Stollen – German Christmas Bread



Christstollen or Christ’s stollen, traces back to the 1400s in Dresden, Germany, and last year alone an astonishing 2 million loaves were baked there. Some believes the bump in the middle of stollen resembles the humps of the camels who carried presents for baby Jesus and the candied fruit represents jewels and gifts . While others says the fold symbolizes the blanket around baby Jesus. There are many variations and methods to make stollen. Usually, there is a big log of marzipan rolled in between but since I didn’t.
The recipe I used is from Food Network but I made a lot of changes. Instead of all purpose I used bread flour, and I had to let my dough rise for much much longer than stated. This dough has a lot of butter, alcohol and candied fruit, which suffocates  the yeast. It rises very slowly and never reaches double in volume. I did the first rise overnight in the garage (since its cold but I don’t need refrigerator cold) and I did the second rise in a warm (preheated and turned off) oven.



1) Sponge is ready when its blubbly and fluffy

2) Before 1st rise

3) After 1st rise. Note it does not reach double in volume even after rising overnight

4) Before 2nd rise

5) After 2nd rise, before baking


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Stollen - German Christmas Bread
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2 small loaves
  • Fruit:
  • 1 cup mixed candied fruit
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 3 tablespoons rum
  • Sponge:
  • 1 package (2¼ tsp) active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • ⅔ cup warm milk
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • Dough:
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup chopped almonds
  • 3¼ to 3½ cup bread flour
  • Filling:
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • Topping:
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  1. Fruit: Combine the mixed fruits and soak in rum for at least 4 hours
  2. Sponge: Sprinkle yeast over warmed milk and water, let stand for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Add honey and flour to the mixture. Mix and cover the sponge with plastic wrap for 30 minutes, until it is bubbly and fluffy
  4. Dough: Add the honey, egg, butter, salt, almonds, flour, and the soaked fruit with the remaining rum to the bubbly sponge.
  5. Mix and knead for 5 minutes or so until dough is smooth and elastic.
  6. First rise: Roll the dough into a smooth ball. Cover a large bowl with oil and roll the dough ball around to cover all sides with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise overnight in a cool place
  7. Shape: Bunch down the risen dough and divide in 2. Roll/pat each dough into an oval about half an inch thick.
  8. Brush melted butter on the dough. Mix cinnamon and sugar together and sprinkle over one half of the dough. Fold the side without cinnamon onto the other side.
  9. Second rise: Transfer your loaves onto a baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1.5 hour in a warm draft-free place.
  10. Bake: Preheat oven to 375F and bake for 20 minutes.
  11. Transfer baked loaves to a cooling rack. Brush melted butter, and sprinkle 2 coats of powdered sugar on top with a sift.



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