Friday, December 24, 2010


The end of the month is here again and the moment has come for all of us Daring Bakers devotees to uncover a secret we have kept well-hidden for a few weeks. Of course, contrarily to most of my zealous colleagues and as it is my habit, I made my challenge at the very last moment (a special wink goes to Jamie at "Life's A Feast"!). This time though I executed it without stress despite the fact that Xmas was getting closer every day and I still had a lot to prepare...

The 2010 December Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Penny of "Sweet Sadie’s Baking" who chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make a "Dresdner Chris
tstollen". 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.

Stollen Picnik-Collage 3 bis
"Dresndner Christstollen" is a bread-like fruitcake made with yeast, water, milk, flour, butter, salt, eggs, rum, vanilla, orange essence, orange and lemon zests, candied orange peel, candied citrus peel, raisins, cinnamon and sometimes also cardamom as well as marzipan. This traditional German speciality which is a little similar to the Italian "Panettone" or the Dutch "Kerststol" can be traced back to 1474. It is usually eaten during the Christmas holidays, hence the religious-oriented name (it is also called "Weihnachtsstollen", meaning "Christmas Stollen" in English). Originally it was called "Dresdner Striezel" - "Striezel" coming from the word "Strüzel" or "Stroczel", meaning "awaken" because it was an early-baked loaf of bread. It's unique shape is meant to represent the baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes.

Germans baked "Stollen" loaves to honor princes and church dignitaries, and to sell at fairs and festivals. The very first of them were confectioned without milk or butter because the Catholic church didn't allow these ingredients during Advent. It was only until the mid 17th century that a papal proclamation allowed bakers to finally add milk and butter.

Nowadays it is still as popular as in the past. Although "Dresdner Christstollen" doesn't have roots in Switzerland we nontheless consume tons of that festive treat during the end of year festivities. It is so widely spread that you can buy it from every store and you'll find it on most tables. At home we always ate "Stollen", so now I cannot imagine celebrating Yuletide without serving that ambrosial goodie. It is so Xmas-like. Therefore, when I heard that we were asked to bake a "Stollen" for the December challenge I was really excited about that project and really looked forward to tasting the homemade version as until now I have never had the opportunity to make my own.

I more or less followed the recipe to the letter. I chose not to use candied cherries, but added a few more raisins. As I thought that almond flakes might totally disappear in the dough and would pass unnoticed if used in that form I decided to add slivered almond instead which I toasted. I also filled one of my loaves with some marzipan. Being a traditionalist, I absolutely wanted to shape my "Dresdner Christstollen" the classic way and didn't have the desire to give it the appearance of a wreath.

The result was highly satisfying. The recipe gave me two mammoth loaves that looked perfect and tasted just out of this world. My "Dresdner Christstollen" had just the right texture too. It was neither too heavy nor too light, the inside was pleasantly moist and melt-in-the-mouth and and the crust was super soft (there was nearly no difference with the inside). Flavor-wise they were exactly the way they should be: intensely fragrant, with delicate boozy, buttery, orangy, lemony, cinnamony and nutty notes, not to forget that thanks to the overnight proofing they also had a slightly sourdoughy aroma that was extremely pleasurable. There is only one negative remark I'll make though. In my opinion, the "Stollen" could have contained more raisins and mixed peel as I found there were a tad not enough fruits...

This homemade "Dresdner Christstollen" is so much better than store-bought ones and a lot cheaper, so I highly recommend you to get off your asses and start baking if you love this European delicacy!

Stollen Picnik-Collage 4 bis
~ Christmas Stollen ~
Recipe adapted from Penny's German friend who bakes Stollen every year, Peter Reinhart's "Bread Baker’s Apprentice" and Martha Stewart.

Makes two traditional shaped Stollen loaves.
Serves 10-12 people

Preparation time:
The following times are approximate. I suggest you gat
her and scale/weigh/measure (mise en place) all your ingredients before you begin mixing.

