Golden Stollen: Old World, meet New

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Stollen. (Say “schtollen,” the word spoken with that guttural German flair which, after all, is its birthright).

Dresden, Germany has been known for its stollen since at least 1474, when this classic Christmas sweet bread was first mentioned in print.

And the stollen you purchase at your local supermarket sometimes seems like it might have been around since 1474, doesn’t it?

Dry. Crumbly. Filled with hard bits of… what is that? Fruit? The dreaded “peel”?

As Americans we like to change things up. And stollen is no exception.

Case in point: this golden stollen, its color, flavor, texture, AND nutrition all enriched with a healthy dose of…

…why, pumpkin, of course. One of America’s truly native vegetables, and a hallmark of so much of our holiday baking.

This stollen is a good example of how you can change a single ingredient in an existing recipe, and come up with something quite unexpected – and wonderful.

I’m a HUGE fan of Our Easiest Stollen which, as the name implies, is a simplified, baking powder version of this yeasted classic. And last summer, while considering the pumpkin recipes I’d like to bake this fall, stollen came to mind.

Should I add pumpkin seeds to the fruit mixture? Too subtle. But wait – the recipe uses ricotta cheese as most of its liquid. Ricotta cheese… puréed pumpkin… might there be an easy substitution there?

The answer is a resounding yes. Simply by swapping pumpkin for ricotta, and tweaking the spices a bit, I created this deep-orange, flavorful pumpkin stollen.

Old World tradition meets New World innovation? You bet.

And we’re all the richer for it.

First, let’s look at dried fruit. There’s nothing that says you have to use traditional “fruitcake fruits” – candied cherries, orange peel, citron… No food police here; use whatever dried fruit you like.

Toss together 1 cup of your favorite dried fruits, chopped in small pieces if necessary; raisins, dates, cranberries, crystallized ginger, and apricots are all good. I’m using golden raisins, cranberries, and crystallized ginger here. Mix with 1/3 cup chopped nuts – I’m using toasted pecans.

Preheat your oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment paper.

Click anywhere on this block of pictures to enlarge them to full size – this will work for any of the photos you see in this blog post.

Whisk together the following:

2 1/4 cups (9 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt*
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
heaping 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
heaping 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

*Reduce the salt to 1/4 teaspoon if you plan on using salted butter.

Cut 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter into pats or chunks, then blend it into the flour mixture to form uneven crumbs.

In a separate bowl, mix together the following:

1 cup pumpkin purée (canned pumpkin)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Toss the fruit and nuts with the flour mixture until evenly distributed. Then combine the wet and dry ingredients, mixing until most of the flour is moistened.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; a silicone rolling mat works wonderfully well here, and cleanup’s a breeze.

Knead the dough two or three times, until it holds together. Divide it in half; if you have a scale, each half will weigh slightly more than a pound (about 467g).

Pat/roll each piece of dough into an 8″ x 7″ oval about 1/2″ thick.

Fold each piece of dough roughly in half, leaving the edge of the top half about 1/2″ short of the edge of the bottom half. Brush off any excess flour.

Should you fold the long way, or the short way? The long way will give you a longer, narrower stollen, with shorter slices; folding the short way will give you a wider, fatter stollen, with longer slices. Your choice.

Use the edge of your hand to press the dough to seal about 1″ in back of the open edge; this will make the traditional stollen shape. It’s also the familiar Parker House roll shape, if you’ve ever made them.

Place the shaped stollen on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake the stollen until they’re very lightly browned around the edges, about 40 minutes. A cake tester inserted into the center should come out clean; and an instant-read thermometer will register about 205°F.

Remove the stollen from the oven; leave them right on the parchment, or transfer to a rack, if desired.

Brush thoroughly with melted butter. Sprinkle heavily with confectioners’ or non-melting white topping sugar.

Allow the stollen to cool, then brush with more melted butter, and sprinkle with additional sugar.

Let the loaves set for an hour or so, then wrap loosely in plastic wrap until ready to serve.

Plastic-wrapped stollen will keep well for about a week at room temperature. The sugar will gradually soften and disappear, but no worries; simply sprinkle it with sugar again just prior to serving.

For longer storage, omit the second butter/sugar coating; wrap well, and freeze for up to a month. Just before serving, sprinkle with sugar again.

Like this. Cut in 1/2″ slices, and enjoy. Coffee and tea are both excellent “go withs.”

Please read, bake, and review our recipe for Golden Stollen.

