Stollen

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Homemade stollen is delicious!  Start a new holiday baking tradition with this classic German holiday bread!Can we talk about Christmas traditions?  There are so many different traditions out there, and the holidays just aren’t the same without ’em.  For us, we always decorate the house for Christmas the weekend after Thanksgiving.  It’s a long weekend.  It’s usually cold.  And there’s a lot of good football on television.  That’s pretty much the perfect recipe for Christmas decorating!

However (to be fair), we did hang our outdoor Christmas lights right after Halloween this year.  We figured we’d get those lights hung while it was in the 50’s outside rather than in the 30’s.  And we will likely leave those lights up until April.  I’m not getting out there in January’s negative temperatures to take those lights down!  In case you’re wondering, we only actually turn the lights on during the holidays.  We aren’t those neighbors!

Homemade stollen is delicious!  Start a new holiday baking tradition with this classic German holiday bread!When we moved into our house several years ago, the folks who lived here before were nice enough to leave a bunch of stuff (i.e. junk) here.  I’m pretty sure they packed about one suitcase each and left everything else in the house.  They had a junk company come in and shovel (yes, literally shovel) everything out.  But I did ask the junk company to leave a couple of things.  Among them was a 9-foot tall fake Christmas tree in the basement.  We’ve always done a live tree for our main Christmas tree, but I just couldn’t let them throw away that huge tree!

Homemade stollen is delicious!  Start a new holiday baking tradition with this classic German holiday bread!So we kept that tree and now we have two trees every Christmas.  The pretty, live one upstairs and the fake one downstairs where we hang all of our childhood ornaments.  My wife has an impressive collection of childhood ornaments, too!  She has a hen house that clucks Jingle Bells when you plug the tree lights in.  And there’s also Micky playing the piano.  And how could I forget the “Holy Cow”?  It’s literally a cow whose brown and white markings depict a manger scene.  And he has a halo, too.  Because holy cows clearly need halos.  Needless to say, our basement tree creates quite a ruckus when we plug it in.  But I wouldn’t have it any other way!  It’s a Christmas tradition.

Homemade stollen is delicious!  Start a new holiday baking tradition with this classic German holiday bread!Another tradition?  Stollen.  This traditional German bread makes an appearance every Christmas, and it’s actually pretty darned tasty.  Now I’m not talking about those pre-packaged stollen that you find on the 90% off clearance table in February along with a package of broken candy canes.  I’m talking a delicious, freshly-baked stollen.  This bread is somewhat akin to fruit cake in that it is loaded with candied fruit and nuts.  But it’s still a yeasted bread, and it makes for one heck of an awesome snack when served with a cup of hot coffee!

Proper stollen isn’t dry and hard.  Nope, this bread is meant to be soft and slightly sweet.  Think of a bread kinda like a cinnamon roll.  But filled with candied fruit and chopped almonds.  If you’ve never made stollen, then might I suggest starting a new tradition this year?

Homemade stollen is delicious!  Start a new holiday baking tradition with this classic German holiday bread!As you guys know, we’ve had family staying with us to help with Baby Robbie.  My mother-in-law was on baby duty the afternoon I baked this stollen.  I brewed up a big pot of Folger’s® Classic Roast coffee, and we sliced that warm stollen right there on a cutting board in the kitchen.  After I grabbed a couple of photos, we left the sliced stollen out on the counter, and we all just kept nibbling on it.  Delicious!

It was a cold, grey, rainy afternoon.  (Seriously.  I think it was like 33°F and raining.)  Needless to say, that pot of Folgers® coffee soon turned into a second pot.  Everyone knows the classic Folgers® red can, right?  It’s the best part of wakin’ up™…and it’s also the best part of a cold afternoon!  We had a fire in the fireplace, and grandma was rocking little Robbie to sleep.  Ah, these are the holiday memories that count!  Here’s to a warm and festive holiday season…but don’t forget the stollen!  Happy Holidays!

Homemade stollen is delicious!  Start a new holiday baking tradition with this classic German holiday bread!

What are your unique holiday traditions?

Have you ever left your Christmas lights up until April?

Homemade stollen is delicious!  Start a new holiday baking tradition with this classic German holiday bread!

