Stollen is a German sweet bread filled with dried fruit, nuts and sometimes marzipan. It’s typically a yeast bread, but baking powder is used instead to make this quick and easy version from King Arthur Flour.
The recipe is versatile in the types of dried fruit you can use. Use your favorite combination or what you have on hand. I used a combination of golden raisins, cherries and cranberries that resembled beautiful jewels in the sliced bread.
It has a unique ingredient in ricotta cheese that adds a tenderness to the bread that is lovely with its’ buttery flakiness and chewy pieces of fruit.
Melted butter is brushed over top while still hot from the oven followed by a generous sprinkling of confectioners’ sugar. The step is repeated when the bread cools. This double-layer of butter and sugar helps preserve it.
You can store this holiday bread tightly wrapped for up to 2 weeks in a cool, dark place.
Stollen is a German sweet bread filled with dried fruit and nuts.
- Preheat your oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- Cut the cold butter into small chunks, then blend it into the flour with a pastry blender or two knives used scissor fashion to form uneven crumbs.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the cheese, egg, vanilla, and zest. Toss the fruit and almonds with the flour mixture until evenly distributed. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, mixing until most of the flour is moistened.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, and knead it two or three times until it holds together. Divide in half. Roll each piece of dough into an 8 x 7 oval about 1/2-inch thick.
- Fold each piece of dough in half lengthwise, leaving the edge of the top half about 1/2-inch short of the edge of the bottom half.
- Use the edge of your hand to press the dough to seal about 1-inch in back of the open edge; this will make the traditional stollen shape.
- Place the shaped stollen on the prepared baking sheet and bake until light brown around edges about 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from center.
- Remove the stollen from the oven, and transfer to a rack. Brush each one with 2 to 3 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle heavily with confectioners’ sugar.
- Once the stollen are cool, brush with butter again and sprinkle with sugar. Wrap in plastic wrap until ready to serve. Plastic-wrapped stollen will keep well for 2 weeks or so at room temperature.