My Oma used to bring Stollen, a German Christmas bread, for Christmas every year. It was lovingly packaged in wax paper and again in aluminum foil. As kids, the glistening sugar crust was the best part. My Mom has insisted since my Oma’s passing that the last year she made it was the best, but sadly my Oma did not have a recipe box and I was never able to see her exact recipe.
A week ago, I went on an extensive search for Stollen recipes and there are tons of recipes out there, but I was looking for the rum/almond type since it was most like my Oma’s. There are many spiced recipes, usually with cardamom that sound delicious, like this one recommended by The Honey Eater that I will definitely be making another time. I combined a few elements from different recipes to come up with the yeast Stollen I made and then I also adapted a quick Stollen recipe from King Arthur Flour that uses baking powder to help it rise a bit and has the unique addition of ricotta cheese. These two recipes had similar fruits and flavoring like I was looking for, but I was interested in the different approaches to the recipes.
My Stollen Tips
Soaking the dried fruit in dark rum is a good idea. It plumps the fruit and adds great flavor.
After the Stollen has baked, brushing it with melted butter and sprinkling with powdered sugar seals in the flavor and makes the crust extra tasty. I think repeating this process and creating two layers is a good idea, too.
Use your favorite dried fruits. Traditionally, you’d see citron and candied cherries in Stollen, but I prefer to use raisins, currants, apricots and cherries.
Toast the slivered almonds, always!
I used the Buttery Sweet Dough Flavor because I happen to be placing an order at King Arthur Flour and saw it was recommended for their Stollen recipe. It is not heavy or artificial tasting, it just adds a nice hint of sweetness.
Tasting Day 1
Marc and I both thought this lacked a bit of flavor. It has a nice spongy texture because of the yeast, though. It is important that it has a nice butter and sugar crust to enhance the sweetness of the fruit.
SO tasty! It came out quite flat due to the lack of yeast, but it is moist and flavorful. I think the addition of ricotta adds a hint of tangy creaminess. It reminded me a little of a tender and moist breakfast muffin.
Tasting Day 2
Much improved! I tried a slice this morning to see if it had changed at all and I was not missing flavor this morning. The flavor plus the yeasty texture made this very, very good.
Consistently flavorful and tasty. I think the texture of the yeast Stollen plus the improved flavor beat out the easy Stollen this morning, but it is still very yummy and a wonderful alternative.
Both recipes are great and I recommend them both. In the case of the yeast Stollen, I believe that recipe will improve with age since it is a more traditional recipe and I’m sure it was meant to be enjoyed for weeks. If you’re looking for a less traditional recipe with great Stollen flavor, try the easy Stollen recipe. Thank you for taking the Stollen journey with me! Have a great holiday with lots of family, friends and fantastic food!