This delicious stollen bread is traditional at Christmas time. As it keeps well, you can make it up to a week in advance. Beware, though—stollen is pretty irresistible, so you might find it gets eaten before the festivities. A loaf of fully baked stollen freezes well. Defrost at room temperature prior to slicing.–Richard Bertinet
LC Wrap This Bread Up With A Bow Note
Few things would be lovelier to receive as a gift than a loaf of this traditional Christmas bread. And by “few,” we mean damn few things. Like diamonds. Tickets to Paris. That sorta thing. Perhaps you oughta consider wrapping this bread up with a bow. Could earn you some heartfelt thanks.
- Quick Glance
- 1 H
- 5 H, 30 M
- Makes 3 stollen
- For the crème d'amande
- 2 sticks plus 1 tablespoon (8 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/3 cups ground almonds
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large tablespoons rum
- For the stollen
- 7 1/2 cups white bread flour, plus more for the work surface
- 2/3 ounce (about 4 level teaspoons) fresh yeast
- 2 1/2 cups milk, at warm room temperature
- 14 tablespoons (7 ounces) unsalted butter, use the wrapper for greasing
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 level teaspoons salt
- 8 ounces (shelled weight) eggs, roughly equivalent to 4 large
- 1 batch Crème d’Amande
- 1 1/4 cups natural (uncolored) marzipan, cut into small pieces
- For the filling
- 1 1/3 cups golden raisins
- 3/4 cup glacé cherries
- 1 1/2 cups candied peel
- 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
- 4 tablespoons rum
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- For the glaze
- 7 tablespoons (3 1/2 ounces) butter
- 2 capfuls rum
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
- To make the crème d’amande
- 1. Beat the unsalted butter and sugar by hand or mix in a food processor with a paddle, until pale and fluffy. Add the ground almonds and mix again. Add the flour and continue to mix. Finally, add the eggs, 1 at a time, along with the rum, mixing well between each addition, until the cream is light in consistency. (The crème d’amande can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week.)
- To make the stollen
- 2. Preheat the oven to 350°F (170°C). You will need a large buttered baking sheet.
- 3. Place the flour in a large bowl and crumble in the yeast with your fingers. Mix in the milk, butter, sugar, salt, and eggs, using your scraper to combine everything together. When the mixture starts to come together into a dough, use your scraper to turn it out onto an unfloured work surface. Slide your fingers under the dough, then with your thumbs parallel to your index fingertips, lift it lightly, swing it upwards, slap it back down, away from you, onto your work surface. Stretch the dough forwards and sideways and tuck it in around the edges. Keep repeating this sequence, using your plastic scraper to help you lift the dough from the work surface.
- 4. Lightly flour your work surface, and then form the stollen dough into a ball. Put it back in the lightly floured bowl, cover with a clean towel, and let it rest at room temperature for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- 5. Again, lightly flour your work surface. Turn out the dough with the help of your scraper and use your fingertips to flatten it into a rough square shape. Set aside while you make the filling.
- To make the filling
- 6. Mix together all the ingredients for the filling.
- 7. To assemble the stollen
- 8. Spread your filling over the dough and fold a few times to incorporate fully. Form the dough into a ball and put back into the lightly floured bowl to rest for another 30 minutes.
- 9. Again, lightly flour the work surface and turn out the dough. Cut the dough into 3 equal pieces. Put each piece of stollen dough, smooth side down, on your lightly floured surface and flatten out with your fingertips into a rectangle roughly 8 by 6 inches. Spread the top of each piece of dough generously with the Crème d’Amande, and then scatter with pieces of the marzipan. Working with 1 stollen at a time, fold 1 of the long sides into the center (over the cream and marzipan filling), then fold the other side over the top and press down all around the edges to seal. Place the filled stollens, seam side down, on your buttered baking sheet. over with a baking cloth and let rise for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, until just under double in volume.
- 10. Put the tray of stollen in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until light golden. Just before the stollen come out of the oven, make up the glaze. Melt the butter in a small pan and stir in the rum. Take the stollen out of the oven and brush quite heavily with the glaze while still hot. Immediately dust thickly with icing sugar. Cool on a wire rack.
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Stollen Recipe © 2007 Richard Bertinet. Photo © 2007 Jean Cazals. All rights reserved.