Authentic Stollen Recipe (German Christmas Bread)
“Authentic Stollen Recipe (German Christmas Bread)” originated in the Rhineland, the region of Germany that lies on the West bank of the Rhine River. In the 18th century, the stollen bread was introduced, a sweet bread recipe in which the dough was wrapped and then baked. The stollen has a traditional shape of a ‘vol-au-vent’ cake, but the dough is thicker than the vol-au-vents because it is covered with a thicker layer of sugar than the vol-au-vent. The traditional stollen is made with wheat flour with a high gluten content and contains approximately 30% of gluten.
Around this time of year, we can’t get enough of German Christmas breads, from traditional “Stollen” to the “Kuchen” of the Christmas markets. Although these delicious holiday treats have a long history, their ingredients have changed over time, and many of the recipes are difficult to find.
In Germany, Stollen is traditionally eaten at Christmas time, which is why many people celebrate the holiday with a traditional Christmas Stollen.
Here’s How To Make German Stollen For The Holidays!
Are you looking for a festive treat to savor this Christmas? Stollen, commonly known as German Christmas Bread, is one of the most traditional German Christmas dishes.
The rum-soaked fruit, almonds, and zesty candied lemon and orange peels are packed into this moist, yeasty bread. It’s also known as Christstollen (Christstollen is a German word for “Christstollen”) (because Stollen is eaten at Christmas).
This Stollen bread recipe includes the distinctive top fold as well as a covering of melted butter and lots of sugar in powdered form.
This Stollen will not only look beautiful on your holiday dessert table, but it will also wow your senses with its seasonal spices and smells!
For serving, German Stollen is sliced into elegant pieces.
If you’re searching for a simple Stollen recipe, go no further than ours. It’s important to understand that creating genuine Stollen takes time.
Furthermore, once the Stollen has been cooked and glazed, we suggest letting it rest for a few days. So, if you’re intending to cook it for a particular day, keep that in mind.
Another factor to consider while preparing a traditional Christmas Stollen is that you may need to purchase a few ingredients ahead of time.
You may also prepare a couple of the components yourself; we’ll go through which ones are doable at home further down.
Stollen may also be made in a variety of ways. Although we do not use marzipan in our Stollen, you definitely may. For those interested, we offer a simple marzipan recipe!
Stollen in Germany has a long and illustrious history.
This yeasty Christmas bread has a long and illustrious history that dates back to the Middle Ages. Stollen, also known as Striezel, was a tasteless bread prepared from basic materials during fasting periods.
Bakers couldn’t use butter during Advent for a lot of decades, so they had to use oil instead.
However, since oil was costly and difficult to obtain/make in Saxony, several Dukes petitioned the Pope in Rome to alter the rule!
Look at that nicely coated German Stollen, ready for slicing!
Bakers in Saxony (Germany), where Dresden is situated, were eventually allowed to use butter in their Stollen without being punished! Because butter being butter, it enhanced the flavor of the Stollen.
The type of Stollen that is popular nowadays is the one that is packed with fruit and/or nuts (among other things). At the renowned Dresden Christmas Market, this variant was first popularized (it was first mentioned in writing in 1474).
Fun fact: In Dresden, Germany, there are only a few dozen bakers who can produce the “original” form of Stollen! Bakers create a 3000 to 4000-kilogram Stollen and cut it with a huge knife every year at the Striezelmarkt, as the annual Dresden Christmas Market is known.
Stollen Christmas bread is now popular throughout the Christmas season in many areas of Europe and North America.
In Sweden and the Netherlands, there are additional variants of Stollen; some contain marzipan in the dough, while others are fashioned like a ring.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Making German Stollen
If you want to create a Stollen for the holidays, you should get started as soon as possible! Follow the Stollen recipe card at the bottom of this page for precise quantities and ingredients.
You may follow the process pictures with the directions below if you are a visual learner. Stollen is a recipe with a lot of stages, but if you break them down one by one, it’s not that tough!
We produced our own candied orange and lemon peels.
For the Stollen, we prepared the candied lemon and orange peel ourselves. It simply tastes better handmade, in our view, and it may be tough to obtain in stores in certain instances (depending on where you live).
Bulk Barn is a great place to get candied citrus peel if you live in Canada. But it’s really very simple to create at home – all you need is a little more time.
