Mom always said, “A good day starts with a good breakfast.” Perhaps nothing says “Good Morning!” quite like a thick slice of steaming German Stollen bread!
Packed with dried or candied fruit, Stollen bread is a traditional German bread eaten during the Christmas season. Hearty enough to help kick-start your day, it’s also sweet enough to be savored as a pastry treat.
Stollen is especially good fresh out of the oven, paired with an ice cold glass of milk. While baking, it’ll make your whole house smell wonderful!
Stollen bread may be an acquired taste. But it’s been part of our Christmas baking tradition for decades.
Grandma Peggy’s Stollen Bread
German Stollen is a fruit bread of nuts, spices, and dried or candied fruit, coated with powdered sugar or icing sugar. It is also called ‘Weihnachtsstollen’ or ‘Christstollen.’ This recipe is my mother’s. (Note that this recipe takes some time. But the results are worth the effort!)
- 4 to 4-1/2 cups flour
- 1 pkg. active dry yeast
- 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
- 1 and 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 slightly beaten egg
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 Tbsp. finely shredded lemon peel
- 2 Tbsp. finely shredded orange peel
- 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp. butter or margarine
- 1/4 cup chopped mixed candied fruits & peels
- 1/4 cup dried currants
- 1/4 cup blanched almonds or walnuts
In a large mixer bowl combine 2 cups of the flour, the yeast, and cardamom. In a sauce pan heat the milk the 1/2 cup butter, granulated sugar, and salt just till warm (115′ t0 120′) and butter is almost melted, stirring constantly.
Add to flour mixture.
Beat at low speed of electric mixer for 1/2 minute. scrape sides of bowl constantly. Beat 3 minutes at high speed. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can mix in with a spoon.
Stir in raisins, candied fruits and peels, currants, almonds, and orange and lemon peels.
Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Kneed in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3 to 5 minutes). Shape into a ball. Place in a greased bowl; turn once. Cover. Let rise in a warm place till double (about 1 and 3/4 hours). Punch down; turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into thirds. Cover; let rest 10 minutes.
Roll one third of the dough in a 10 x 6 inch rectangle. Without stretching, fold the long side over to within 1 inch of the opposite side; seal.
Place on a greased baking sheet; repeat with remaining dough. Cover. Let rise till nearly double (about 1 hour).
Bake in a 375 degree oven for 18 to 20 minutes or till golden. Combine the powdered sugar, hot water, and 1/2 tsp. butter or margarine; brush over warm bread. Makes 3 loaves.
Image credits: Creative commons license