Print just the recipe.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. lucyprice

    Where is the marzipan? Ahh! I want to try this recipe immediately, but am going to put a log of delicious marzipan down that gorgeous fold you made so the almondy goodness will infuse the whole loaf. Thanks for being a catalyst for my weekend.

    Lucy, I’m not a huge fan of marzipan, so left it out – but go for it! :) PJH

    Reply
  2. ebenezer94

    Yu-um. Sounds a lot like pumpkin scones, of which I am quite fond. I’ll have to pick up some canned pumpkin at TJs. Love the candied ginger suggestion.

    I’m sure you’ll like this – it’s like a denser, moister scone. Really nice with coffee or tea – enjoy! PJH

    Reply
  3. kaf-sub-ashleyemb

    This looks wonderful! I love KAF’s stollen bites. Do you think this recipe could be adapted into cookie size bites instead of loafs? If so, any tips/suggestions? thank you.

    I’m sure it could. Simply shape the dough into whatever sized “bite” you want, and bake for a shorter amount of time (which will depend on the size you make). Good idea – PJH

    Reply
  4. "Cindy Leigh"

    This looks good, looks tasty, but (smiling) this German girl says this is not stollen!! It’s a pumpkin fruit bread! Ahhh, my heavenly stollen, as taught by my very German grandmother, is a sweet yeast dough rolled very thin and dotted with butter, sugar, cinnamon, sprinkled with crumbled almond paste, nuts, maraschino cherries (none of that hard yucky stuff found in bad fruit cakes), apricots, sultanas, and rolled tightly. Formed into a giant oval, slashed, and baked. Topped with a glaze, more nuts, and cherries. Heaven!
    I do like the pumpkin fruit bread listed above and will try it though!!
    (smiling!)

    Sorry, Cindy, for taking liberties – it’s not a classic nor traditional stollen, that’s for sure…
    PJH

    Reply
  5. Marie

    Can’t wait to try this. How much candied ginger did you use?

    Marie, I used 1/3 cup raisins, 1/3 cup dried cranberries, and 1/3 cup diced crystallized ginger – but feel free to vary these proportions to taste. Enjoy – PJH

    Reply
  6. thefirstloaf

    I do love dried fruit in bread, thanks for sharing. I will be working on variations of this.

    thefirstloaf.com

    Reply
  7. snowbirdkc

    Cindy Leigh, I too would like a copy of your grandmother’s recipe.My grandfather was German but no recipes were passed down to me. I would love to try my hand at traditional stollen. You can contact me by snowbirdkc54 (at)gmail (dot) com. Thank you. And thank you King Arthur for such h wonderful recipes.You are my main source for all things bread!
    Hi there,
    I edited your email a bit, to prevent you getting hit by spammers. Cheers! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  8. velkyn

    I’m all for just getting the stollen kit from KA and having at it! Wonderful stuff, and plenty of marzipan.
    It is, thanks! Love marzipan! Elisabeth

    Reply
  9. Ricardo Neves Gonzalez - SENAC - Petrópolis, RJ, BRAZIL

    I´m really a master baker when the topic is Christma´s Stollen. I bake a Stollen that is almost perfectly and similar to originally produced at Dresden. Years ago i´d been in tune for 6 long months by internet with Dresden´s bakers. I´d baked lots of Stollens since that time and now i really must say that my Stollen is really near to perfection. Lots of my bread baking skills i must be gratefull to this Baker Banter´s Blog, but lots of my recent technics and some questions i ever had, turned clear after i´ve read Michael Kalanty´s book How to Bake Breads!!
    Kalanty´s book really cleared my mind in many ways specially with sweet enriched breads like this Stollen!!
    This pumpkin Stollen is amazing. i BAKED TODAY…IT TURNED GREAT!!!

    Ricardo, so nice to hear from you again. Who knew you were a stollen expert, eh? That’s so cool… I hope you have a wonderful holiday season. Take care – PJH

    Reply
  10. bakerrn

    I’ve made this twice already. It’s simple and delicious!! I used all white whole wheat flour, and plumped the fruit in 2 tablespoons of rum, but otherwise followed the recipe as written. Easy, impressive, delicious, and tastes more decadent than it is!

    So glad to hear this works equally well with white wheat flour – thanks for sharing, and glad you’re enjoying it! PJH

    Reply
  11. Jessica

    Would subbing canned organic sweet potato puree for the pumpkin work? It has the same consistency as canned pumpkin, goes with the spices and fruit, and my tummy agrees with it better.

    Reply

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