Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Stollen


Christmas morning. Presents unwrapped and revealed, empty stockings rehung, and the decorated tree breathing a deep sigh of relief. Breakfast in my family is a secondary thought to the excitement of the morning and the turkey in the oven.


But this year, the morning before Mike and I fought the tourists and traffic to escape the city for a quaint Christmas in southwestern Virginia, I kneaded the silky, spicy stollen dough between my fingers and incorporated the dried fruit smelling of fresh orange juice and comforting bourbon.


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 tightly packed the braided loaf in my suitcase.  On Christmas Eve, the loaf found a happy home on a beautiful wooden cutting board in my family’s sunny dining room.

As it sat there, absorbing the excitement of Christmas and as the bourbon and butter continued to soak into the pores of the loaf, the flavors developed and deepened into a remarkable fixture on the breakfast table.


Christmas Stollen
from Dolcetto Confections | Allison M. Veinote
makes 1 loaf

Do not feel confined to soaking your dried fruit in the traditional brandy.  I chose to use my favorite liquor - Maker's Mark - and the deep flavors paired amazingly well with the spices in this breakfast treat.

Soaked Fruit
2/3 cup golden raisins, divided
2/3 cup raisins, divided
2/3 cup dried cranberries, divided
1/4 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup Maker's Mark bourbon

Candied Kumquats
1 1/4 cups kumquats, coined
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons SAF instant dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon whole milk, warmed to 110°F
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, room temperature and lightly beaten
2 cups dried fruits, soaked (recipe above)
1 1/4 cups candied citrus (recipe above)
1 cup whole almonds, toasted at 350°F for 10 minutes and cut in half
Zest of 1 orange
Zest of 1/2 lemon

1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons whole milk

Preparation Instructions
Soak the dried fruit: Place 1/3 cup golden raisins, 1/3 cup raisins, 1/3 cup dried cranberries, and orange juice in airtight container. Place remaining dried fruits and Maker's Mark in a separate airtight container. Soak fruit overnight or up to 1 month.

Candy the citrus: Place kumquat coins in medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil. Drain water from kumquats and place kumquats back in saucepan. Combine sugar and 1 1/2 cups cold water and bring to a boil. When liquid is boiling, reduce heat to low, cover, and allow fruit to simmer for 20 minutes. Allow syrup to cool to room temperature before transferring kumquats and liquid to airtight container. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Make the stollen: Whisk together flour, granulated sugar, instant yeast, kosher salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cardamom, and cloves in a large bowl. Stir in milk and melted butter. Add eggs. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth.

Drain golden raisins, raisins, and dried cranberries; reserve any extra liquid. Drain candied kumquats; reserve simple syrup for another use.

Add golden raisins, raisins, dried cranberries, candied kumquats, toasted almonds, and zests to dough, and continue kneading until incorporated, about 10 minutes. Add more flour as needed, the dough should not be overly sticky.

Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Punch down dough, divide into 3 even pieces, and roll each piece into a 15-inch-long log. Braid 3 logs together, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic, and let rise until doubled in volume, about 2 hours more.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake stollen until golden brown, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool on wire rack for 15 minutes. When loaf is cool enough to handle, brush with a generous amount of bourbon. When bourbon has soaked into loaf, brush with generous amount of melted butter. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

To glaze: Beat together confectioners' sugar and milk. Drizzle stollen with icing just before serving.


  1. I love that you traveled with it, and the braid is beautiful. Happy new year!

  2. @Jenny: Thank you! Wishing you a very healthy, sweet 2011!


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