Amazing tasting spelt flour stollen perfect for the holiday season. A German tradition but also traditionally made for Christmas in many countries but why wait until Christmas why not bake this any time of year? An oval-shaped enriched fruit bread with a layer of marzipan inside, I have made my recipe with a blend of white and wholegrain spelt flour, a mixture of dried fruit; raisins and cranberries and candied orange, and spices. This is best made ahead of time and perfect for gift giving as it lasts for 2 weeks wrapped. We love this both fresh and lightly toasted with a little butter. Don't forget the fruit needs to be soaked for a few hours before making the dough.
Stollen or Christstollen dates back to the 14th century in German. Tradition states that Germans made homemade stollen loaves at Christmas to honour royalty princes and church dignitaries, and to sell at fairs and festivals for holiday celebrations.
Why is stollen eaten at Christmas?
The oval shape of Stollen and the foldover technique with a white coating on top of the bread is believed to be symbolic of baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling cloths.
Inspired by this recipe https://www.kingarthurbaking.com/recipes/christmas-stollen-recipe
Takes = 30 minutes of preparation plus fruit soaking for 2 hours
Bakes = 30-35 minutes
Total time including resting = 5 hours
Makes = 3 medium stollens perfect for gifting
- Dried raisins – 150g, 5.3 oz (1 cup packed)
- Dried cranberries – 90g, 3.1 oz (3/4 cup)
- Candied orange peel – 100g, 3.2 oz (1/2 cup + 3 tbs)
- Orange zest from one orange
- Fresh orange juice (or rum or black tea) – 1 whole orange (1/2 cup)
- Boiling water – 1/4 cup
- Spelt flour (150g, 1 cup of whole grain, 300g, 2 cups of white) – 450g (15 oz) + extra for kneading
- Yeast fresh, 14g (1 tbsp) or dried yeast 7g (2.5 teaspoons)
- Large egg – 1
- Unsalted butter – 113 g, 1 stick or 1/2 cup
- Ground cinnamon – 2 teaspoon
- Ground cardamom – 2 teaspoons
- Mixed spice – 1/2 tsp
- Sugar – 30g, 2 tablespoons
- Salt – 1 teaspoon
- Warm milk – 3 tablespoons
- Warm Water – 170ml (3/4 cup), 6 oz
- Flaked almonds, toasted – 40g (1/2 cup), 1.5 oz
- Store-bought marzipan – 191g (3/4 cup) divided by 3
- Unsalted melted butter – 2 tablespoon
- Caster sugar or icing sugar to dust
- Heat oven to 160˚C and toast the flaked almonds on a tray for 8-10 minutes until slightly golden.
- Combine the fruits tea or orange juice or rum, cover, and set aside at room temperature for 2-3 hours. This mixture will be added to the dough in step 5.
3. In a pan, heat the milk and water until just warm, add the yeast and sugar then whisk to combine. Set aside for 5 to 10 minutes, until the yeast has formed a thick, foamy crust on the milk.
4. Whisk the flour, spices and salt. Using a stand mixer, mix and knead together all of the dough ingredients (except the almonds) to make a smooth, soft dough. Cover the dough and let it rise until puffy, about 60 to 90 minutes.
5. Knead the drained fruit and almonds into the dough using a stand mixer is easier. Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased surface, divide it into three pieces about 435g each, and shape each piece into an 8" x 6" (20cm x 16cm) oval/ log. Or leave it as one extra large loaf. I like dividing so I can give on away and leave one in the freezer.
6. Divide the marzipan into three pieces and shape each into a flattened 18cm (7") log.
7. Place one piece of almond paste or marzipan down the longer centre of each oval, and fold the 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 45 to 60 minutes, until puffy.
8. While the stollen is rising, preheat the oven to 190˚/ 170˚C fan, 350°F, with a rack in the upper third.
9. Bake the stollen for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown.
10. Remove the stollen from the oven, and brush them with melted butter. After 5 minutes, caster sugar or icing sugar. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Wrap airtight and store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Freeze for longer storage.