Stollen, Traditional German Sweet Bread

Stollen, Traditional German Sweet Bread

My suggestion for this year is this stollen recipe - a traditional German sweet bread, full of dried fruit, nuts and rum! Another advantage beside its special taste is that it can be and it has to be prepared 2-4 weeks before Christmas. A perfect aroma and taste require a period of maturation. We couldn't rezist and we tasted one of them the very first day ... it was "Wow!"

After the maturation period, the stollen becomes a bit denser with a softer gingerbread-like texture and the fruit, the rum and the nuts flavours all blend together wonderfully. As a Christmas gift, you can give a slice of Stollen, nicely wrapped in paper, it certainly will be much appreciated. We already did this and the stollen as a Christmas gift was greatly enjoyed. (See the presentation picture, I simply wrapped it in parchment paper and tied it with a string.) 

Also, you can add marzipan in the middle, see how I quickly make it at home in the steps below. The sweet bread with the marzipan surprise is so interesting, special and liked even more.


300 g
100 ml
and when I say rum, I mean the alcohol, not the rum extract!
200 g
Dried fruits
300 g
I combined cranberries with dried apricots, for some more interesting colours
300 ml
200 g
Bakers yeast
50 g
or 20g dried yeast
3 pieces
White flour
900 g
450 g
Vanilla Extract
2 tbsp
2 tsp
dried ginger, powder
Powdered sugar
200 g
from which, 150g for the marzipan, optional
Almond flour
150 g
optional, for the marzipan
Egg whites
1 piece
optional, for the marzipan
Lemon juice
1 tbsp
optional, for the marzipan

Step by step


Wash 300g raisins thoroughly under hot water, drain and let dry on some paper towel. 

Then transfer to a bowl, pour over 100ml rum, mix.


Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and set aside to allow it to plump up for at least 5 hours up to a week.


When the raisins have plumped up, we start to make the stollen.

Prepare the first phase of the dough - in a bowl, combine 300ml warm milk, 1 tbsp sugar, 50g fresh yeast and 200g flour. Combine with a whisk and set aside for 15-20 minutes to allow it to rise.


After that, in a very big bowl, mix together 3 eggs, 200g sugar, vanilla extract and the dough we've just prepared.


Stir in 500g flour as well.


Mix to combine, using a wooden spoon or a spatula - allow it to rise for another 30 minutes, this will be the second phase of the dough.


After this time, add in 350g softened butter and another 200g flour.

Knead with your hands to combine, in the bowl at first.


Later, to be able to work it easier, you can turn dough onto the table and continue to knead - notice it's a soft and sticky dough at first. Do NOT add more flour, we don't want the stollens to be too hard.


After kneading for 5 minutes, dough won't stick to your hands anymore and it becomes more uniform. It may still sticks to the table, use a knife to be more efficient.

All this procedure involving the kneading can be a lot simpler and more effective in the food processor, using a dough hook. So if you have it and you know how to use it, it's really worth it!


Return dough to the bowl and allow it to rise for 1 hour at room temperature.


While dough is rising, optionally, you can prepare the marzipan filling for the stollen:

- spoon 150g almond flour and 150g confectioners' sugar into a bowl, add 1 raw egg white and 1 tbsp lemon juice.


- mix to combine, using your hands and roll it into a homemade marzipan log - easy to shape and not sticky. You can divide it into 2-3 pieces, depending on how many stollens you are making.

Set aside for a while until we finish working the dough.


Now that the dough has risen, add in the dried fruit with the rum from steps 1-2, 200g roughly chopped almonds, 2 tsp dried ginger and 300g of other dried fruit (I cut the dried apricots into smaller bits).

Knead to incorporate all these goodies into the dough.


Then turn dough onto the floured table and divide it into 3-4 equal parts. I made 3 stollens and they were rather big, so 4 not so big stollens would seem like a good idea.


Now take each piece of dough, lightly flour the table and use the rolling pin to roll out a 1cm thick oval.


Fold the long side over the other, without overlapping them perfectly, leave a bit of space from the edge.

And this is it, you've shaped a stollen! It's a lot easier than other sweet bread recipes.


For the marzipan version, you can place in the middle a marzipan log, which we prepared in the steps above, and overlap the sides in the same way.


Shape the first 2 stollens and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Let rise at room temperature for 30 minutes.


Right before baking the 2 stollens, shape the other piece of dough. 

This is to help you organize the timing better, especially when you have to bake more.


Bake the stollens for 40-45 minutes to 180 degrees C, until nice golden.

Right after removing from the oven, brush the stollens on all sides with plenty of melted butter or even clarified butter (ghee), to keep better and safer for 2-4 weeks.


Don't forget to brush the base with butter as well.


Dust with a lot of confectioners' sugar, this will also help preserving the stollens and won't allow them to mold during the maturation period.


This is what my stollens look like, baked, brushed with clarified butter and dusted with confectioners' sugar. Let stand on the table for 8-10 hours, until completely cool.


Then wrap each one in parchment paper and maturate in a darker spot at room temperature. I placed them on a platter in the closet and after 2 weeks I moved them to a cooler place - the balcony, for extra safety.


We couldn't resist and we had to taste one stollen the very first day, after it cooled down a bit.

It still was delicious, soft and flavourful.


This is what the stollen looks like after 2 weeks, notice the protective butter and powdered sugar layer. Its texture is a bit denser and the fruit and rum flavours a bit more interesting.


Here is the presentation photo showing a slice of stollen wrapped in parchment paper, tied with a string. It's a lovely present and it will surely be appreciated.


Quantity: 3 pieces
Prep time: 120 min
Difficulty: intermediate
Ready in: 240 min
Publish date:
Collections: Cakes, Desserts

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