Check out our candied orange peel and candied lemon peel recipes for detailed details.
Make tiny bits out of your candied citrus peels.
If your orange and lemon peels haven’t been chopped yet, use a knife to cut them into tiny cubes.
We prefer to do it by hand rather than using a food processor or similar device since this may result in the peel being chopped into too tiny pieces.
Not only should you be able to see the peel in the cooked Christmas bread, but you should also be able to taste it.
Combine the fruit, almonds, and rum in a mixing bowl.
Mix the raisins, candied orange and lemon peel, ground almonds, and rum in a medium-sized mixing basin until everything is covered with rum.
Allow at least an hour for the mixture to sit.
Once everything is well combined, cover the bowl with cling film or transfer the mixture to a container with a lid and let aside for an hour.
If you want a stronger taste, prepare the fruit-nut combination a few hours ahead of time, or even overnight.
Whisk together the yeast and sugar until they are completely dissolved!
Heat the milk until it is lukewarm in a small saucepan on the stove or in the microwave.
Make sure the milk is just lukewarm, not hot or even boiling, since adding yeast to hot milk may harm the yeast germs, preventing the dough from rising later.
The yeast and one tablespoon of granulated sugar are then added. Whisk together the yeast and sugar until they are completely dissolved.
In a large mixing basin, combine the remaining ingredients.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, egg, room-temperature butter, granulated sugar, organic lemon zest, vanilla essence, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom.
Using the spiral dough hooks on your electric mixer, combine everything.
Then gently drizzle in the milk and continue to mix until the dough forms a ball that no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl.
Mix until a beautiful ball of dough forms.
Add the rum-soaked fruit-nut combination to the bowl after the dough has formed a good ball.
After you’ve added the rum-soaked fruit…
Using your spiral dough hooks, continue to mix until the fruit is uniformly spread.
If the dough becomes too sticky, add a little more flour until it reaches the desired consistency.
Allow the dough to rise after sprinkling it with flour.
Once you’re satisfied with the consistency, dust the outsides of the dough ball with flour. After that, return it to the bowl and cover it with a dishtowel.
Allow for the dough to rise by placing the bowl in a warm, draft-free area of your home for around 1.5 hours.
It’s time to roll out the dough…
Sprinkle some flour on your countertop and briefly knead the dough with your hands after it has risen and grown in size.
Then spread out the dough into a bread-like form using your rolling pin.
This is a typical Stollen appearance.
Place your rolling pin in the center of the Stollen, aligning it with the bread’s long sides.
With your rolling pin, slightly flatten one side (right side photo above).
Fold that section back up towards the center of the bread and gently press everything together with your hands.
If desired, place a long roll of marzipan in the center of the Stollen and roll it lengthwise before folding both sides up around it.
Allow the dough to rise once more.
Place the dough on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and cover with a clean dishtowel. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place for another 45 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit when the time is nearly up.
Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Around the 30-minute mark, pay careful attention to the Stollen and cover it with aluminum foil for the remainder of the baking time if the top of the Stollen becomes too black.
Using butter to brush the German Stollen.
Remove the Stollen from the oven as soon as it is done baking and immediately brush it with melted butter.
Because the bread will soak up a lot of it, you may be very liberal here.
I’m still waiting for powdered sugar…
When we coated our bread with melted butter, it looked like this.
Using powdered sugar to coat the stollen.
Coat the Stollen with powdered sugar immediately after coating it with butter.
Allow your Christmas Stollen to cool completely once you’ve finished dusting it with powdered sugar.
Look at those pieces of fruit and zest in this delicious German Stollen!
Wrap the bread in aluminum foil and keep it in a cold, dry location until it has completely cooled (for example your garage or basement).
While you may eat the Stollen right away, we suggest letting it “ripen” for at least a few days, if not two weeks. How long is basically a matter of your taste.
Enjoy our recipe for German Stollen!
The Fruit Compote
- 1 pound of raisins
- a third of a cup of candied orange peel (see notes)
- a third of a cup of candied lemon peel (see notes)
- 1/2 cup almonds, ground
- a quarter cup of rum
- 1/2 gallon of milk
- 1 1/2 tablespoons yeast (dry)
- 1 tbsp sugar (granulated)
- 2 cups flour (all-purpose)
- 1 egg, medium size
- 1/3 cup room temperature butter
- a quarter cup of granulated sugar
- 1 organic lemon’s zest
- 1 teaspoon extract de vanille
- a half teaspoon of cinnamon
- a quarter teaspoon of nutmeg
- a quarter teaspoon of cardamom
The Finishing Touch
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- powdered sugar
- If your candied orange and lemon peels are large, use a knife to cut them into smaller pieces.
- Combine the raisins, candied orange peel, candied lemon peel, ground almonds, and rum in a small bowl. Stir everything together until it’s completely combined. Allow for one hour of resting time by covering the bowl with cling film or placing the mixture in a container with a lid. If you want more strong tastes, you may let it rest for longer or overnight.
- Heat the milk in a small saucepan or microwave-safe container until it is lukewarm. Then add one tablespoon of sugar and the dry yeast. Whisk together the yeast and sugar until they are completely dissolved. It’s critical that your milk be just warm, not hot, or the yeast bacteria will be harmed.
- Combine the flour, egg, butter, sugar, lemon zest, vanilla essence, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom in a large mixing bowl. Using the spiral dough hooks on your electric mixer, combine everything.
- Slowly pour the milk into the mixing bowl, along with the dissolved yeast, and continue to mix for about 5 minutes, or until the dough forms a ball that no longer clings to the sides of the bowl.
- Mix in the rum-soaked fruit/nut mixture for a few minutes more, so the fruit is uniformly spread. If the dough becomes too sticky, add a bit more flour.
- Remove the dough from the mixer and roll it into a neat ball with your hands. Re-insert the dough ball into the bowl after rubbing a little flour on the outside. Using a dishtowel, cover the bowl. Place the bowl in a warm, draft-free area for 1.5 hours to allow the dough to rise.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper after the time is up and the dough has grown in size.
- Sprinkle some flour on the worktop and knead the dough with your hands for a few minutes. Then spread out the dough slightly into a bread form using a rolling pin. Place your rolling pin in the center of the Stollen, aligning it with the long sides of the Stollen, and flatten one slide with the rolling pin. Fold it back up towards the center of the loaf and gently press it down.
- Cover the dough with a dishtowel and place it on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Allow it to rest for another 45 minutes in a warm location.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and bake the Stollen for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Starting at about 30 minutes, keep an eye on your Stollen and cover it with aluminum foil for the remainder of the baking time if the top browns too much.
- Remove the Stollen from the oven when it is done. 1/4 cup butter, melted and liberally brushed over the Stollen After that, dust the whole Stollen with powdered sugar. After that, set aside the Christmas bread to chill.
- Bit the Stollen may be eaten straight away, it tastes best after it has been allowed to “ripen” for a while. Wrap the bread securely in aluminum foil and keep it in a cold, dry location (such as your garage) for 5 to 2 weeks before eating (depending on personal taste). Enjoy!
- This recipe makes one big Stollen bread.
- You may also add some marzipan, which is a favorite addition to Stollen. Simply place a long, thin “sausage” of marzipan on top of the dough while rolling it out, and then fold up the edges around the marzipan as described above. Each slice will have a tiny bit of marzipan in the center when sliced later. With this recipe, making your own marzipan is really very simple.
- You may purchase candied orange and lemon peels, but making them yourself is simple (and honestly tastes better in our opinion). You may do so by following our candied orange peel and candied lemon peel recipes.
Information about nutrition:
Serving Size: 16 1 Serving Size: 1 Serving Size: 1 Serving Size: 1 Serving Size: 1 Serving Size: 1 Serving Size 305 calories 10 g total fat 5g Saturated Fat 0g trans fat 4 g of unsaturated fat 29 milligrams of cholesterol 85 milligrams sodium 51g carbohydrate 2 g fiber 32 g sugar 4 g protein
An online nutrition calculator was used to determine this nutritional information. It should only be used as a guideline and not as a substitute for expert dietary guidance. Depending on the particular components used, the exact values may vary.
How did this recipe turn out for you?
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Stollen is a traditional German Christmas bread, but you can make it year round and even enjoy it as a breakfast sweet. The tradition states that the baker must take 6 hours baking their bread, but many of us find ourselves with more free time at this time of year. So, I have a made an easy and fast recipe for you that will get you that authentic Stollen taste without all the work.. Read more about stollen bread origin and let us know what you think.