Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas stollen

This is a strange time for us. We live in Thailand, born in the Netherlands. Our families still live in the Netherlands. Since we were children December is a month of celebration. On the 5th Sinterklaas comes and gives presents to all well-behaved children. And on the 25th and 26th it’s Christmas. Our family is in the mood of celebrating these days. It’s difficult to get the feeling of Christmas when the temperature is around or even more than 25˚C and the sun is shining whole day. In our village we don’t see any decoration at all nor hear any Christmas songs when we go shopping.

I just finished my very first Christmas stollen. I found a nice recipe made by Stefanie of Hefe und Mehr. The bad part is; we had to wait for 2 weeks or more before we could taste it! Stefanie said the stollen needs time for the flavors to combine.

Baking this holiday bread was fun. I like it when bread needs time and attention. It’s not difficult, but you need to do some steps before you start the mixing. The evening before you need to make a soaker. I’ve baked many raisin breads, but I never soaked the raisins for a whole night in boiling water. It’s worth it, the taste of the raisin is delicious and they melt on your tongue.
As said before, this was my first stollen. I decided to start with one stollen in stead of two. I divided the recipe by half. I wish I had baked two stollen!

My memory of Christmas stollen is a very bad one. Every year we got a Christmas present from our employer. Most of the time is was a Christmas stollen. Most times terrible ones, hard as a rock and no taste. After the first bite I couldn’t look at Christmas stollen for years. Many years later I found a great bakery that baked delicious stollen.
Today was the first time in more than 5 years living in Thailand I was in the mood for this holiday bread.

When I took the stollen out of the oven I wasn’t sure it was done. Since this was my first stollen and it was still a bit moist inside, I gave it a bit more time in the oven. I had to store it for al least 2 weeks before I could eat it, so the flavors would combine. Because I wasn’t sure it was done I had to taste it. The next day we had a small slice and that was the first slice of the whole stollen. We ate it in less than a week. Luckily we had guests coming, they loved it! They told us it was the best stollen they ate since a long time.  They loved the taste, the smell and that it had a good filling. We totally forgot to take photos of the crumb, we just ate it all.
We love the combination of  almonds, soaked raisins, lemon peel and orange peel, and off course almond paste.

The next day it already tasted great. That made me think about the wonderful taste it must have after 2 or even 4 weeks! This recipe goes to my list of breads to bake again. Why wait for an official holiday to bake a holiday treat? I’m not so traditional with eating good things.

yields 2 Stollen of 800g each

This is what I used:
300g raisin
100g almonds, chopped
30g rum (I omitted this)
hot water
Water roux:
30 g flour Type 550 (I used all purpose flour)
150g milk
Water roux
100g flour Type 550 (I used all purpose flour)
100g cold milk (about 15°C)
35g fresh yeast (I used dried instant yeast, so divided it by 3)
Pre ferment
Water roux
Pre ferment
400g flour Type 550 (I used all purpose flour)
5g salt
0,5g of mace, cardamom, cinnamon (use freshly ground cardamom; you’ll love it)
seeds of a half vanilla been (I used vanilla essence)
75g sugar
250g butter
50g candid orange peel
50g candid lemon peel
140g marzipan (I used almond paste)
50g butter, melted
100g sugar
100g icing sugar

This is what I did:
The evening before: Mix almonds and raisins in a bowl, then add boiling water until the fruit mixture is covered with water. Cover with plastic bag and leave for the night. 

On baking day: Mix flour, milk and yeast for the preferment. Leave it to ferment until it doubles in size.
For the water roux: whisk milk and flour until lump free, then heat it up to 65°C (needs about 3 min) while whisking. Fill the water roux in a bowl, cover its surface with cling foil and let it cool down to room temperature.

Mix the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the water roux, preferment, flour, salt and spices. Knead until homogenous dough, but be careful, the dough temperature should not become higher then 22°C.
Cover and let it rest for 30 min. Drain raisins and almond mix and chop the lemon and orange peels finely.
Knead it in the dough as long as you need to incorporate the fruits.

Pre heat the oven to 200°C.
Divide the dough and let it rest.
Dived the almond past in two halves and roll into two 30 cm strands.
Form the dough into an oval loaf and push the dough to the left until you have a roll of dough. Place the almond paste against the roll and fold the rest of the dough over it. Close the seam. 
Place the stollen on parchment paper on a peel and slide in the oven. Bake for 40 min at 200°C.

When it’s done, take it out and glaze with melted butter and sprinkle with a lot of sugar. Let it cool overnight, then cover with a lot of icing sugar and wrap in alu foil. Store it at a cool place for at least one week (better two, four or more). Or do as we did and eat it all!

I found this recipe at Hefe und Mehr
I send this Christmas stollen to Susan of YeastSpotting and to Cathy of Bake Your Own Bread for the holiday showcase.


  1. Dank voor delen van het recept :-). Misschien vindt je deze ook leuk/lekker

  2. Jouw Kerststol ziet er ook heerlijk uit. Jij en Freerk hebben een leuk filmpje gemaakt over de stol.