Christmas Stollen

Christmas Stollen

Stollen is a fruit bread that is enjoyed round the time of Christmas and Easter. It symbolizes fertility and fortune and it originates from Germany.

It is a rich buttery bread, much like a brioche, filled with raisins soaked in water or rum, almonds and candied fruit or zest from either orange or lemon. In the middle you’ll find almond paste. After baking the bread is “sealed” with melted butter and covered in icing sugar, to prolong it’s shelf life.

Ingredients

Dough

  • 190ml milk
  • 50gr sugar
  • 500gr flour
  • 1 egg
  • 7gr dry yeast
  • 250gr butter
  • pinch of salt

Filling

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 150gr raisins soaked in 120ml rum (overnight)
  • 100gr peeled almonds
  • 50gr chopped candied fruit
  • 300gr almond paste

Prepare the almond paste like the recipe here.

Soak the raisins in the rum or water, preferably over night or, if you don’t have time or forgot, before starting the dough. Use warm water/rum to speed up the process.

Start the dough by heating up the milk to a lukewarm temperature, you can do this in a small saucepan or microwaveable container. Don’t make it too hot, otherwise the yeast will die. Add the yeast and sugar to the milk, stir and set aside to activate the yeast. Sift the flour onto a clean work-space and create a crater, make sure it has a solid wall or you’ll end up with a sticky mess! Now, in this crater, add the milk-mixture, butter and the egg and mix thoroughly. Slowly start to mix in the flour bit by bit until it turns into dough. It might seem like the dough is too wet, but because of the amount of butter used it will remain very sticky. Shape the dough into a ball and let it rise in a bowl covered with a cloth for an hour.

 Preheat the oven to 180 °C.

Roughly chop the almonds.  Flatten the dough and sprinkle with the cinnamon, then add the raisins, almonds and orange peel. It might seem like this is never going to fit, but trust me it will!

Knead everything together, it might take some time kneading, return the dough to the bowl and let it rise for another 30 minutes to bring back the air bubbles you pressed out while kneading the filling in. Roll out the dough into an oval shape.

Roll the almond paste and place it on the dough, close to one side. Close the bread by simply covering the almond paste. No need to brush the dough, we’ll do that once it’s done! Bake for 50 minutes.

 

Take the warm bread out of the oven and melt the butter. Generously brush the bread with the melted butter, no need to be gentle! Those burned raisins need to fall off. After you’ve covered the bread in butter, generously dust with icing sugar to seal. Let it cool completely and dust with more icing sugar before serving.

The best way to eat this is to take the almond paste out and spread it on the bread slice. If you prefer your bread without the paste, simply add a thick layer of butter. Delicious!

Happy Baking!



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