A Classic German Dresden Christmas Stollen

A Classic German Dresden Christmas Stollen | 31Daily.com

Since 1474, Dresden Christmas Stollen has been a favorite advent season treat. A buttery, moist and heavy cake-like fruit bread made simply with yeast, dried fruits and the zests of citrus. Liberally dusted with confectioners sugar, it’s a tradition all of its own.

Especially in Dresden, Germany where they have an official website dedicated to this buttery deliciousness.

As they point out, each Christmas Stollen (originally called Striezel) is unique. With centuries of recipes passed from one family to the next, stollens vary from generation to generation.

But generally, required ingredients contain “raisins, butter, sweet and bitter almonds, candied orange and lemon peel, flour, water, and yeast… Also, whole milk or whole milk powder, crystal sugar, clarified butter, lemon zest, table salt, powder sugar, and stollen spices.”

The Dresdner Christstollen is a piece of cultural history.

It’s been said Dresden Stollen “was baked for the first time at the Council of Trent in 1545, and was made with flour, yeast, oil, and water.” Then Saxon Prince Ernst decided the bread was hard and tasteless, due to the oil used in the bread. Writing to the Pope for permission to use butter, the resulting recipe delivered a moist and buttery bread that survived the centuries to find its way to Christmas tables today.

Dresden Christmas Market

German Dresden Christmas Stollen

A Classic German Dresden Christmas Stollen | 31Daily.com

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A Classic German Dresden Christmas Stollen

A Classic German Dresden Christmas Stollen | 31Daily.com

Since 1474, Dresden Christmas Stollen has been a favorite advent season treat. A buttery, moist and heavy cake-like fruit bread made simply with yeast, dried fruits and the zests of citrus. Liberally dusted with confectioners sugar, it’s a tradition all of its own.

  • Author: Stephanie Wilson
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2-3/4 hours to rise; 18 minutes to cook
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 10 minutes
  • Yield: 3 loaves 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: German
Scale

Ingredients

41/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast (2-1/4 teaspoons)
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
11/4 cups milk
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries
zest of one orange
1/4 cup chopped blanched almonds (or pecans, walnuts)
confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Instructions

In the bowl of a stand mixer add 2 cups flour, yeast, and cardamom. Set aside. In a saucepan, add milk, 1/2 cup butter, granulated sugar, and salt; warm until butter is almost melted. Add butter to the flour mixture along with the egg. Beat on low for 30 seconds; scrape bowl. Increase the speed to high and continue to beat for 3 minutes. Stir in as much remaining flour as you can. Stir in raisins, cranberries, orange zest and almonds.

First Rise: Turn dough onto a floured surface; knead in enough additional flour to make a soft dough; 3 to 5 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and add to a bowl coated in cooking spray. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free space until double; about 1-3/4 hours.

Second Rise: Punch the dough down and turn onto a floured surface. Divide the dough into thirds; cover and let rest 10 minutes. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or coat with cooking spray. Take one portion of the dough and roll into a 10×6-inch oval. Without stretching, fold one long side almost in half, leaving a 1-inch border on the bottom. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and repeat with additional 2 loaves. Cover and let rise until nearly dough; about an hour. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Bake: Bake in a preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the baking sheet and transfer to a rack for cooling. While still warm, brush melted butter over each loaf. Once cool, dust liberally with confectioners’ sugar before slicing.

Keywords: Stollen, Christmas Stollen, German Stollen

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A Classic German Dresden Christmas Stollen | 31Daily.com
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Written by 

Stephanie Wilson is an author, blogger, publisher, and former television news writer and producer. She lives in the Puget Sound area with her family.

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