Once you try this Classic Christmas Stollen you may never want store bought again! Using your bread machine on the dough cycle makes it easy to make!
If you can bake bread you can make stollen. It is not labour intensive but it is a bit time intensive with two rise periods.
The bonus here though is it will keep well wrapped in plastic wrap and foil for several days. It also freezes beautifully. So making a few loaves has its advantages.
I used the dough cycle of my bread machine to do the kneading. Some day I am going to have to get over my aversion for hand-kneading but not today!
There are quick versions that use ricotta cheese. I am not familiar with them but this classic version is like a sweet bread. I soaked my dried fruits and raisins in Gran Marnier. Some people use rum or brandy. You could use orange juice or water if you don’t want to incorporate alcohol.
The recipe as written makes 2 very large loaves. Next time I think I will make 4 smaller loaves. The 4 loaves would be about as big as what we typically see in the grocery store in Canada. That way you can gift some, save some. However, if you are feeding a crowd 2 big loaves may be just fine for you!
The other thing I would do differently next time is – I would use darker coloured raisins. It is hard to tell from the photo that this bread is loaded with candied fruit and almonds. I used golden raisins and there isn’t much contrast. It tastes delicious but I like the visual contrast.
You can use currants instead of raisins and you can switch up the dried fruits as well. This variation with the fruit and Gran Marnier is a nod toward a citrus theme. You can use water instead of orange juice or Gran Marnier if you want a more neutral loaf.
I also pondered a bit whether this is dessert or bread. It really is both! My friend had hers for breakfast and my mother in law used to serve it as dessert. It also makes a great coffee cake or tea side!
However you decide to serve it enjoy!
Classic Christmas Stollen (Bread Machine)
- 5 cups all purpose flour divided 4 + 1 cups, plus a bit more for kneading and coating the fruit.
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup candied citrus peel (I used lemon and lime citron from Bulk Barn)
- 1/2 cup Gran Marnier (or orange juice if you don't want alcohol)
- 3 tsps active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup luke warm water
- 1 cup milk divided 1/2 and 1/2 cup
- 1 1/4 cups butter at room temperature
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup almond slices
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1 cup icing sugar
- Heat Grand Marnier or liquid you are using to luke warm. Soak the raisins and candied citrus in the liquid for at least 30 minutes. It can be more. Reserve the liquid when you are finished soaking.
- Mix the yeast with the lukewarm water in a large bowl and set aside for 10 minutes to proof. Add 1 cup of the flour and a 1/2 cup of milk. Stir until smooth. Seal the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm place for at least one hour and up to four hours. This creates a 'sponge' as the basis for the stollen.
- After the sponge has stood, stir it and add the rest of the flour, remaining milk, butter, eggs, vanilla, sugar and salt. Stir all together till ingredients are well mixed.
- Transfer the dough to your bread machine and start the Dough Cycle. Mine does a 5 minute knead, 5 minute rest and 2nd knead is 20 minutes. Check the dough after the first knead. If the dough is too dry add some of the liquid from the fruit soaking liquid. If it is too sticky or shaggy add a bit more flour. I removed the dough at the end of the 2nd knead because this is a big recipe and there won't be enough room in the bread machine container to allow the full rise. Transfer dough to an oiled bowl. Cover and allow to rise until doubled. Mine was done after 60 minutes but you can go up to 2 hours.
- Drain the raisins and dried citrus. Toss in a zip lock bag with a Tbsp of flour to coat them. This will prevent them from dropping to the bottom of the loaf.
- Punch the dough down. Add the fruit and the almonds and work the dough with your hands to distribute the fruit and nuts evenly through the dough.
- Turn the dough out to your work surface. My dough was soft and not sticky so I didn't need to flour the work surface. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Roll each portion out to a rectangle about 1 inch thick.
- Fold the long edge of the dough about 3/4 of the way over to the other long edge. (The unevenness is meant to represent the baby Jesus in a swaddling blanket.)
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer the loaves to the baking sheet and cover loosely with a towel or plastic wrap. Let the loaves to rise until doubled (about another 60 minutes).
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove the cover from the baking sheet. Bake loaves about 45 minutes. The crust should be golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle will come out clean.
- While loaves are hot out of the oven, brush melted butter all over (including the bottom of the loaf). Sieve the icing sugar over all sides of the loaf. Once you have coated all sides once, wait till the loaves have cooled and sieve remaining icing sugar over loaves again till they are uniformly covered.
- Wrap tightly in foil and store in a cool place for at least 24 hours and up to 2 weeks. You can freeze loaves well wrapped in plastic and foil for several weeks.
2 Replies to “Classic Christmas Stollen (Bread Machine)”
By the way, the Japanese MK bread machine (BML-150) has a Stollen setting built into it.
Oh wow! Mine has a jam making setting that I use! I will have to look at the MK.. it probably has lots of settings if it has stollen specifically!