• Approximately 1 hour first stage – then rest overnight or up to 3 days
• 2 hours to warm up after refrigeration
• 15 minutes shaping

• 2 hours proofing
• 30-45 minutes baking Equipment required:

• Mixer with dough hook or strong arms and hands
• Mixing bowl
• Bowl to soak raisins

• Small saucepan
• Sheet of plastic or plastic wrap to cover when proofing

• Bench or pastry scraper (very handy for cutting dough and also cleaning work surface)
• Rolling pin
• Dough whisk can be handy but not necessary
• Pastry Brush
• A scale is really important to have when making bread so I strongly advise you to get one. You do not have to have on
e though. (would make a good Christmas gift!)
• Sheet Pan or round Pizza pan
• Parchment Paper Stollen Wreath

1/4 Cup (60ml) Lukewarm water (110º F/43º C)
2 packages (4 1/2 Tsps/14 grams/1/2oz) Active dry yeast
1 Cup (240ml) Milk
10 Tbs (140g) Unsalted butter (can use salted butter)
5½ Cups (27oz/770g) All-purpose flour (Measure
flour first, then sift + extra for dusting)
½ Cup (115g) Castor sugar
¾ Tsp (4.5g) Sea salt (if using salted butter there is no need to alter this salt measurement)
1 Tsp (6g) Gropund cinnamon
3 Large eggs, lightly beaten
Grated zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange

2 Tsps Pure vanilla extract
1 Tsp Lemon extract or orange extract
3/4 Cup (4 ¾oz/135g) Mixed peel
1 Cup (6oz/170g) Firmly packed raisins
3 Tbs (45ml) Dark rum
12 Red glacé cherries, roughly chopped (optional)
1 Cup (3.5oz/100g) Slivered almonds, lightly toasted

Melted unsalted butter for coating the wreath
Confectioners sugar for dusting wreath

If you don’t want to use alcohol, double the lemon or orange extract or you could use the juice
from the zested orange.

Stollen 3 bis
Method For Making The "Dough":
1. In a small bowl, soak the raisins in the rum (or in the orange juice from the zested orange) and set aside.

2. Pour 1/4 cup (60 ml) warm water into a small bowl, sprinkle with yeast and let stand 5 minutes. Stir to dissolve yeast completely.
3. In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup (240 ml) milk and 10 tablespoons (150 ml) butter over medium - low heat until butter is melted. Let stand until lukewarm, about 5 minutes.
4. Lightly beat eggs in a small bowl and add lemon and vanilla extracts.
5. In a large mixing bowl (4 qt/4 liters or in the bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment), stir together the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, orange and lemon zes
6. Then stir in (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment) the yeast/wate
r mixture, eggs and the lukewarm milk/butter mixture (This should take about 2 minutes. It should be a soft, but not sticky ball).
7. When the dough comes together, cover the bowl with either plastic or a tea cloth and let rest for 10 minutes.
8. Add in the mixed peel, soaked fruit and almonds and mix with your hands o
r on low speed to incorporate. Here is where you can add the cherries if you would like (Be delicate with the cherries or all your dough will turn red!).
9. Sprinkle flour on the counter, transfer the dough to the counter, and begin kneading (or mixing with the dough hook) to distribute the fruit evenly, adding additional flour if needed (The dough should be soft and satiny, tacky but not sticky). Knead for approximately 8 minutes/6 minutes by machine (The full six minutes of kneading is needed to distribute the dried fruit and other ingredients and to make the dough have a reasonable bread-dough consistency. You can tell when the dough is kneaded enough – a few raisins will start to fall off the dough onto the counter because at the beginning of the kneading process the dough is very sticky and the raisins will be held into the dough but when the dough is done it is tacky which isn't enough to bind the outside raisins onto the dough ball.).
10. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling around to coat it with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

11. Put it in the fridge overnight (The dough becomes very firm in the fridge since the butter goes firm, but it does rise slowly… The raw dough can be kept in the refriger ator up to a week and then baked on the day you want.).

Stollen Picnik-Collage 5 bis
Shaping the Dough and Baking the Wreath:
1. Let the dough rest for 2 hours after taking out of the fridge in order to warm slightly.
2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
3. Punch dough down,
divide it into two pieces.
4. Pat into ovals.
5. For traditional stollen shape (video 1 & video 2),
on a floured working surface roll out the dough to an oblong shape about 3 cm (1 1/5 inch) thick (The long sides should be bulging.). Fold in the long sides of the dough on top of each other. Now push in the dough lengthwise with your hands forming a stollen shape. Place the Stollen on your baking sheet.
Brush the dough with melted butter and cover loosely with plastic wrap.
7. Proof for approximately 2 hours at room temperature, or until about 1 1/2 times its original size.
8. Preheat oven to moderate 180°C (350° F) with the oven rack on the middle shelf.
9. Bake the stollen for 20 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees for even baking and continue to bake for 20 to 30 minutes (The bread will bake to a dark mahogany color, should register 190°F/88°C in the center of the loaf, and should sound hollow when thumped on the bottom.). 10. Transfer to a cooling rack and brush the top with melted butter while still h ot.
11. Immediately tap a layer of powdered sugar over the top through a sieve or sifter.
12. Wait for 1 minute, then tap another layer over the first (The bread should be coated generously with the powdered sugar.
Coat the stollen in butter and icing sugar three times, since this many coatings helps keeps the stollen fresh - especially if you intend on sending it in the mail as Christmas presents! The more rum and the more coatings of butter and sugar you use the longer it will store. The following is for the recipe as written and uses the 45 mls of rum and two coatings of butter and icing sugar.).
13. Let cool at least an hour before serving.

