As the days are getting shorter and we are approaching December, the time has finally arrived to start thinking about Christmas baking. I am actually not so much of a Christmas baker, one Christmas treat however is mandatory: Christstollen. The homemade version is just so much better than the ones you can get from supermarkets, which are very, very sweet and lack in subtle but typical Stollen flavour. This half cake / half bread type patisserie is originally coming from Dresden and should be made about 3 to 4 weeks ahead of eating. So now it’s the perfect timing to get yourself going! The key ingredients include: flour, butter, yeast, sugar, salt, eggs, raisins, almonds, candied orange peel.
I bake my Stollen 4 weeks in advance and let it rest in the basement (low temperature and dark) wrapped up in cling film and tin foil until Christmas. Without this resting process, the Stollen cannot acquire its typical taste but will just taste like any yeast-based cake. Also it is important not to skip the last step after baking. While still warm, the Stollen is thoroughly glazed with melted butter. It should now completely cool off before adding another layer of melted butter. You then dust a very generous layer of icing sugar over the top. This will “preserve” the Stollen and will make sure it stays fresh and moist.
I bake my Stollen following a recipe from Lea Linster, which she apparently owns from her own father. I pretty much follow the recipe step by step, but I often add candied ginger (and therefore reduce the quantity of candied orange and lemon peel) and also let the raisins soak for a few hours in rum before draining them.
And one last thing. Make sure you use top quality ingredients. Nothing can be as nasty as those artificial, chewy candied orange peels, so better go for organic ingredients.
I prefer to eat my Stollen for breakfast with a nice layer of butter.
You can find the recipe here (only in German)
Ready for the oven
Out of the oven
All wrapped up ready to rest for a few weeks