Stollen, the traditional German Christmas bread is quite a delight to eat. The bread is filled with colorful nuts, dried fruits, candied citrus peels and enriched with eggs, butter and milk. Legend says that the Stollen, in its typical shape with the white layer of powdered sugar, symbolizes the swaddled Christ Child.
In the early days, stollen breads were made as bread without milk or butter because the Catholic church did not allow the use of these ingredients during advent. In the mid 17th century, a papal proclamation allowed bakers to add milk and butter, resulting in a bread that is quite similar to what we today know as a standard stollen recipe – Enriched dough, filled with rehydrated fruits and nuts with or without booze. I must say that I for one am glad that the restriction on use of butter and milk in the stollen bread was lifted.
The added butter and milk make the bread rather festive. But it is this addition of the butter and soaked nuts that also makes this bread a bit of a challenge to make well. Alcohol and the fat sort of retard the fermentation process of the yeast, hence you sometimes may not end up with a good crumb on the bread. The solution to this is using a pre ferment or kneading the dough without the soaked fruits first and then mixing them in after the dough has had a chance to get its bulk fermentation. No matter how you choose to make the stollen, The biggest challenge, however, is to actually wait a full 24 hours before you slice into the sugar layered loaf of boozy deliciousness.
This ginger orange stollen is happening today because of #BreadBakers. BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. This month’s host is Stacy who blogs at Food Lust People Love and she gave us the very decadent theme of Making a YEAST bread for this month’s Bread Bakers that is SWEETENED.
- American-Style Panettone from Passion Kneaded
- Beehive Bread from Sara’s Tasty Buds
- Candied Fruit Sweet Rolls from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Chestnut Roll Wreath from Food Above Gold
- Chocolate Cherry Brioche Buns from Baking Sense
- Chocolate Swirl Babka from Cook’s Hideout
- Cranberry Sweet Rolls from Food Lust People Love
- Estonian Kringle from I Camp in my Kitchen
- Finnish Nissua Bread from Gayathri’s Cook Spot
- Fruit & Nut Sourdough from What Smells So Good?
- Holiday Wreath with Sweet Nut Filling from Hostess At Heart
- Kugelhopf from Ambrosia
- Marzipan Stollen from Palatable Pastime
- St. Lucia Buns from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Stollen Bread from Sneha’s Recipe
- Sweet Milk Dinner Rolls from A Day in the Life on the Farm/
Ginger Orange Stollen #BreadBakers
for the dough
- 500 g/ 4 cups sifted leveled. bread flour, plus extra for flouring
- 100 g/ ½ c sugar
- 10 g/1tbs active dry yeast
- 10 g salt /1tbs Salt
- 150 g/ 10 tbs/1 ¼ sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 250 ml/ 1 1/8 C full-fat milk
- pinch of ground nutmeg
- pinch of ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 egg
- zest of three oranges
for the filling
- 1/4 C blanched almonds finely chopped
- 1 C total of Candied ginger Mixed raisins, cranberries, currants etc
- 1 C orange juice/ orange liquor
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 C to 3/4 C marzipan
For the topping
- Melted butter
- powdered sugar
6- 12 hours before baking
Combine the dried fruits and orange juice or grand marnier, cover, and set aside at room temperature
make the dough:
Using a stand mixer, mix and knead together all of the dough ingredients to make a smooth, soft dough. Knead low, slow and long until the dough is smooth.
Cover the dough and let it rise until almost double, about 2 hours.
To make the filling:
Divide the marzipan into two pieces and shape each into a flattened 7" log.
To assemble the stollen
Knead the fruit and almonds into the dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased surface, divide it into two pieces, and shape each piece into an oval
Place one piece of marzipan down the longer center of each oval, and fold dough over it lengthwise, leaving the top edge of the dough just shy of the bottom edge.
Press the top edge firmly to seal it to the dough below.
Place the loaves on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover them, and let them rise for and hour so, until it looks like it is getting puffy. It won't rise much though.
Preheat the oven to 370°F. Bake the stollen for 10 minutes, then reduce heat and bake for another 20 to 25.
The bread is done when it is golden brown on the outside and your thermometer registers an internal temp of at least 190F.
Remove the stollen from the oven, and brush them with melted butter. After 5 minutes, dust with Baker's sugar.
When slightly cool, dust with confectioner's sugar.
Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Wrap airtight and store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
The loaves can also be frozen.