How to Make Stollen

This is American stollen, mind you. Which is to say it tried hard to be the real German article, but not being truly German, it isn’t. My shape isn’t perfect (I left a little too much lip down below), and I used things like cherries and dark raisins which are verboten among the purist crowd. I bring this up because there are people out there who feel strongly about stollen (similar to those who feel strongly about biscuits), and are going to give me grief after this is over. So be it.

Begin by putting the sponge ingredients, save for the milk, in the bowl of a stand mixer.

Whisk to combine…

Then stir in the milk with a wooden spoon until you get a thick batter.

Cover with a cloth and let sit while you prepare your dough ingredients. Have ready your macerated fruit mixture from day 1. Notice I have dark raisins in there. What can I say, I had them and didn’t want to run to the store for the golden kind. Technically the cherries aren’t kosher either (they will tend to color the crumb a bit) so if you don’t want them, swap them out for more raisins or an equal portion of the other fruit.

Now for the dough. Again put your dry ingredients in a bowl…

…and whisk to combine. You should also combine your wet ingredients at this time, beating them lightly.

After half an hour has passed, check your sponge, it should be bubbly.

Fit the dough hook on the mixer and turn it on low. Add the dry ingredients.

Then the wet ingredients.

Stir (knead, really) until a dough comes together.

Then add your butter in pieces. Looks like brioche, no? Zat iz because eet iz.

When the dough is uniform, add half the marzipan.

Then the macerated fruit and nuts. If they don’t incorporate easily in the mixture, turn the whole mess out and knead it by hand for a minute or two until the mixture is evenly distributed. Let it rest for half an hour.

Now then. Roll the dough out into a rough oval

Make trench in the middle by pressing on it with a rolling pin…

…and fill the trench with the remaining half of the marzipan (some people use much more than that, rolling it into a thick log and putting the log in the trench…it’s up to you).

Then fold the dough over to enclose the marzipan, ideally, leaving less lip than I’ve done here. Oh yes, stollen lovers, I know there are many more ways to shape stollen. However this is the shape my grandmother used to buy hers in, so I’m partial to it.

Bake for 50-60 minutes until it’s well browned. All to cool on a rack.

Paint with butter.

The dust it with powdered sugar.

Slice, toast, eat.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *