Just before Thanksgiving, Eric and I were lucky enough to go to the UK to video master baker, Emmanuel Hadjiandreou. Two of the breads we made there were his award-winning Christmas stollen. We just made them on our own at home. Here is what happened.

The recipes are in his book and reprinted below.

Part 1 – Marzipan Stollen

This fruited bread includes candied citrus peel and marzipan (almond candy paste). Because we wanted to avoid the high fructose corn syrup in the only candied citrus peel available in our town, we opted to make our own.

Here is the recipe we used with some very flavorful results…

Candied Citrus Peel

peel of 3 oranges, 2 grapefruit or 6 lemons
1 c granulated white sugar
3 Tbs. organic corn syrup
3/4 c water

  1. Remove the inner flesh and white pithy part from the peel. The white part tends to make the peel bitter. Cut the cleaned peel into strips.
  2. Blanch the peel in salted boiling water for 15-20 minutes. Empty and blanch again in fresh water for 15 minutes. Blanching serves two purposes. Firstly, it tenderizes and takes away bitterness. And secondly, it changes the cellular structure so that the sugar will be accepted into the peel.
  3. Bring the sugar, corn syrup and water to a boil. Add the blanched peel. Simmer until the peel is translucent. This will take about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit overnight in the sugar syrup.
  4. The next day, reheat the sugar syrup before removing the peel. Drain the peel on a rack and let sit for a day to dry.
  5. Toss the peel in granulated sugar. It is now ready to use or storage in a covered container.

candied citrus peel

Then we made the marzipan. Here is the recipe for that…

Basic Marzipan

2 cups granulated sugar
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
4 cups ground almonds (or almond meal)
2 egg whites
1/2 tsp. almond extract
Powdered sugar for dusting

  1. Prepare a workspace by sprinkling powdered sugar over a marble slab, wooden cutting board, or large baking sheet. Fill your sink or a large bowl with cold water.
  2. Put the sugar and 2/3 cup water in a large heavy saucepan and heat gently, stirring, until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Add the cream of tartar and turn up the heat. Bring to a boil and cover, boiling, for 3 minutes.
  4. Uncover and boil until the temperature reaches soft-ball stage, 240 degrees on a candy thermometer.
  5. Place the bottom of the saucepan in the cold water you’ve prepared, stirring the sugar mixture constantly until it becomes thick and creamy.
  6. Stir in the ground almonds, egg whites, and almond extract then place back over low heat and stir for 2 more minutes.
  7. Spoon the marzipan onto your prepared work surface, and turn it with a metal spatula until it cools down enough to touch.
  8. Coat your hands in powdered sugar and begin to knead the marzipan, working it until it is smooth and pliant.
  9. Your marzipan can now be used immediately or stored by wrapping it in plastic wrap and keeping it in an airtight container.

TIP: This marzipan turned out fine, but Eric would like it to have a stronger almond flavor. So the next time we make it, we will try using fresh ground almonds instead of the almond meal I used. If that is insufficient, I will add an extra half teaspoon of almond extract.

Fresh marzipan

Now it became time to REALLY get to work.

stollen recipe bookMarzipan Stollen — Recipe by Emmanuel Hadjiandreiou

100 g / 3.5 oz. good marzipan
vanilla sugar, to taste
confectioners (powdered) sugar for dusting

For the Fruit Mixture

60 g / ½ cup sultanas (golden raisins)
15 g / 2 Tbs. toasted flaked or slivered almonds
15 g / 1 generous Tbs. diced candied citrus peel
Freshly squeezed juice and grated zest of 1 small unwaxed orange
Freshly squeezed juice and grated zest of 1 small unwaxed lemon
15 g / 15 ml (1 Tbs.) rum

stollen fruit mix ingredients

To make the fruit mixture (one week in advance)

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together all the ingredients.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic and let stand in a cool place for up to 1 week. When it is ready, most of the liquid should have been absorbed.

stollen fruit mix in bowlFor the Dough

Pre-ferment Mixture:
10 g fresh yeast OR 5 g / 1.5 tsp. dried (active dry yeast)
20 g / 20 ml / 4 tsp. whole milk, warmed
20 g / 2 ½ Tbs. white strong (bread) flour

Dough Mixture:
50 g / 3 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. softened butter (salted or unsalted)
20 g / 2 Tbs. sugar
1 g / ¼ tsp. salt
1 g / ¼ tsp. cardamom
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
1 medium egg beaten
150 g / 1 ¼ cups white strong (bread) flour