When completely cool, store in a plastic bag or leave it out uncovered overnight to dry out slightly, German style.
The stollen tastes even better in a couple of days.

Serving suggestions:
Stollen is delicious with butter and a cup of tea.

It toasts superbly and can be used to make bread pudding.

Stollen Picnik-Collage 1 bis


Etant donné que la recette est un peu longue, je n'ai malheureusement pas pu faire une traduction française de ce billet et je m'en excuse auprès de tous mes amis lecteurs et blogueurs francophones!

C'est pourquoi je vous suggère de vous rendre sur le blog mentionné ci-desso us. Vous y trouverez cette recette en version française.

Recette pour le "Dresdner Christstollen" sur les deux blogs canadiens suivants:
Chez Isa de "Les Gourmandises d'Isa" (Canada)
Chez Vibi de "La Casserole Carrée" (Canada)

Stollen Picnik-Collage 2 bis


  1. Je n'aimais pas ça enfant et voilà que je viens d'y reprendre goût cette année, alors ta recette tombe à pic ! Merci donc Rosa pour ce Cristollen, merveilleusement mis en valeur par tes photos ! Joyeux Noël :-)))

  2. My english is very bad, donc je vais le faire en français "if you don't mind"...
    Cette recette est juste fantastique et elle me rappelle mes noël d'enfance où je chippais une tranche de cette brioche un peu spéciale :D
    Une question me turlupine : habiteriez-vous dans le bassin Genevois ?

  3. You should add more fruits! Maybe it's just me. I love stollen with lots of fruits!

  4. I love stollen and yours looks utterly gorgeous! Great job!

    Happy Holidays, Rosa :)

  5. magnifique !!! tout est magnifique dans ce billet.... je t'autorise a manger la part que tu as du me reserver ?! ;)
    Bises Rosa et a tout bientot,

  6. Stollen looks gorgeous with perfect texture and beautiful crust. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  7. Buon Natale Rosa carissima, e te ad ai tuoi cari che sia un Natale sereno e dolcissimo :)))
    Un bacio

  8. I so wanted to bake a stollen this Christmas but coukdn fit it in!
    Always look forward to when u will uncover the end of the month secret!
    I lovee that u can refrigerate it for upto a week!
    Ur bake is beautiful and pics too are a work of art!!
    merry Christmas with lods of love sweet Rosa!

  9. Et avec la chant de Noël qui va avec le stollen, trop classe dis donc ! tes photos sont superbes j'aime les montages !
    Joyeuses fêtes à toi et à toute ta famille
    bien amicalement

  10. Both my husband and I are of German heritage and I don't believe either of us has tasted Stollen. Yours looks scrumptious, as all of your baked goods always do.

    I wish you a very merry Christmas filled with wonderful food, family and friends. Happy holidays to you and your family.

  11. The stollen looks fantastic next to the snowy view. Wishing you & your family a very Merry Christmas. Hope you're having a marvelous time and enjoy the night.
    May god bless you all.
    Best wishes, Kristy

  12. Just beautiful, Rosa, perfect Stollen indeed! I always love baking with you and hopefully this coming year will actually find us in the same kitchen baking together rather than on twitter! Your friendship has been a great gift to me! Have a very joyous and healthy holiday season, darling Rosa, and enjoy your perfect delicious stollen! xo

  13. Your stollen looks light and delicious - it's a nice tradition to maintain.

  14. Now that would look good on my Christmas table!

  15. All I want for Christmas is a tiny piece of that mouth watering Stollen of yours. Love the dash if history too!!!

    Thanks for sharing, Rosa

    Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Very Happy Birthday! Louise:)

  16. this bread looks stunning, and the shots too! have a lovely Xmas, Rosa!!!


