This is my last post before Christmas and I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! So what are we making on our last post before Christmas?! STOLLEN! It doesn’t get any more German or Christmassy as this…
Maybe you’ve heard of stollen before, but don’t actually know what it is. Stollen is a very popular German tradition around Christmas time. It is a heavy, sweet fruit bread that can be seen doused in butter and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Most stollen contains raisins, Marzipan (yum!) and other dried fruit and zests, depending on who’s making it and most importantly, where it’s being made in Germany. The most popular stollen is known as Desdener Stollen. Obviously… made in Dresden and has kept it’s tradition since the 1400s!!!! Wow. If there was ever a country that knew how to keep it’s traditions… Germany wins.
Because stollen is doused in butter and rolled in sugar directly after baking, it has a very high shelf life. Perfect! It’s even said that the longer you wait, the better it tastes because the aroma becomes more intense over time! But, don’t wait too long… I’m talking weeks here, not months or years, so go ahead and bake your stollen around the end of November, but definitely get to eating it around Christmas!
Since I’m always trying to show something a bit different, I did the unthinkable… I mixed the two cultures together! I took some American ingredients and put them in my very German stollen! I know, the Omas and Opas in the world are wagging their fingers at me and giving me a very disapproving, you-can’t-mess-with-traditional-stollen look. I did it. I admit it… and I’m not sorry!
Instead of raisins I put cranberries in my stollen! I’m so excited about this…
Stollen takes this very peculiar form. Why?
Actually I don’t know the truth, but I’ve heard that it has to do with resembling baby Jesus wrapped in a blanket. Stollen can actually be known as, “Christstollen,” which is translated literally as, “Christ Stollen.” Either way, it’s delicious and it is seen all over Germany during this time of year! Making it is actually not too tricky, despite what you may think. Take a peek at the recipe and you’ll see that all you need are some basic ingredients (all of which you may already have in your home) and a little bit of time.
- 400 g flour
- 1 pack dried yeast
- 80 ml milk, warmed
- 40 g sugar
- 2 eggs
- 140 g melted butter
- 50 g chopped almonds
- 200 g dried cranberries
- 40 g candied oranges (Orangeat) or orange zest
- butter, melted, for brushing the stollen afterwards
- sugar, for sprinkling
- powdered sugar, for dusting
- In the mixing bowl, measure out the flour and sugar.
- Dissolve the yeast in the warmed milk.
- With the dough hook attachment, begin mixing the flour and sugar on low. Add the milk and yeast, eggs (one at a time), vanilla, and melted butter.
- Increase the speed and knead until a smooth dough has formed.
- Let rise for about 2 hours.
- In the meantime, combine the almond, cranberries, and candied oranges in a bowl.
- Once risen, knead in the nuts and dried fruit.
- Knead into the "stollen" form by rolling out the dough thick and then folding the sides over.
- Bake at 210 Celsius for the first 5 minutes, then dropping the oven temperature to 180 Celsius for about 35 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt the extra butter.
- Brush the stollen generously with the melted butter and roll into the sugar.
- Let the stollen cool, COMPLETELY, and finally sift the powdered sugar over the top of each stollen generously.
- Wrap nicely in plastic wrap and either enjoy yourself or give as a great Christmas gift!