    • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
    • powdered sugar, as needed

    On removing the loaves from the oven, immediately brush them on top and sides with melted butter and roll them in powdered sugar. Let cool on racks, then roll in additional powdered sugar.