Christmas stollen has been in my parents home every December for as long as I can remember. Trying to make stollen for my father has been on my bucket list. I have to say according to him this is the best Christmas stollen he has ever had.
Searching for Christmas Stollen
Every October my father starts going to Aldi every single Wednesday, on stocking day. Christmas stollen is a seasonal item and as soon as it hits the store, my father is practically buying stock in it. I have never seen it in our local Wal-mart or Kroger, but Aldi always has it for Christmas. Seeing as it is a German store and Christmas stollen is a German food, it makes sense. I may or may not have just realized this in the past few years.
Dry, crumbly, and not my favorite
Over the years I have seen Christmas stollen sitting on my mothers counter more times than I can count, and I never eat it. About ten years ago I decided, when craving something sweet and yummy, to give it a try. I regretted my decision very quickly. It was so very dry. I felt like I had eaten sweetened bread crumbs. It was not good. I don’t want to talk bad about any stores food but this was just bad.
It took years before I would try it again, and it turns out it was still bad. I had no idea how my father could eat it. I talked to my mother and she agreed, it is dry and crumbly. It is just a dad thing, we just aren’t stollen people
Better Christmas Stollen?
I love baking and cooking but I run out of things to try. I make all the new types of bread I can think of. Heck I have even found some great ways to make gluten free bread. I went to my parents to have a baking day with my mom and wasn’t sure what to make. Well I saw the Aldi stollen on the counter and knew I had to figure out how to make a better Christmas stollen.
Off to Google I went. I found a handful of recipies and some looked fairly good. The best one I saw was from King Arthur Flour. I ended up staying fairly close to this recipe, with fairly minimal changes. It had good bones and I only needed to tweak it a little to make it work for me.
Mother and Daughter baking time
The 2020 Christmas season sucked. We had to cancel all of the fun Christmas activities. No Christmas cookie exchange, no shopping with my sisters, no Christmas dinner, and no baking day with my mom. With the triplets getting sick so easily, and my little Ren taking so long to get over the flu, we decided we have to be extra careful. I am glad we do it for the kids, but it sucks to miss out on traditions.
We are still avoiding contact with as many non-vaccinated people as we can because of Ren. I don’t care your stance, I don’t care your reasons, my child took 2 months to get over the flu, his life is more important to me. But since we are vaccinated and so are my parents we were able to have a baking day this year.
Let me tell you, it was great! I didn’t know how much I missed it. Just hanging out with my mom was missed. I know we all say it, but man, my mom is pretty flipping great. One thing I love is the fact that I can mention the weirdest thing to cook and she has all the ingredients. I have never had almond paste in my kitchen, I have thought about buying some to make Christmas stollen, but never actually did.
I said what about making stollen for dad? She reaches in and grabs literally everything we need. Candied fruit, almond paste, even some apricot rum to make it extra yummy. I’m telling ya, if you need to bake something, my mother’s is the place to go.
Ready to Bake
As I mentioned above I used this recipe from King Arthur Flour as a starting point, but did make a few changes along the way. Definitely check their website out as they have some amazing recipes!
- 2 cups candied fruit
- 1 cup raisins
- 1/3 orange juice, rum, or apricot rum
- 1 Tbs yeast
- 3/4 cup warm water (approx. 110 degrees Fahrenheit)
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup softened butter
- 1/4 cup dry milk
- 3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp cardamom
- 1 Tbs lemon zest
- 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
- 1 cup almond paste
- 3 Tbs melted butter
- powdered sugar for dusting
- Combine candied fruit and raisins with the orange juice or rum of your choice. Allow to soak for 3 hours
- Add yeast, warm water, egg, butter, dry milk, flour, sugar, salt, nutmeg, cardamom, and lemon zest in stand mixer. Mix to combine into a smooth dough. Depending on your altitude and humidity you may need to add an additional 1/2 to 3/4 cup flour.
- Cover dough and allow it to rise for 1-1 1/2 hours
- While dough is rising form the almond paste into 3 separate 7 inch by 2 inch long rectangles
- Once risen, knead toasted almonds and candied fruit and raisins into the dough. This gets sticky so be prepared with extra flour.
- Once combined, split dough in to 3 even amounts and form into loaves. Place one almond paste rectangle on each loaf, folding the dough around it.
- Cover the loaves and allow to rise another 60 minutes.
- While dough is rising, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Bake for 30-35 minute or until the crust is golden brown and beautiful.
- Once stollen is removed from oven, brush with melted butter and dust with powdered sugar.