Stollen is a deliciously stuffed German sweet bread that’s filled to bursting with raisins, ginger and nuts that pair perfectly with the sweet and dense, buttery dough. Making any leavened bread at home isn’t necessarily a walk in the park, as it’s time consuming and requires stopping and starting while the dough does its thing, but this stollen is so yummy you won’t mind making the effort!
The trick, since it’s so packed with goodies, is to make sure you take the time to let the dough rise once without any raisins or nuts in it, then let it rise again once everything’s neatly folded in. These steps will ensure a risen bread that’s perfectly moist. Stollen is an ideal choice for that big holiday dinner or party since it’s both beautiful and delicious! This is one of those treats that’s just right for any special occasion, a unique blend of textures and flavors wrapped up into a moist loaf of sweet bread!
Yields 2-4 loaves
- 3-4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 cup (3 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, for dusting
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup almonds, sliced
- 1/2 cup crystallized ginger
- 1/2 cup orange liqueur or warm water
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoon orange zest, grated
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- vegetable oil, for greasing the bowl
- Soak raisins, ginger and almonds in orange liqueur in a medium bowl for at least 30 minutes (up to 8 hours) and set aside.
- Warm milk in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until just about to boil. Set 1/2 cup milk aside, then add 1 cup sugar, 1 cup butter, and salt to remaining milk.
- Remove from heat and let cool until lukewarm, then transfer to a large bowl or mixer.
- In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 cup warm milk, yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar until frothy. About 5 minutes. Add yeast mixture to the milk, butter and sugar that you’ve poured into your mixer and stir together to combine.
- Beat in eggs one at a time to, then add vanilla extract and mix well.
- Mix in orange zest, cardamom and nutmeg, then add 2 cups flour and mix until dough begins to come together.
- Continue adding flour until dough ball forms. Knead dough until smooth and elastic.
- Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean towel and place in a warm, draft-free place for 1 1/2-2 hours, or until doubled in size.
- Punch down dough and add raisin nut mixture. Knead until completely incorporated and smooth.
- Lightly grease a baking tray and shape dough into desired amount of loaves. Cover again with a clean towel, transfer to a warm, draft-free place and let rise for 1 hour.
- Press loaves down in center and fold over lengthwise.
- Place in oven and bake for 35-40 minutes (for smaller loaves) to 50-55 minutes (large loaves).
- Remove from oven, melt remaining 3/4 cup butter and brush it onto loaves, and sprinkle generously with powdered sugar.
Optional: wrap loaves tightly in plastic wrap and let sit for 1 day before serving to maximize flavor.
Recipe adapted from Slate