Weihnachten Stollen

Weihnachten stollen is a German winter favorite, but actually tastes well the whole year round. The rich taste of dried fruit and almonds, macerated for one or two days in coconut rum or brandy, characterize this bread. The dough itself is not necessarily sweet and makes use of a sponge. The bread keeps well at room temperature for 2-3 weeks! 

Origin and art of making Weihnachten stollen

Stollen originates from Germany’s Saxony region. People have eaten it since the middle ages in the Christmas season. Dried fruit and nuts, the zest of citrus fruit and spices such as cinnamon and cardamom are typical of this bread.  And it is made with butter which helps to keep the bread soft upon storage. A very special taste is obtained my macerating the nuts and dried fruit for a few days in rum.

Special equipment

  • baking plate
  • brush
  • oven
Weihnachten Stollen (nut and dried fruit bread): ©️Nel Brouwer-van den Bergh

Weihnachten Stollen

Course: Breakfast, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: German
Keyword: Christmas, citrus, dried fruit, zest
Prep Time: 1 day 2 hours 40 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 day 3 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 24
Print Recipe

Ingredients

Ingredients for the filling

  • 4.6 oz (130 g) dried yellow raisins
  • 4.6 oz (130 g) dried blue raisins
  • 2.11 oz (60 g) dried plums
  • 4.6 oz (130 g) dried blueberries
  • 2.82 oz (80 g) blanched almonds
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup coconut rum

Ingredients for the sponge

  • 1/2 cup luke warm milk (40 C)
  • 1/2 cup bread flour
  • 4 tsp dry baker's yeast

Ingredients for the entire dough

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • one tsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2.5 cups (325 g) white bread flour
  • 5 tbsp (50 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 (55 g) egg
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 0.11 oz (3 g) dry baker's yeast
  • 3/4 tsp (4 g) salt
  • 0.7 oz (20 g) melted butter
  • 1.4 oz (40 g) icing sugar

Instructions

Instructions to make the filling

  • One or two days before baking, at room temperature, macerate the dried fruit and almonds in the coconut rum in a covered bowl until all the fluid is absorbed. Toss around now and then. The fruit and nuts should have absorbed all the liquids before using

Instruction to make the sponge

  • Combine the milk, flour and yeast and allow the mixture to pre-ferment for 1 h
  • Meanwhile work on the dough

Instructions for making the final bread

  • Mix all the dough ingredients and add the sponge when it shows signs of vigorous fermentation
  • Let the dough rest for 15 minutes
  • Then incorporate into the dough half of the macerated fruit and mix by kneading carefully (6 min)
  • Bring the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and let is ferment for 45 min, covered with wrap
  • Then sprinkle flour on the counter, transfer the dough and flatten the dough with a dough pin to a roughly 9 by 6 inch rectangle. In the middle, using the dough pin, mix in the remaining half of the macerated fruit by inserting it in the middle. Then flap the dough closed and seal the crease by pinching it with the edge of your hand
  • Then transfer the stollen to a oiled and lightly dusted with flour sheet pan and bring it in a crescent form
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for 1-1.5 h until the product is 1.5 times its original size
  • Thereafter place in a hot oven, add some steam or hot water and bake further at 180 C for 1 h until the bread shows a dark brown mahony color
  • Take the bread out of the oven and while hot, use a brush to cover the top of the bread with melted butter. Immediately thereafter cover with icing sugar. After a minute cover with more icing sugar
  • Let the bread completely cool down before cutting it. The bread can be stored  for several weeks at room temperature in a closed paper bag. 

Notes

Methodovenbaking  
Food allergy & intolerance information: cow's milk, gluten

Remarks

  1.  Even in the warmer sub-tropical kitchen, this bread can survive 2 weeks of storage which is preferred over the fridge.

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