  17. Merry Xmas, Rosa.
    Lovely and surely delicious cake.

  18. Love Stollen! Yours is beautiful! Merry Christmas Rosa :)

  19. This looks so decadent and festive bread.And the snow pictures are gorgeous as always.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  20. This was the perfect time for you to make this treat...especially with the beautifully paired photos you chose from the pristine white scenery.

    Rosa, I'd like to wish you and your close ones the very best of holidays and all you desire in the coming year.

    All the very best,

  21. Your Christmas Stollen looks wonderful. A yeasted fruitcake would be very well received right about now with some coffee. Lovely winter photos! Merry Christmas! XO

  22. Lovely post and stollen, great job Rosa!

    Happy Holidays to you!

  23. Your Stollen looks excellent! I love them with some sparkling wine. :-))
    Merry Christmas, Rosa!

  24. wish you were next door, then i can try your awesome bakings! babe Merry Christmas yeah and have a huge jolly New Year! ;)

  25. Superbe ton Stollen Rosa!

    Joyeuses Fêtes!

  26. Joyeux Noël Rosa !
    Merci pour le stollen ..

  27. tous les ans j'en mange cer j'en raffole amis ej n'en ai fait qu'une fois...ta recette me plait beaucoup et je te souhaite un noyeux noel

  28. Magnifique, et délicieux!
    Joyeux Yuletide et joyeux anniversaire :-)

  29. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    xoxoxoxo Penelope and Magellan.

  30. That's one beautiful, bountiful bread!

  31. j'adore les stollens, c'est trop bon. joyeux noel miss

  32. Merry Christmas Rosa and a Happy Bithday to you. I love looking at your beautiful countryside pictures. Thanks for the great blog!
    Terri from Utah

  33. It looks wonderful, and your photography is so perfect for the season. Next year -double fruits!

  34. Such a beautiful stollen Rosa! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! :D

  35. Merry Christmas dear Rosa. Love the lightness of crumb and whimsical look of your Stollen. Does look perfect indeed... Hope you had a wonderful birthday and Christmas Day! xoxo

  36. Lovely recipe. I've bookmarked it for next year. I hope you enjoyed your birthday yesterday! Happy holidays.

  37. Magnifique ! Passe de belles fêtes Rosa !

  38. Merci Rosa ! De superbes fêtes à toi ! Et merci pour ce délicieux blog !

  39. Stollen looks gorgeous with perfect texture and beautiful crust. great photos! Happy holidays.

  40. ce stollen m'ouvre ses bras j'arrive!!!bonnes fêtes !!

  41. oh wow.. what a gorgeous looking stollen! just perfect! thanks for sharing this and i trust you had a good christmas.

  42. This looks absolutely fabulous, Rosa! Saving the recipe for next year!
    Hope you had a lovely Christmas!

  43. That looks beautiful! I have never tried stollen, but I know I would love it. It reminds me of Italian panettone a little. I love slightly sweet breads like this. I will definitely make this. Thanks for the excellent instruction. Sounds like a bit of work but worth it:)

  44. Rosa, simply stunning photos!!! snow never looked more gorgeous!!! I actually love the Dutch Kerststol, perhaps coz that was the first stollen variety I had :)

  45. Your photos are positively stunning, Rosa! Beautifully done!

  46. looks perfect, hope you had a wonderful xmas...

  47. My partner's family always enjoy stollen at Christmas, but I've yet to try making it myself! This looks wonderful Rosa, Happy Holidays!

  48. So beautiful and truly festive! Your stollen is perfect! Wishing you a very happy holiday!

    US Masala

  49. stollen is sooo pretty and so tasty--well done, rosa, and happy holidays!

  50. The most beautiful Stollen I have ever seen - well done! Your efforts always amaze me, especially at this hectic time. I hope you have wonderful holidays and wish you a very Happy New Year.

  51. Il est splendide, il a l'air delicieux. J'adore ca! je vais surement l'essayer, c'est vraiment trop tentant. Merci pour cette recette.
    Bonnes fetes de fin d'annee Dame Rosa.

  52. Beautiful! I *love* stollen and yours looks perfect!

  53. Merry Christmas & A Blessed New Year Rosa :D

    Thanks for the lovely loaf :D

  54. Te souhaiter un joyeux Noël, c'est un peu tard mais le coeur y est quand même Rosa !
    ton Stollen est superbe. La préparation est longue dis-donc ! Mais quel régal ce doit être.
    Bises glacées glacées de Bretagne.

  55. It's so pretty with it's snowy top! I'd love to try making a stollen one of these days.

  56. ♫°° Amiga,

    °º♫ Para você em 2011:

    ° • ♫ "O sonho realizado...
    °º ♫°° ♫♫ O amor esperado...
    ° ·. •*• ♫ A esperança renovada..."