For coating the baked bread:
150 g / 10 Tbs. butter (salted or unsalted), melted and kept warm
baking sheet lined with parchment paper

To make the dough

  1. In a larger mixing bowl, weigh out the yeast. Add the milk and stir until the yeast has dissolved.
  2. Add the 20 g / 2 ½ Tbs. flour and mix with a wooden spoon until well mixed. This is the pre-ferment.
  3. Cover the bowl and let ferment in a warm place until doubled in size — about 30 minutes.
  4. While the pre-ferment rises, in another (smaller) mixing bowl. Beat the 50 g / 3 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. butter, sugar, salt, cardamom and vanilla extract in mixer or with a balloon whisk until soft and smooth.
  5. Add the egg, little by little, whisking well.
  6. If the mixture separates, add a teaspoon of flour to help bind it.
  7. Drain excess juice from the reserved fruit mixture, pressing with fingers if necessary. Mix in about 1 Tbs. of the flour. Set aside. TIP: Since fruit comes in different sizes, there may be quite a bit more juice than can be absorbed by the solids. This extra moisture can throw you off, so drain it well.
  8. When the pre-ferment has risen, stir it into the butter mixture.
  9. Add the remaining 150 g / 1 ¼ cups four to the mixture and mix until it comes together.
  10. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.
  11. After 10 minutes, knead as in Step 5 on page 87. (Knead by pulling a corner to the center of the dough, turn a quarter turn, pull the dough to the center. Pull to the center 10 times.)
  12. Cover the bowl again and let stand for 10 minutes.
  13. Repeat Steps 11 and 12 three times.
    stollen dough
  14. Add the reserved dried fruit mixture to the dough and knead gently until thoroughly mixed in.
  15. Cover and let rise until about double the size, about 1 hour.
  16. Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour.
  17. Punch down the dough to release the air and transfer to the floured work surface.
  18. Shape the dough into a ball and let rest until it is workable, about 5 minutes.
  19. Meanwhile, shape the marzipan into a short sausage.
  20. Dust the dough with a little flour so that it does not stick to the rolling pin. Roll out the dough to a rough square. [G]
  21. Place the marzipan sausage in the middle [H]
  22. Pull the dough over the ends of the marzipan. [I]
  23. Fold the side closest to you over the marzipan to enclose it completely. [J]
  24. Fold the side furthest from you over. [K]
  25. Roll the stolen over so that the seam is underneath. Use both hands to mold the dough around the marzipan in the middle. [L]
    molding marzipan stollen
  26. Transfer the stolen to the baking sheet lined with parchment paper, cover and let rise in a warm place until slightly less than double the size, about 30 minutes.
  27. About 20 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 200° C (400° F). Place a roasting pan at the bottom of the oven to preheat. Fill a cup with water and set aside.
  28. Place the baking sheet into the preheated oven when it has come up to temperature, pour the reserved cup of water into the hot roasting pan and lower the temperature to 180° C (350° F).
  29. Bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown.
  30. To check if it is baked through, tip it upside down and tap the bottom. It should sound hollow. If it is not ready, return it to the oven for about 3 minutes.
  31. After removing baked stolen from the oven, remove any darkened raisins stuck to the parchment paper with a sharp knife, taking care not to damage the stolen.
  32. Brush the stolen with the hot, melted butter, allow it to seep into the crust of the bread, then repeat twice more. TIP: Do not skimp on this part.
  33. Let it cool completely.

For the Glaze

30 g / ¼ cup smooth apricot jam
45 g / 3 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. whole milk

To make the Glaze and finish the Stollen

  1. Put the ingredients for the glaze into a saucepan, and bring to a boil.
  2. Brush the glaze all over (top and bottom) the cold stolen.
  3. Generously dust a tray with vanilla sugar and place the freshly glazed stolen on it. Dust the top and sides with more vanilla sugar.  TIP: Vanilla sugar is granulated sugar with vanilla bean stored in the same airtight container so that the sugar takes on a vanilla flavor. If you have no vanilla beans (like us), you can mix 2 cups of sugar thoroughly with a teaspoon of vanilla, spread it to dry for a couple of hours, and you have vanilla sugar.
  4. Finally, (and we do mean “finally”) dust the stolen with confectioners (powdered) sugar before serving. NOTE: We skipped this final step to escape one more layer of sugar (don’t ask me why), but realized later that this also served to make the bread less sticky on the outside, and therefore easier to eat with your hands. Your call. It is GREAT either way.

finished marzipan stollen

Makes 1 medium stolen.