Holiday Stollen

Homemade stollen is delicious!  Start a new holiday baking tradition with this classic German holiday bread!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Rising Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 479kcal

Ingredients

For the Fruit

  • 1 cup candied fruit store-bought or homemade
  • 1 cup raisins
  • ¼ cup orange juice

For the Dough

  • tsp active dry yeast i.e. 1 (¼-oz.) packet
  • 1 cup milk warm
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour divided
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ cup almonds chopped
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

For the Topping

  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter melted
  • 3-4 Tbsp powdered sugar

Instructions

For the Fruit

  • In a small bowl, combine the candied fruit, raisins and orange juice; set aside.

For the Dough

  • In a large bowl, combine the yeast, milk, ½ Tbsp of honey and 2 cups of flour; stir until well-combined. Cover bowl and place in a warm (~85°F) location until approximately doubled in size (~45 minutes).
  • Transfer dough into the bowl of a countertop mixer. Add the remaining honey, butter, salt, egg, egg yolks, chopped almonds, extracts, lemon zest, nutmeg, cinnamon and remaining 3 cups of flour to the bowl; mix on low speed until well combined.
  • Add the fruit mixture to the bowl; mix on low speed until well combined.
  • Increase speed to medium and mix for 4-5 minutes. (Note: The dough should be soft, and it should slightly pull away from the edges of the bowl.)
  • Transfer dough into an oiled bowl. Cover and place in a warm location for 60-75 minutes, or until dough has doubled in size.
  • Turn dough out onto a well-floured countertop.
  • Using a rolling pin, shape the dough into a 9”x13” oval. Brush the top of the dough with the melted butter.
  • Make a crease lengthwise down the center of the dough about ½” off center. Fold the smaller side over the larger side. Place dough on baking sheet and cover lightly. Place in a warm location and let rise for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Bake for 35-37 minutes, or until top is golden brown. Place on a baking rack until cool.
  • Before serving, dust the top of the stollen generously with powdered sugar.

Notes

This makes one very large stollen--perfect for sharing with a group during the holidays! However, feel free to split this dough into two smaller stollen. (If you do make two smaller loaves, then just reduce the baking time.)

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28 Comments

  1. Clearly I’ve never had real (aka homemade) stollen because my experience with the stuff left me with memories of a tooth-breakingly hard (and disappointingly flavorless) loaf that was covered in so much powder sugar that it could kill you if you inhaled too deeply. This one looks wonderfully soft and chewy – perhaps it’s time to give stollen another try and rewrite some memories!

    1. Oh no, Mara! Stollen is absolutely meant to be a soft bread. Kinda like sandwich bread, but much sweeter…with nuts and fruit in it. (Think cinnamon roll bread…) You absolutely should give stollen another chance before writing it off for good! I’ve especially loved toasting it up with a little bit of butter and eating it for breakfast. Yum!

    1. Eh, when I said junk…I meant junk. Literally like 2 feet worth of kids toys in the basement. The junk company used shovels to clean it all up. I can’t make this stuff up, Johlene! And yes, I share your love for Stollen…it’s almost time to make another loaf. 🙂

  2. This stollen looks delicious, David! We just put our tree and decorations up over the weekend – always a fun activity to do with the family. It’ll be a really exciting time celebrating Robbie’s first Christmas. 🙂 I’ve only ever made stollen once and it didn’t go to plan! But I’m definitely bookmarking your recipe to give it a try!

    1. Definitely give stollen another chance, Jess! This one makes one HUGE loaf, but that’s ok because it feeds a bunch of people. We’ve definitely been enjoying little Robbie…but he has a tendency to stay awake from oh 10pm-3am. That’s making our sleep schedule a bit wonky. Hope you’re doing well over there!

  3. A holy cow would have to have a halo. Otherwise, it’s just a…cow. And cows do not inspire feelings of hallowed worship.
    So you’re that organized person who decorates ahead of time? Yep. I hung holiday decorations for Chanukah (started yesterday) on Saturday night. So people like you scare me a little bit 😉
    Never have had stollen, but now I feel like something’s missing. Gotta get on it! Yours looks pretty great!

