Stollen

By Catherine Lamb
November 26, 2017
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Author Notes: This is loosely based off of the recipe in Zingerman's Bakehouse cookbook.
I added a middle layer of almond paste (because I love almond paste) and tweaked some proportions, but the buttery, rich dough and boozy dried fruit is a winning festive combination. Make for all your holiday breakfasts, or even as gifts!
Catherine Lamb

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Makes: 2 loaves

Filling

  • 1/3 cup flame raisins (40g)
  • 2/3 cup golden raisins (80g)
  • 2/3 cup currants (80g)
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped (80g)
  • 2 tablespoons candied orange peel (30g)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons white rum
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
  • 5 tablespoons almond paste
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons bread crumbs (I used panko)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Sponge & Dough

  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast (8g)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (20g)
  • 1/4 cup
    1 tablespoon whole milk (80g)


  • 3/4 cup
    2 tablespoon all-purpose flour (I like King Arthur) (125g)


  • 3 tablespoons whole milk (45g)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (20g)
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour (240g)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup
    3 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature (150g)


  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (60g)
  • 2 tablespoons white rum
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • Powdered sugar
  1. Mix the Filling: Combine the flame raisins, golden raisins, currants, cherries, orange peel, lemon zest and juice, orange zest and juice, vanilla, rum and brandy in a medium bowl or tupperware. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Make the Sponge: In a medium bowl, combine the yeast, sugar, and milk. Mix to combine. Add the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until the mixture is well combined. Cover and ferment for 1 hour at room temperature.
  3. Mix the Filling: Combine almond paste, sugar, butter, and breadcrumbs in a small bowl with a fork or whisk. Cover and keep in the refrigerator until needed.
  4. Make the Spice Mix: Combine cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and nutmeg in a small bowl. Set aside.
  5. Make the Dough: Heat milk in a saucepan or microwave until just warm to the touch. In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, mix the milk, egg, and vanilla. Add the sugar and stir well. (You could also do this in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.)
  6. Tear the sponge into 2-in [5-cm] pieces and combine with the egg mixture. It will not be homogeneous at this point. Add half of the flour and the spice mixture and stir with the spoon until a thick batter forms. Add the remaining flour and the salt. Mix until the dough is a shaggy mass.
  7. Turn the dough out onto a clean, unfloured surface and knead for 3 minutes. It may be sticky at first, and you may be tempted to add flour, but don't!
  8. Add the soft butter bit by bit while kneading until all the butter is incorporated. (I found this hard to do by hand, so I used a dough hook in a stand mixer to add the butter.) This will take several minutes of kneading. The dough will be sticky, use a scraper if needed. At the end of the kneading, the dough will feel buttery and will have developed some integrity.
  9. Let the dough rest on the work surface for 5 minutes. Pat the dough into a flat disk. Add the fruit filling and toasted almonds and enclose them in the dough. Knead the dough until the fruit mixture is evenly distributed throughout the dough. Be patient: if some fruit or nuts fall out, add them back in and keep kneading. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let ferment for 1 hour.
  10. Shape and Bake the Stollen: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into two equal pieces. Shape each piece into a cylinder about 9 inches long, 3 inches wide, then press down on it until the dough is one-inch thick. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, create a trough down the middle of the dough about 2 inches wide (it will cause the dough to spread out a bit, but that's fine). Place the chilled almond filling into the divot. You can either roll the almond filling for a neater presentation, or just add in with your fingers. Fold the dough over the filling, pinch the sides to seal, and let rest for 30 minutes. Repeat with the remaining half of the dough.
  11. Roll each loaf into a football shape about 9 inches long. Make this shape as tight as you can roll it, ensuring any pinched seals are tucked under the loaf.
  12. Now it's time to make the traditional stollen shape. Using a lightly floured dowel rod or wooden spoon handle, press down on each loaf 2 inches from the edge, from one end to the other, and repeat on the other side. This creates a clean indentation o both sides of the football shape and a concentration of dough in the center. Make the indentations pretty deep, as they will fill in during baking. Repeat on the second loaf. This shape is supposed to be reminiscent of baby Jesus wrapped in a blanket.
  13. Place stollen on a parchment-lined baking pan. Combine the butter, rum, and brandy and brush stollen with some of it. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and proof for 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C).
  14. Brush stollen with more of the rum butter once again before baking. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until nicely browned and cooked through.
  15. Remove the stollen from the oven and poke all over with a fork or skewer. While still warm, brush with the alcohol butter once again. Dust heavily with powdered sugar to create a thick white coating.
  16. Let loaves cool fully then wrap in plastic. Let them sit for at least one day before eating, but they'll only improve for the next two to three weeks.

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