Four loaves of Stollen German Christmas Bread

Last week, some good (nay–amaaaazing) friends gifted us a loaf of Christmas Stollen–a German Yeast Bread; we ate it in record time. There may have even been a few squabbles between me and my husband regarding who just exactly ate how much of this stuff. When the inevitable heel of the loaf appeared, I thought, “hey–this can’t be that hard to make.” And I was right. This recipe for Christmas Stollen with Rum Glaze makes four loaves. It takes a day to bake and the better part of a week to let the loaf “ripen” into its decadent glory, but most of it is inactive, soaking or rising time.

Macerate Dried Fruit

I got the recipe inspiration from Slate and customized it to what we had in the pantry (and liquor cabinet.) First, you let a cupful of chopped, dried fruit of your choice macerate in some brandy, whisky, or rum (I used cranberries, kiwi, strawberries, papaya, and golden raisins in spiced rum, and I highly recommend it). It may seem like an odd choice of fruit, but I had a tropical fruit salad mix in the pantry and I’m a big fan of using what you have. Plus, the assortment of colors was divine.

Stollen Dough

I let the fruit sit in the rum overnight. The next morning, I started on the dough–a mixture of sugar, butter, flour, yeast, whole milk, eggs, lemon zest, vanilla extract, and spices like ginger and cinnamon. The dough rises once for a few hours, gets mixed with the fruit, shaped into loaves, and then the individual loaves rise once again. They quickly bake in about 30 minutes, depending on the size of your loaves.

Decorations

Most Stollen loaves are sprinkled with sugar or drizzled with glaze (I did both), dried, and then are covered in a generous dusting of powdered sugar. Wrapped tightly, they should keep over a week or more, and what’s even more amazing is that Christmas Stollen with Rum Glaze tastes even better after a few days.

I made four small loaves from this Christmas Stollen with Rum Glaze recipe and varied the toppings. With 3 tablespoons of the leftover rum from the fruit-soaking, I made a glaze–whisking it with 1 cup of powdered sugar and the juice of half of a lemon. I drizzled this over two of the warm loaves after they came out of the oven. I followed the recipe below with the other two–a sprinkling of gingered sugar and then a dusting of confectioner’s sugar.

Four loaves of Stollen German Christmas Bread
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Christmas Stollen with Rum Glaze

Although it takes some time, this Christmas stollen, a dense yeasted cake is worth every minute, is redolent with rum-soaked fruit and a hint of lemon zest. It's the best accompaniment for coffee on Christmas morning. 

Course Breakfast
Cuisine German
Keyword christmas bread, christmas stollen, stollen
Prep Time 7 hours
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 7 hours 35 minutes
Servings 40 slices
Calories 169 kcal
Author Amanda

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit papaya, mango, kiwi, apricots, pears, etc
  • 1 cup rum
  • cups butter divided
  • cup whole milk
  • 4 cups flour all purpose
  • 1 cup sugar divided
  • 1 lemon zested
  • 1 1/4 ounce packet active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs large
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Oil or butter for greasing the bowl and baking sheet
  • cups powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Combine the fruit and rum in a small bowl. Stir to combine, cover, and let sit at room temperature while you make the dough or overnight if time allows.
  2. Combine 2 sticks of the butter and the milk in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second intervals until the butter melts). Combine the flour, ¼ cup of the sugar, the zest, the yeast, 1 teaspoon of the ground ginger, the cinnamon, and the salt in a large bowl. When the butter mixture cools to 100°F—it will feel warm but not hot—add it to the flour mixture and stir with the dough-hook attachment of a stand mixer or by hand. Lightly beat together the eggs and vanilla and stir them into the dough.
  3. Knead the dough with the dough-hook attachment of a stand mixer or by hand until it feels smooth and elastic, about 7-10 minutes. Grease a large bowl, add the dough, and turn it over to coat it lightly with oil or butter. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap, put it in a warm place, and let the dough rise for 2 hours.
  4. Punch down the dough and add the fruit mixture. Knead the dough in the bowl with the dough-hook attachment of a stand mixer or by hand until the fruit is evenly incorporated. (The dough will be sticky.)
  5. Grease a baking sheet and shape the dough, as well as you can, into 2 to 4 long, oval loaves on the baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap, put it in a warm place, and let the loaves rise for 1 hour.
  6. Heat the oven to 350°F. Uncover the baking sheet and bake until the loaves are golden brown, about 35 minutes (for smaller loaves) to 1 hour (for larger loaves).
  7. When the stollen is done, melt the remaining 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat (or in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave). Brush the tops and sides of the stollen with the butter while the loaves are still warm.
  8. Combine the remaining ¾ cup sugar and 1 teaspoon ground ginger and sprinkle over the stollen. Cool thoroughly. Sprinkle the powdered sugar all over the stollen, pressing lightly to help it stick. Wrap each loaf in foil or plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for at least 1 day before serving.
Nutrition Facts
Christmas Stollen with Rum Glaze
Amount Per Serving (1 slice)
Calories 169 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 27mg9%
Sodium 124mg5%
Potassium 36mg1%
Carbohydrates 21g7%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 11g12%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 228IU5%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 10mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Stollen: German Christmas Bread

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