    1. Haha! I couldn’t agree more, Mir. Cows do not inspire hallowed worship. But cows with halos? That’s an entirely different story! 🙂 Eh…I guess I am one of those organized people. But it’s more like how we’ve always done it, so I would feel sad if we didn’t decorate right after Thanksgiving. Happy Chanukah…and give stollen a shot. It’s pretty darned delicious!!

    1. Haha! Holy Cow is definitely one of my favorite ornaments on that tree. Along with the henhouse that clucks jingle bells. I really should stick a video of that into one of these posts…haha! Thanks, Rachelle!

  4. Nope – I don’t think I’ve ever kept my lights out until April – but if I lived where you did, I’d probably not bother ever taking them down! 33 degrees in the afternoon is just downright depressing! UGH – So glad y’all had fresh baked Stollen and coffee to keep y’all merry! I know what you mean about fresh Stollen – the bakery I worked at during my college years used to have fresh baked Stollen – and somehow one of those loaves always found their way home with me by the end of the weekend – it was like a stray dog or something!

    1. Hey, come January, 33 degrees will be a heat wave! Those are the days when you really need a fresh stollen and a mug of hot coffee! (And you better believe that I won’t be out there chipping the ice off of the Christmas lights…haha!) Thanks, Shashi!

  5. Hi David! Question – I don’t care for candied fruit, could I substitute dried fruit? Hope so because this bread looks good! Glad you’re feeling better my friend! 🙂

    1. Oh you could totally use dried fruit here, Dorothy! I guess it might make the stollen just slightly less sweet, but I think it would totally work. My favorite way to eat stollen is buttered and lightly toasted…with a cup of coffee, of course! Thanks so much!!

  6. It was quite reasonable to hang your outside decorations when it wasn’t too cold yet. Some our neighbors have them all year round – just turn them off in January and turn them on in December. Haha, lazy guys:) I really am jealous of your collection of the Christmas ornaments. It sounds fantastic! We are minus 4 ornaments this year cause our tree decided to collapse:) And sure, I love stollens – they’re so delicious and Christmas looking. My favorite is with marzipan (And lavender haha). This one looks like the perfect Christmas gift you could send to a good person (not hinting):) Well done, David!

    1. Haha! We’re not that bad yet. I mean I do want to take the lights down…but well you know about cold weather. I’m not about to bundle up and stand out there in the snow and ice just to take those darned lights down. Wait, your tree collapsed?? How did I miss this? That sounds like the saddest event ever! Maybe some stollen would cheer you up…with lavender of course! 🙂

    1. You should totally give stollen a shot, Manali! It’s a classic German holiday bread, and it’s really fun to make. My favorite way to eat it lightly toasted with a bit of butter…and a mug of hot coffee! 🙂

    1. Haha…you make 2 trees sound so glorious, Dannii! One of those trees is a fake one down in the basement (i.e. my office), and it has a henhouse ornament that clucks Jingle Bells. Not fancy at all! 🙂

    1. Tell me about it, Arman…2 trees. Because 1 isn’t enough. I bet the Real Housewives have 2 trees, though. But I bet their’s don’t have a henhouse ornament that clucks Jingle Bells. And now I’m going to have you walking around all day saying Schtollen. Haha! Have a good one, mate!

  7. Funny, when I first saw the post headline I thought you guys had been ripped off while while snoozing away after days on end of sleepless baby nights. There are a few neighbors who leave their lights up for forever and then there are a few who decorate like the Griswalds. It’s always entertaining around here.
    I’ll have you know I experienced 26° weather over Thanksgiving up in Portland area called beavercreek. It was really kinda fun for a change, but the warm sun was welcomed after we returned home. Got to love San Diego! And speaking of love, this Stollen is a first too. I have never heard of this but it sure looks familiar. Like you said, cut me a slice and a nice warm cup of coffee and I’ll be fine.
    P.S. How do you keep up with the site and baby duties? Folgers?

    1. Hah! Not ripped off over here, Kevin…but man, we sure could use some sleep. 1am is the same as 10am is the same as 7pm right now. Lots and lots of coffee has kept us going. Lots of coffee.

      So cold weather, huh? 26° is colder than it was here for Thanksgiving! We’re still in the mid-50’s for like the next week at least…which is downright insane for this time of the year. I mean, how will Santa know where to land his sleigh without the ice patch in the front yard??

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