Daring Bakers December- Stollen

The 2010 December Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Penny of Sweet Sadie’s Baking. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers to make Stollen. She adapted a friend’s family recipe and combined it with information from friends, techniques from Peter Reinhart’s book…and Martha Stewart’s demonstration.

I’ve been curious about Stollen for a while now. It’s mentioned a few times in one of my favorite books, The Corrections:

The Corrections is about a dysfunctional family and the matriarch’s quest for one last “perfect” Christmas at home. The grown daughter, who is also a well-known chef, bakes a Stollen for Christmas brunch.

I plan on making another Stollen and taking it to my mother in law’s house on Christmas day for all the relatives to enjoy. I did adapt the recipe a bit. I’m not a fan of citrus fruit so I just did a cinnamon and raisin Stollen and it tastes just like a big cinnamon roll! It probably would be best with some icing on top instead of the powdered sugar.

This is the dough rolled flat. I sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on a layer of butter just like when you make cinnamon rolls.

My dough was just the right consistency thanks to my new mixer!

Here’s a look at the inside. I think that when the top pulls away from the inside like that it means the dough rose too fast which could be. I had set the dough to rise on top of the stove which was heated because the oven was on, baking something else. It still tasted okay though.

One last thing- the recipe we were given was taken in part from Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads Every Day which is a GREAT book!

Stollen Wreath


¼ cup (60ml) lukewarm water (110º F / 43º C)
2 packages (4 1/2 teaspoons) (22 ml) (14 grams) (1/2 oz) active dry yeast
1 cup (240 ml) milk
10 tablespoons (150 ml) (140 grams) unsalted butter (can use salted butter)
5½ cups (1320 ml) (27 ozs) (770 grams) all-purpose (plain) flour (Measure flour first – then sift- plus extra for dusting)
½ cup (120 ml) (115 gms) sugar
¾ teaspoon (3 ¾ ml) (4 ½ grams) salt (if using salted butter there is no need to alter this salt measurement)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 grams) cinnamon
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
Grated zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
2 teaspoons (10 ml) (very good) vanilla extract
1 teaspoon (5 ml) lemon extract or orange extract
¾ cup (180 ml) (4 ¾ ozs) (135 grams) mixed peel (link below to make your own)
1 cup (240 ml) (6 ozs) (170 gms) firmly packed raisins
3 tablespoons (45ml) rum
12 red glacé cherries (roughly chopped) for the color and the taste. (optional)
1 cup (240 ml) (3 ½ ozs) (100 grams) flaked almonds
Melted unsalted butter for coating the wreath
Confectioners’ (icing) (powdered) sugar for dusting wreath

Note: If you don’t want to use alcohol, double the lemon or orange extract or you could use the juice from the zested orange.


Soak the raisins
In a small bowl, soak the raisins in the rum (or in the orange juice from the zested orange) and set aside. See Note under raisins.

To make the dough

Pour ¼ cup (60 ml) warm water into a small bowl, sprinkle with yeast and let stand 5 minutes. Stir to dissolve yeast completely.

In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup (240 ml) milk and 10 tablespoons (150 ml) butter over medium – low heat until butter is melted. Let stand until lukewarm, about 5 minutes.

Lightly beat eggs in a small bowl and add lemon and vanilla extracts.

In a large mixing bowl (4 qt) (4 liters) (or in the bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment), stir together the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, orange and lemon zests.

Then stir in (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment) the yeast/water mixture, eggs and the lukewarm milk/butter mixture. This should take about 2 minutes. It should be a soft, but not sticky ball. When the dough comes together, cover the bowl with either plastic or a tea cloth and let rest for 10 minutes.

Add in the mixed peel, soaked fruit and almonds and mix with your hands or on low speed to incorporate. Here is where you can add the cherries if you would like. Be delicate with the cherries or all your dough will turn red!