    Brasil °º♫
    ° ·.

  57. Your stollen looks stunning! I think I might have overbaked my just a little bit. Yours has a perfect color and texture. Happy holidays!


  58. Yum, so pretty! I can imagine the smells when it is baking too, must be delightful!

  59. Looks beautiful! Lovely pix, as always. . . .

  60. Your Stollen is truly a work of art, Rosa!

  61. Gorgeousss Stollen and perfect in everyway...very well done Rosa!

  62. Gorgeous result Rosa! You did it well. Hope your x'mas was great one.

  63. Definitely daring making the Stollen! Brava!! Bravissima!

    Happy Holidays!


  64. Magnifique... à voir ou à déguster... Je te souhaite une belle et bonne année gourmande... Mille bises

  65. Look very beautiful as always,Rosa! :)

  66. Merci beaucoup pour tes vœux de Noël. A mon tour, les miens et que la nouvelle année qui arrive t’apporte de la joie, du bonheur, santé et amour pour toi et tes proches !

  67. I need to make this for my father. He adores stollen! Yours looks just perfect Rosa!

  68. your stollen is perfection, perfect for the holidays!!


  69. Your stollen looks light and fluffy! Much more delicious than those super heavy and dense ones I have tried in the past!

  70. I haven't tried this European delicacy yet. But after your description I'd better get in gear for next year. Yours looks fabulous!

  71. What a beautiful Stollen! Thank you so much for this recipe, Rosa! & I loved reading all about the history of it too :)
    Heidi xo

  72. Your pictures surely resonates the cold from it! Contrasting the delicious and warm looking stollen love it!

  73. Very beautiful! I have just learned of stollen cakes through this challenge, and yours looks fantastic!
    Hope your keeping warm and cozy :)

  74. Lovely stollen and winter pictures! Happy Holidays!

  75. Happy new year to you and each of your readers!

  76. That stollen looks absolutely beautiful! And as always, your photos are gorgeous! Great job with the challenge!

  77. Your amazing pictures make me wonder about a White Christmas! Terrific!
    And your stollen is so beautiful! I love you made it in the traditional form!
    Happy Holidays!

  78. Ces photos me plongent dans l'ambiance des fêtes. Bravo Rosas, tu as relevé le défi.
    Passe un excellent réveillon.

  79. Looks beautiful. I had the stollen in my to do list this time, but did not get time to make it. One of my fav. bread to have during the holidays. That picture of the gate leading to the white no where is calling me.

  80. Rosa, your stollen looks delicious. I am staring at my tea wishing I had a bit of your delicious bread to go with it

  81. Your photos have a very Zen aura and totally transport me to a more peaceful place and for that I'm grateful that you choose to share them with us. I've never had an authentic stollen, but would love to try it someday and enjoyed hearing about the history behind it. Merry Yuletide, Rosa!

  82. Your pics are lovely to look at this time of year... and your stollen is lovely too!

  83. What a lovely stollen, Rosa! I love all the citrus and fruit elements. Happy New Year!

  84. C'est le plus beau stollen que j'ai vu cette année/

  85. Happy New Year Rosa... I'm a new reader and I really do adore you spread and photos!!

  86. That stollen looks so good all dusted in powdered sugar!

  87. Your Stollen looks perfect and delicious and your white Christmas photos are just refreshing for the steaming hot summer here in Rio de Janeiro! I know I'm late to comment here, but accept my wishes of a Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas (hope you had a wonderful time!) and all the best for the New Year!

  88. Your stollen looks beautiful! It brings back memories for me, as it was the first time I worked with yeast. When I gave a loaf to my parents for Christmas that year, it brought my mom to tears, because her mother always made it at Christmas (she passed away when my mom was still young).

  89. Gorgeous stollen and beautiful photos, Rosa! Happy New Year!! *hugs*

  90. Bonjour Rosa,
    J'ai testé ton stollen pour Noël, vraiment fabuleux ! Mes filles ont adoré et la grande gourmande que je suis, aussi !!!
    Bien meilleur que la version classique ! beaucoup plus léger !
    Cela m'a permis de découvrir le blog de Mme Carré (car mon anglais n'est pas assez bon pour te lire entièrement).
    J'en ai d'ailleurs découvert plein d'autres grâce à tes tweets.

  91. I love this cake!

  92. Oh Rosa, what are you doing to me!!!
    Just beautiful!