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Stollen Recipe

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Stollen Recipe

Stollen is a traditional German Christmas bread that combines dried fruits, nuts, marzipan, and spices into a delicious treat. It’s a festive favorite enjoyed worldwide during the holiday season.

Originating in Germany, Stollen has a long history and rich symbolism. The loaf is often dusted with powdered sugar, which resembles the snowy landscape of winter. When you bite into a slice, you get a taste mix of sweet fruits and rich almond paste.

Many variations of Stollen exist, allowing bakers to put their own twist on the classic recipe. Whether you choose to add candied orange peel, raisins, or a marzipan filling, each loaf is unique. Enjoy a slice with your family and create lasting holiday memories.

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)

To make a delicious Stollen, you need specific ingredients. Here’s a list to guide you:

  • All-purpose flour: 4 cups
    • Substitute: Bread flour
  • Active dry yeast: 2 1/4 teaspoons
    • Substitute: Instant yeast
  • Milk: 3/4 cup (warm)
    • Substitute: Almond milk or any plant-based milk
  • Sugar: 1/2 cup
    • Substitute: Honey or maple syrup
  • Unsalted butter: 1/2 cup (softened)
    • Substitute: Margarine or coconut oil
  • Eggs: 2 large
    • Substitute: Flax eggs (1 tbsp flaxseed meal + 3 tbsp water per egg)
  • Salt: 1 teaspoon
  • Vanilla extract: 1 teaspoon
    • Substitute: Almond extract
  • Candied fruit and peel: 1 cup
    • Substitute: Dried fruits like raisins, cranberries, or apricots
  • Almonds: 1/2 cup (chopped)
    • Substitute: Walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts
  • Rum or brandy: 2 tablespoons (for soaking fruit)
    • Substitute: Apple juice or orange juice
  • Powdered sugar: For dusting

These ingredients and their substitutes help you achieve a tasty Stollen while accommodating different preferences or dietary needs.

Instructions

First, preheat your oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

Cut in the cold butter until the mixture forms uneven crumbs.

In a separate bowl, mix together the ricotta, egg, vanilla, and flavoring.

Combine the wet ingredients with the dry mixture. Stir until everything is just combined.

On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough briefly until it holds together. Form the dough into a log shape.

Place the log on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown.

Remove from the oven and brush with melted butter.

After about 5 minutes, sprinkle with superfine sugar or confectioners’ sugar.

Let it cool completely before serving. Enjoy your homemade Stollen!

Tips, Tricks & Storing

Wrap it Right
After baking, let your stollen cool completely. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. This helps keep the loaf airtight and fresh.

Storing Options
For short-term storage, keep your stollen in a bread box or a cool, dark place like a pantry. If you want to store it longer, refrigerate it.

Freezing
Want to enjoy your stollen later? You can freeze it! Wrap it in plastic wrap and then again in aluminum foil. This double wrapping helps protect it from freezer burn.

Thawing & Reheating
When you’re ready to eat it again, take the stollen out of the freezer. Let it thaw on a wire rack at room temperature for a few hours or overnight. If you like your stollen warm, reheat slices briefly in the oven at low heat (about 150°C or 300°F).

Keeping Freshness
To keep stollen moist and flavorful, store it with an apple slice in an airtight container. This helps retain moisture without changing the flavor.

Good Practices
Try not to cut the loaf until you’re ready to eat it. Slicing too early can cause it to dry out faster.

Check for Freshness
Before eating, always check your stollen for mold or an off smell, especially if it’s been stored for a while. If it looks or smells bad, it’s best to throw it away.

By following these tips, you can enjoy your stollen at its best, whether it’s freshly baked or savored later!

Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions

Stollen is a versatile bread, and you can make it in different ways to suit your taste. Here are some popular recipe variations:

  • Traditional Stollen: Filled with dried fruits, nuts, and spices like cinnamon and cardamom.
  • Marzipan Stollen: Includes a log of marzipan rolled into the dough.
  • Poppyseed Stollen: Features a sweet poppyseed filling instead of the usual fruit.

Mix it up with different dried fruits such as raisins, currants, or chopped dried apricots.

Experiment with spices like nutmeg, cloves, or even a hint of ginger.

Serving Suggestions

Stollen can be enjoyed in many ways:

  • Sliced and Buttered: Serve a slice with a pat of butter for a simple treat.
  • Toasted: Toast the slices lightly for a warm, crunchy texture.
  • With Coffee or Tea: Perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack.
  • Festive Platter: Include slices of stollen in a holiday dessert spread with cookies and chocolates.

After baking, a dusting of powdered sugar gives a classic look and adds sweetness.

Store stollen wrapped tightly in foil or plastic wrap to keep it fresh. It can last for a couple of weeks, and the flavors deepen over time.

Enjoy baking and sharing this delicious bread with friends and family during the holiday season!