German Christmas stollen is a traditional yeast bread that’s filled with dried fruit and marzipan, then coated in butter and icing sugar. You’ll love every bite of this moist, delicious bread this Christmas season!
For the Dough
- 2/3 cup raisins (100g)
- 1/2 cup dried currants (85g)
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds (50g)
- 2/3 cup mixed peel, finely diced (75g)
- 3 tablespoons orange juice (45 ml)
- 5 cups bread flour (600g)
- 4 teaspoons fast-action yeast (12g)
- 1 teaspoon salt (5g)
- 1/4 cup caster sugar (50g)
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk (375 ml)
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted (150g)
- 12 ounces marzipan (350g)
For the Decoration
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (55g)
- 1/4 cup icing sugar (30g)
Making the Dough (45 min + 2 hrs 10 min proving)
- Soak the fruit. Stir together the raisins, dried currants, chopped peel, sliced almonds, and orange juice until well mixed. Leave to soak while you make the bread dough.
- Mix dry ingredients. Pour the flour into a large bowl, adding the yeast and salt on opposite sides of the bowl. Stir in each one with your finger. Mix in the sugar.
- Add wet ingredients. Dump in the warmed milk, orange zest, vanilla, and egg, and bring the mix together with your hand. The dough may be dry at this stage, but don't add any additional liquid to it.
- Prove #1. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it prove at room temperature for 40 minutes.
- Melt the butter. Put the butter in a saucepan set over low heat until melted.
- Knead in the butter. Gradually add the melted butter to the dough, squeezing and crushing the dough with your hand to incorporate. Once all of the butter is added, knead until all the butter is evenly distributed.
- Prove #2. Cover the dough with plastic wrap again and let it prove for 1 hour.
- Add the fruit. Place the dough in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the soaked fruit mixture and mix on medium-low speed until evenly mixed. If you don't have a stand mixer, you can do this step by hand.
- Prove #3. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes covered with plastic wrap.
Shaping the Stollen (10 min + 30 min proving)
- Punch it down. Turn out the risen dough onto a lightly floured surface. Punch it down all over to knock out any large air pockets.
- Roll out the dough. Roll out the dough into an oval about 12 inches long and 8 inches wide. Place the bread dough on an 11x17-inch cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Roll out the marzipan. On a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar, roll out the marzipan to an oval slightly smaller than the bread dough. Lay it on top of the bread.
- Fold. Fold over the long side of the oval so the dough is folded in half lengthwise. The marzipan should be covered by the dough.
- Prove #4. Cover the stollen with a piece of plastic wrap and let it prove until the dough springs back when gently pressed, about 30 minutes.
Baking the Stollen (1 hr)
- Preheat. Towards the end of the final prove, preheat your oven to 400 F.
- Bake. Cook the stollen in the middle of the oven for about 15 minutes at 400 F. Without opening the oven door, lower the temperature to 375 F and bake the loaf until it's golden brown and has an internal temperature of about 190 F, about 40 minutes. Once the bread is nicely browned, cover it with aluminum foil.
- Cool. Let the stollen cool for 10 minutes on the tray, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool.
Decorating the Stollen (10 min)
- Decorate. While the loaf is still hot, brush on a generous coating of melted butter and sift a thick coating of icing sugar on top. This coating looks pretty and seals the loaf, preventing it from drying out too quickly.
- Serve. Let the loaf cool completely, then slice and serve with soft butter.
- Measure ingredients quickly and accurately with a kitchen scale.
- Use bread flour and not all-purpose flour for the best rise and texture.
- Want smaller loaves? Divide the dough and marzipan into two or three equal pieces.
- Don't skip the butter and sugar coating on the outside of the stollen. This helps keep it fresh.
- Leftovers freeze well for up to 1 month and taste great toasted.
- Category: Bread
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: German
Keywords: easy stollen recipe, moist stollen recipe