Thursday, December 23, 2010

Week of Sweets: Day 6, Daring Bakers Challenge

What better bread to make during the month of December than a traditional Christmas Stollen?

I'd never made, or eaten, stollen before this month. This is especially shocking since it fits all the criteria for my "Carbs I Love" List (must contain butter, sugar, vanilla, and lots of lovin'. It should come as no surprise that my list has grown exponentially in the month of December alone).

So what brought the ol' Christmas Stollen into my life? The Daring Bakers, of course!

I was thrilled to join Daring Bakers this month--a group of bake-happy folks who participate in monthly baking challenges and post their culinary results at the end of each month.

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.

While the results of this bread were quite impressive, I must admit that it's a time-consuming treat to prepare. I recommend prepping the dough at least a day in advance of baking. And a word of caution: This dough expands...big time. Frankly, I was surprised I didn't wake up to find it oozing out of my refrigerator, threatening to take over the entire kitchen.

Ultimately, this is a beautiful recipe for the holidays--dressed up with fresh fruit and flowers, it makes a lovely centerpiece for your holiday table.

Happy Holidays, Everyone! I wish you all a safe, warm, and very merry holiday weekend :)

Christmas Stollen
(recipe from Penny at Sweet Sadie's Baking)

Roll up your sleeves, get out the rolling pan, and get your Stollen-baking hat on. It's the Christmas season--what better time to bake a ring of this tasty German bread? This recipe makes one large wreath of bread which could easily serve 12 - 16 people.


  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 4 - 1/2 tsp. yeast
  • 1 cup milk
  • 10 TBSP butter
  • 5 - 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs
  • zest of one orange and one lemon
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. orange extract
  • 3/4 cup candied orange peel
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 3 TBSP rum
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • confectioner's sugar for dusting


1) In a small bowl, soak the raisins in the rum.

2) Place the 1/4 cup warm water in a small bowl. Sprinkle yeast on top and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Stir to dissolve and set aside.

3) In a saucepan, gently heat the milk and butter together until butter is melted (on low-medium heat). Set aside until lukewarm.

4) In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs and add extracts to them. Set aside.

5) Now it's time to get mixing! Combine the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and zest in the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the paddle attachment, gently beat in the egg mixture, yeast mixture, and milk mixture. This should take about 2 minutes, and will result in a soft, but not sticky, ball. Cover with plastic wrap and allow it to sit for 10 minutes.

6) Using your hands, or the mixer, add in the candied peel, raisins, and almonds.

7) Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 8 minutes, until dough becomes soft and a bit tacky, but not sticky. Coat a large bowl with a little oil, place dough in the bowl and roll in the oil to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight (it will rise slowly!). This dough can keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.

8) When you're ready to bake the bread, remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to sit for at least 2 hours before rolling and shaping. Preheat oven to 350 and roll the dough into a 16 x 24 inches on a lightly floured surface.

9) Starting with a long side, roll up the dough into a tight cylinder. Transfer the cylinder to a sheet pan coated with cooking spray (or lined with parchment paper) and seal the two ends together to form a wreath shape. Using a sharp knife (or kitchen scissors), make cuts around the outside of the ring, to resemble a wreath shape. Mist with cooking spray, cover with plastic wrap, and allow it to rise for about 2 hours (it should double in size).

10) Bake the stollen for 20 minutes, rotate the pan 180 degrees, and continue baking for another 20 - 30 minutes. The bread will turn a beautiful mahogony color. Remove from the oven and brush the top with butter. Sift powdered sugar on top to coat, wait about 1 minutes, and sift more powdered sugar on top.


  1. I really like all your baked treats on this site, but this Christmas stollen takes the cake! Happy holidays!

  2. You're a baking machine! Merry Christmas Eve eve!!!! <3

    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  3. OH how nice.. we just made stollen too,isn't it super, oh and I really do like the shape, so much more festive.

    Happy Holidays

  4. Just a question, but where are all these goodies going? You make something delicious everyday, but who eats them all? I would have a hard time parting with such amazing looking food!lol

  5. I love stollen this time of the year, the more dried fruits is has the tastier
    Yours look delicious.

    Happy Holidays Kylie

  6. That is one mighty wreath of bread! Great work and welcome to the bake-happy club! I split the recipe in two and can't imagine how much space the whole thing together would have taken up. Bet it was super heavy, too! Love the poinsettia and orange garnish, by the way. :)

  7. It looks beautiful! I'm glad you are adding tasty things to your list. Happy new year!