30 thoughts on “The Stollen Chronicles

  1. BobG

    HI, Can you tell me how big of a loaf of stolen does this recipe make? I made the marzipan per this recipe, but it sure seems like a large clump! I am assuming I will not use all of the marzipan in one stolen loaf, correct? Can I double the loaf size by simply doubling the ingredients for the dough?

    Thanks.

  2. Matt

    My plan is to age the stollen, as has been suggested. Would I glaze the stollen after I unwrap it three weeks from now? Or should I glaze it now, before I wrap it up for aging in a cool dark place? Great website, by the way. I love your dedication. Thanks always,
    Matt in Portland

  3. Lucy Lloyd

    Hi- I’ve been having terrible time making Stollen from internet recipes! I’m an experienced cook and baker, but some of the recipes out there just don’t work! I would like to try this one, but could you tell me whether it is safe to keep for a month or so if well wrapped? (stollen is supposedly very long lasting, but this must depend on the recipe!). Thanks

    • Hi Lucy,

      No only can it be stored for a month, it should be stored for up to a month or more. Wrap it well and store in a cool dark place. Not in the fridge and preferably not the freezer. A cool room in your house or basement/cellar/garage/attic. A good stollen actually needs time to ripen for optimal flavor.

    • Kristine Nickel

      See my comments from October 2012. (Scroll down.) It was a reply to ” DONNA”. If you’re worried about the rum , the alcohol evaporates. Froeliche Weinachten ! Kristine

      Afterthought: Piercing the cold loaf with a fork , before wrapping it in the rum soaked cheesecloth helps the aroma to permeate through the stollen.

      • Kristine Nickel

        Correction…….TYPO “Weihnachten” missed the H.

    • Peter

      Stollen will last months. Our family always kept it wrapped first in wax paper and then foil. The trick I was taught was to brush it with a little rum once a week, about a tsp. or so and we never dusted it with powdered sugar. Good luck!

  4. Megan

    Does anyone know how to recover my dough mixture I think at stage one of mixing all ingredients to a paste I over mixed & it’s now too wet! I’m not sure it will rise – how can I get it to look like dough should?

  5. Donna

    Geraudeaus! (the only German word I know – kept hearing it when I asked how to get somewhere)

    • Donna

      (meant as an answer to cg_lem)

      • Kris

        Guten Morgen, Donna,
        (Geradeaus…..Straight ahead )

        I was born in Berlin and remember my Mutti lovingly baking Stollen every November, even during the war when most of the ingredients were not available. She baked early since it had to age for several weeks.

        Baked several Marzipan Stollen last year and for the most part, followed the recipe in the ” How to make Bread ” book. For the fruit, I used a lot of dried fruit in place of the candied variety soaking it in rum for several hours or overnight. This year, I will try making my own Marzipan.( I also found Almond Flour in my freezer) . Now is the time to bake….or at least 4-6 weeks before Christmas. When cool, I wrap the loaves in rum soaked cheese-cloths, then wrap in foil and place into plastic bags to keep them moist. You may want to check the cheesecloth from time to time and refresh it with more rum. ( Glaze or dust with conf. sugar before cutting)
        Guten Appetit

        • cg_lem

          Wie toll ist denn das! Eine echte Deutscherin! Schoene liebe Gruesse, Kris! (Ich lebte in Braunschweig. . . .) :-)

          I have been so busy with too many things, I’ve not until now finally had the chance to take some pictures of my own Stollen I baked last year. My Dresdner Christstollen recipe is finally coming ganz gleich!

          I always bake mine in late November. A good Stollen really is one of those things that gets better the longer it’s allowed to sit.

          It really is so good that there are so many varieties of Stollen that have developed through the years. My most favorite, though, is my very traditional Dresdner Christstollen. I know anyone here who tries it will enjoy it!

          – Cathy

  6. Donna

    Thank you for ths recipe. I love Marzipan Stollen, and always wondered how it was made. I have 10 lbs of ground almond meal in the freezer doing nothing, so it looks like a match made in heaven. Talk about guilding the lilly, I also love Cherry Stollen, do you think adding more filling (cherry) to the marzipan is just too much? cherry flavor and almond flavor usually compliment each other, don’t they?