Sprinkle flour on the counter, transfer the dough to the counter, and begin kneading (or mixing with the dough hook) to distribute the fruit evenly, adding additional flour if needed. The dough should be soft and satiny, tacky but not sticky. Knead for approximately 8 minutes (6 minutes by machine). The full six minutes of kneading is needed to distribute the dried fruit and other ingredients and to make the dough have a reasonable bread-dough consistency. You can tell when the dough is kneaded enough – a few raisins will start to fall off the dough onto the counter because at the beginning of the kneading process the dough is very sticky and the raisins will be held into the dough but when the dough is done it is tacky which isn’t enough to bind the outside raisins onto the dough ball.

Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling around to coat it with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
Put it in the fridge overnight. The dough becomes very firm in the fridge (since the butter goes firm) but it does rise slowly… the raw dough can be kept in the refrigerator up to a week and then baked on the day you want.

Shaping the Dough and Baking the Wreath

1. Let the dough rest for 2 hours after taking out of the fridge in order to warm slightly.
2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
3. Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4 with the oven rack on the middle shelf.
4. Punch dough down, roll into a rectangle about 16 x 24 inches (40 x 61 cms) and ¼ inch (6 mm) thick.

Starting with a long side, roll up tightly, forming a long, thin cylinder.

Transfer the cylinder roll to the sheet pan. Join the ends together, trying to overlap the layers to make the seam stronger and pinch with your fingers to make it stick, forming a large circle. You can form it around a bowl to keep the shape.

Using kitchen scissors, make cuts along outside of circle, in 2-inch (5 cm) intervals, cutting 2/3 of the way through the dough.

Twist each segment outward, forming a wreath shape. Mist the dough with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap.

Proof for approximately 2 hours at room temperature, or until about 1½ times its original size.
Bake the stollen for 20 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees for even baking and continue to bake for 20 to 30 minutes. The bread will bake to a dark mahogany color, should register 190°F/88°C in the center of the loaf, and should sound hollow when thumped on the bottom.

Transfer to a cooling rack and brush the top with melted butter while still hot.
Immediately tap a layer of powdered sugar over the top through a sieve or sifter.
Wait for 1 minute, then tap another layer over the first.
The bread should be coated generously with the powdered sugar.
Let cool at least an hour before serving. Coat the stollen in butter and icing sugar three times, since this many coatings helps keeps the stollen fresh – especially if you intend on sending it in the mail as Christmas presents!

When completely cool, store in a plastic bag. Or leave it out uncovered overnight to dry out slightly, German style.


  1. Posted December 23, 2010 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Cinnamon and raisins… great flavor combo, the stollen looks so moist 🙂

  2. pragmaticattic
    Posted December 23, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Looks yummy! I also sprinkled the dough with cinnamon sugar (plus chocolate chips!).

  3. Posted December 23, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    I love your cinnamon-roll-stollen! I think the butter and cinnamon layer when it was rolled flat probably added to the separation, but undoubtedly made it SUPER DUPER tasty!!! Great job. Happy holidays!

  4. Posted December 23, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    What a great idea for a cinnamon roll! I’ll take your word, because my husband is MAD about cinn rolls! Great job, enjoy your holidays!

  5. Posted December 23, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    What a beautiful stollen… Great work!
    Happy Holidays!

  6. Posted December 23, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    What a wonderful idea! I love cinnamon rolls. Your stollen looks beautiful. So soft and fluffy.

  7. Posted December 23, 2010 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    I love making baked goods from novels… this will make even more sense if you’ve ever read The Elegance of the Hedgehog.

    Congrats on a wonderful stollen!

  8. Posted December 25, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Good idea to make a layer of cinnamon sugar! Your Stollen looks very nice.

  9. Posted December 26, 2010 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    I love your cinnamon-roll-stollen!! it looks beautiful, and the crumb looks so moist!

  10. Posted December 26, 2010 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    That looks amazing and dangerously addictive!

  11. Posted December 28, 2010 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    I had forgotten all about the The Corrections reference, thanks for reminding me. I wonder did you enjoy Freedom as much? I prefered The Corrections.
    Anyway, nice stollen! 🙂

  12. Posted December 29, 2010 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    I did like Freedom, a lot. But The Corrections is more memorable.

  13. Posted January 3, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    That stollen is so pretty!! I bet your in-laws were thrilled to share one with you as well. 😀