Saturday, January 12, 2008

Christmas Stollen

Christmas 2004: Stollen on left side 
Makes 1 stollen

This recipe comes from the New York Times International Cookbook (1972 edition) by Craig Claiborn. This is the stolen that Alexandra and Christopher made for many years. Then for a few years when there were large gatherings for Christmas we made both this and Cranberry Stollen.  When they were younger, Alex and Christopher had great fun decorating the top with the sugar glaze and stacking up nuts like forests in the glaze. Although we have not made this Stollen in several years (Alex and I have made Cranberry Stollen instead), were I to make it now I would use preserved pineapple and papaya  instead of the candied fruit.

Note from the cookbook:
"To many Austrians and Germans, a stollen is as much a part of the Christmas scene as Yule logs and evergreens. A stollen is a very special, eminently delicious bread full of good things that smell like Christmas - yeast and cinnamon and cardamom and mace. Candied fruits and a frosting crowned with pecan halves give texture and add to its goodness. One of America’s chief stollen bakers is David Dugan of North Caldwell, New Jersey, a retired professional baker. He bakes 200 pounds of fruitcake every year for Christmas, but his stollen is reserved for family only. Here is his stollen recipe."

2/3 c milk, scalded
2/3 c granulated sugar
3/4 t salt
2 T vegetable shortening [I use 2 T butter]
Christmas 1994
2 packages dry active yeast
1/4 c warm water
2 eggs, lightly beater
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/8 t ground mace [I use 1/4 t]
1/8 t ground cardamom [I use 1/4 t]
3-1/2 c sifted all-purpose flour, approximately
1 c diced mixed candied fruits [A and C vetoed in recent years]
1/4 c raisins [increase to 1-1/4 c if candied fruit is deleted]
1/2 c chopped pecans
Frosting (see below)

1. Pour the milk into a large bowl. Add the sugar, salt, one-half cup butter, and shortening and stir to melt the butter and dissolve the sugar. Let cool to lukewarm.

2. Soften the yeast in the warm water and add to the cooled mixture. Beat in the eggs, cinnamon, mace, and cardamom and enough flour to make a soft dough that can be kneaded. [We usually make the stollen in a food processor fitted with the kneading blade, but it can also be made using an electric mixer and dough hook. For more details on proofing the yeast and kneading see: Cranberry Stollen ]

3.Turn onto a lightly floured board and knead until smooth. Knead in the fruits (first tossed in a little flour), raisins, and chopped nuts until evenly distributed.

Christmas 1993
4. Place the dough in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about two and one-half to three hours.

5. Punch down [this was the big event for A and C when we made the stollen and they vied for the chance to make a big fist and punch the middle] and roll into an oval (12" x 8"). Fold over lengthwise so that the two edges do not quite meet. [Alternatively, and this is the method we traditionally use: roll to ~18 inches rather than 12 inches and  cut the oval into three equal strips and braid. Repeat with the remaining dough.]

6. Place on a greased baking sheet, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about one and one-half to two hours.

7. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake the stollen ten minutes REDUCE THE OVEN TEMPERATURE TO 350 DEGREES F and bake 25 minutes longer, or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

8. Brush with butter and let cool on a rack. When cool, spread with the frosting and decorate with pecan halves.


1 1/2 T butter
1 c confectioners’ sugar, approximately
1-1/2 T [4 1/2 t] light com syrup [I use water or orange juice]
1/4 t vanilla extract

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then beat in the com syrup [or orange juice] and vanilla extract.

Reviewed 5/11/17

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