    • Yes, cherry and almond flavorings are often well-paired. If you want to add some cherry filling, I would decrease the amount of marzipan to make sure there is enough dough to encase the filling(s). Most cherry fillings I have worked with are quite liquid. If you can make a cherry filling that is more like the consistency of the marzipan, that will have a better chance of success as well. Let us know how it goes if you decide to be creative. :)

  7. cg_lem

    First off, I am very excited to have found your website, and look forward to looking through it, learning what I can and possibly sharing what I have learned where I can. The Stollen is the traditional German Christmas bread. I lived in Germany and, having learned much from German bakers and friends, do traditional German baking year-round- Christmas being my favorite time. This looks like a very good Stollen recipe, and I will try it. If you are interested, I would very much enjoy sharing some of my German recipes with you, including a wonderfully traditinal German Dresdner Christstollen recipe I make every year. You may be pleased to find some things traditionally German to color your baking further.

    • Donna

      If Breadtopia isn’t interested, I sure am!
      I am a member of Cheftalk.com (forums). I’m sure others would love authentic German recipes! Just notify me please, so I don’t miss them. (Indygal on Cheftalk)

      • cg_lem

        Donna – Do I just go to Cheftalk.com? I am curious about this site. I will have to check it out! ;-)

        – Cathy

        • Donna

          Yes, you just go to the site, and sign up. There are many good posts there, but NO GOOD STOLLEN recipes. There is one thread about it, and I posted a link to this page. Also, be sure to look for “Good 100% Whole Wheat” recipe. Very interesting concept. I’ve used it and it was very good. However, I use Breadtopia’s recipe because it is just as good and less trouble.

          • cg_lem

            Donna – I’ll be getting my Dresdner Christstollen recipe to ChefTalk before I hit the hay today! Sorry it’s taken a while. . . . . . . . ;-)

            Es kommt ganz gleich! (It’ll be right there!)

            – Cathy

            • cg_lem

              Donna – got on to ChefTalk today. Trying to figure it out. It’s a HUGE site!

              Maybe you’ll see the short message I’ve put there. . . .

              Looking forward to finding the Whole Wheat recipe you talked about and finding out what their interesting concept is.

              I do LOVE baking breads!

              – Cathy

    • We’d LOVE to try and post your Dresdner Christstollen recipe here for everyone to enjoy! Thanks for your offer.

      • cg_lem

        I am more than happy to share this! Shall I simply post the recipe I’ve been using here– with all my hints and tips along the way– or shall I send all of this to you via e-mail, for you to try yourself? It takes time and a bit of work. But I think you really will love the results!

        Please let me know!

        – Cathy

        • I think it’s best if you email it to me and I’ll post it above. If you post it here in the comments area, it will eventually fade into obscurity as newer posts send it to back pages. We’ll try it too but won’t hold up others from seeing it sooner. Thanks!

          I’ll email you our email address in case you don’t have it handy.

          • Donna

            Was your recipe ever posted? I’m still looking forward to this recipe!

            • cg_lem

              No, sorry! I haven’t had the chance to get to it! I got kind of a last-minute invitation to do a canning class, which is happening tomorrow. But getting this together has been taking up pretty much all of my “spare” time.

              The recipe kommt ganz gleich! (It will be here very soon!) ;-)

              – Cathy

          • cg_lem

            Dresdner Christstollen recipe has just been sent to you!

            Please let me know if you have any questions about it– I’ll be more than happy to answer them! ;-)

            Vielen herzlichen Dank!!

            – Cathy

  8. Michael Brennan

    One more thing, can you do orange and lemon peels together or must they be candied separately?

    • We candied them both at the same time. The tastes and colors mingled and they come out uniformly orange, but were VERY delicious, and superior to the industrial variety. If you want the colors to be remain distinctly yellow and orange, I think you would have to do them separately. Let us know if you try that option, and how they come out for you.

  9. Michael Brennan

    Does it matter if I use a sponge in place of a stiff starter. Is it just a preference or not.

    • Hi Michael,

      You can certainly try making the stollen with a sourdough starter culture, but the recipe we’re following calls for store bought yeast. It’s hard for me to guess what adjustments would have to be made to convert the recipe. If you give it a try, we’d sure love to hear about your results.

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