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German Christmas Bread (Easy Authentic German Stollen Recipe)
From the blogger: "Buttery yeast bread with candied zest, sliced almonds, rum-soaked raisins, currants, and dried cranberries (and marzipan if you like it) topped with a buttery layer of powdered sugar – Stollen is one of the best German Christmas treats! Christmas just isn’t Christmas without German Stollen bread! After moving back to the US from Germany I used to drive across town to our German bakery in order to buy a fresh loaf of the buttery, powdered sugar-coated German Christmas bread. And then, one year I decided to try making it from scratch. Now I make homemade Stollen every year! Not only does my house smell amazing as the Stollen was baking, this Stollen tastes amazing. If you’ve always bought Stollen or if you’ve just never tried making it at home before, give it a shot. It’s actually quite easy to make your own Stollen bread."
Yields1 Large loaf
Cooking Time1 hr 15 min
- 2 cups dried fruit (e.g., raisins, golden raisins, dried currants, dried cranberries)
- 1 cup rum (or orange juice)
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 cups water
- 8 tablespoons zest of lemons and oranges
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons yeast
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 12 tablespoons butter
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
How to Make German Christmas Bread (Easy German Stollen Recipe)
Soak dried fruit in rum (or orange juice if you prefer a non-alcoholic version) for at least a couple hours (overnight is ideal).
Wash oranges and lemons (use organic if you can).
Use a microplane to zest lemons and oranges until you have 8 tablespoon.
Add sugar and water to a saucepan and bring to a low boil over medium high heat. Add zest and simmer for 10 minutes.
Take off heat and let cool for a few minutes. Strain out the liquid and let candied zest cool in a small bowl.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you're ready to use it.
Mix flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and spices in the bowl of a stand mixer.
Heat butter and milk in a small pan over medium low heat. When butter is melted, take off heat and let cool for a few minutes.
Pour milk into dry ingredients. Add egg and vanilla and stir into a dough.
Using the hook attachment, knead the dough on low for 10 minutes. Then cover the bowl with a towel and let the dough rest for at least 10 minutes.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface. Press it out into an oval. Spread 1/2 of the candied zest and chopped or sliced almonds over the dough. Fold dough in half, then in half again the other way. Knead dough 2 or 3 times to work zest and nuts into the dough. Press dough out again and repeat the process with the rest of the zest and chopped almonds.
Press out the dough a 3rd time and add 3/4 cup of dried fruit. Fold and then knead the dough as described above. Press dough out a 4th time and add another 3/4 cup dried fruit. Fold and knead again until everything is well incorporated into the dough.
Press dough into an oval shape a 5th time, but this time press down in the center more than the sides so you form a narrow trough in the middle of the dough. This is how you get the unique Stollen shape. Add 1/2 cup dried fruit to the trough (the area in the middle that you pressed down).
Fold the bottom third of the dough so it covers the dried fruit that you just added. Then flip the dough over (see photos above). Add the rest of the dried fruit to the trough part of the dough (see photo above). Fold the top third of the dough over the dried fruit. If this seems confusing, be sure to look at the photo tutorial above!
Cover dough with a towel and let it rise for 30-40 minutes (or even longer).
Preheat oven to 350F/175C.
Transfer to a baking stone or lined baking sheet. Bake a full-sized Stollen for about 60 minutes or until top is golden brown and the internal temperature is 190F/87C. See notes below for mini Stollen and Stollen bites baking times.
Let the Stollen cool for a few minutes, then brush the melted butter over the top. Sift half of the powdered sugar over the top of the Stollen. Brush the rest of the melted butter over the top of the bread (over the first layer of butter and sugar). Finally, sift the rest of the powdered sugar over the top.
Let the Stollen cool before serving. Store in an airtight container. Stollen is best eaten within a few days.
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