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star rating (9) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

Stollen is a sweet yeasted bread flavored with bits of fruit, served at Christmas and known for its keeping qualities. A native of Germany and Austria, and connected with Dresden in particular, stollen is a must at every holiday groaning board in those countries.

Because of stollen's high sugar content, we find you'll make a better loaf by beginning with an overnight sponge. This bubbly mixture of yeast, flour and water is a good base upon which the sugar, milk, and butter-rich stollen can successfully grow.

1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons instant yeast

2 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, cut into small cubes
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup candied cherries, coarsely chopped*
2 tablespoons King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
confectioners' sugar

*The easiest way to chop candied cherries, which tend to be very sticky, is by snipping each in half with a pair of scissors.

Sponge: Combine the flour, water and yeast in a large mixing bowl, stirring till smooth. (Or use your bread machine, canceling the machine after several minutes of mixing.) Let the mixture rest overnight at room temperature.

Dough: Add the flour, butter, egg, milk, sugar, salt, yeast, almond extract, and vanilla to the sponge. Stir to combine, then knead thoroughly, using your hands, an electric mixer, a food processor or a bread machine, till the dough is very smooth and supple. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl (or leave it in the bread machine), cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. It probably won't double in bulk, but will become puffy.

While the dough is rising, stir together the dates, raisins, cherries, flour and almonds. Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly greased work surface. Knead the fruit into the dough till it's well-distributed; a good way to do this is to pat or roll the dough into a rough 12 x 15-inch rectangle, press the fruit and nuts evenly over its surface, then roll it up like a jelly roll, starting with a long edge. Divide the roll into two pieces, shape each piece into a rough 9-inch log, cover the logs, and let them rest for 10 minutes.

Pat each log into a 10 x 8-inch oval. The fruit may try to "fall out" of the dough; that's OK, just stick it back in. Fold each oval lengthwise, bringing one side over the other but leaving a 1-inch gap, as if you were making a Parker House roll (in other words, fold the dough not quite in half). Press the edge of the top half to seal it to the bottom half, tent the dough with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow it to rise for 2 hours, or until it's noticeably puffy.

Bake the stollen in a preheated 350°F oven for 30 to 35 minutes, tenting it with aluminum foil after 20 minutes if it appears to be browning too quickly. The finished loaves should be golden brown, and their internal temperature should register 190°F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove the stollen from the oven, and brush them with melted butter. Transfer them to a rack to cool completely. When the stollen are cool, dust them heavily with confectioners' sugar. Yield: Two stollen, about 14 servings each

Note: For a more traditional stollen, substitute 1/2 cup candied peel, citron or angelica for the 1/2 cup chopped dates.

Nutrition information per serving (1-inch slice, 43g): 138 cal, 4g fat, 3g protein, 17g complex carbohydrates, 6g sugar, 1g dietary fiber, 16mg cholesterol, 101mg sodium, 101mg potassium, 27RE vitamin A, 1mg iron, 40mg calcium, 44mg phosphorus.


  • star rating 12/27/2014
  • Susan from Chicago, IL
  • I made two batches of the stollen and gave them away as gifts to family. The feedback was unanimous: Awesome and Delicious! The recipe was easy to follow. I would advise chopping dried fruit as small as possible to make it easier to incorporate into the risen dough. I prefer almond paste over marzipan but using either will yield great results. This recipe is a keeper. Thank you, King Arthur!
  • star rating 12/03/2013
  • river from western ny
  • The best stolen recipe is in a book called: "die echte deutsche kuche" a german cookbook. the title of the recipe is Sachsischer Weihnachtsstollen. You could find it on the internet by typing the title of the recipe in quotes. You can follow it exactly or add the following: 1 T lemon zest, 1/4 tsp each of cardamom, cloves and cinnamon. Other than that, follow exactly, try to find leaf lard (or render it yourself). Store in parchment, then foil, then a bread box in a cold garage for three weeks or more.
  • star rating 07/23/2013
  • mamacancook from Baltimore, MD
  • Having eaten authentic stollen many times in Germany (oooh, so fantastic!) I had hoped this recipe was close to those from top notch German bakeries. The result was OK, nothing more. It seems to be lacking in the moistness good stollen has and does not keep well. Too little butter, perhaps? Also, most German stollen has a notable lemon flavor, but this varies according to the bakery. The addition of 1 T or so of lemon zest is a great idea. I agree with the reviewer who suggested omitting the almond extract from the recipe as well. Still searching for that perfect stollen recipe!!! Has anyone found it?
  • star rating 12/21/2011
  • eamoulton from KAF Community
  • This recipe makes a delicious bread, but not at all what I was hoping for for a stollen. Perhaps it's interpretation of what a stollen should be but it didn't do it for me. It came out very much like a brioche or Polish bubka - light and airy. I was hoping for a much denser, more buttery bread. We ended up using if for french toast - that was fabulous - but way too much work for french toast bread.
    I'm sorry this recipe didn't meet your expectations. But, I'm glad to hear it made great french toast for you! Happy Baking! ~Mel
  • 12/05/2011
  • danielwmurphy from KAF Community
  • This is neither an authentic nor good recipe. It will turn out dry and distasteful. To improve it, first scratch the vanilla and almond extracts! Unheard of in German Stollen!!! These extracts act against the yeast. Second, increase the shortning by adding 1/4 of softened Crisco along with the butter. Cream the sugar and shortning and eggs prior to adding. This adds air to the loaf. Scald the milk prior to adding! The enzymes in milk tend to retard the yeast, so scald and let cool prior to adding. Lastly, add 2 tablespoons lemon zest to the dough.and 1/4 cup currants and 1/4 chopped candied citrus peel. The lemon zest is a key ingredient in Stollen and brings out the flavor!
    Thanks for sharing your opinion. No, neither of these extracts will act as a yeast inhibitor in this recipe. The recipe will perform as written. Frank @ KAF.
  • star rating 01/01/2010
  • JohnR from Montgomery, AL
  • Very good stollen, had been using in the Joy of Cooking. This is much better. I found this to be a very accurate recipe and I personally like the more bread to fruit ratio. I did use red & green cherries for Christmas and subsituted half Jumbo Red raisins for some of the goldens. Also I soak the raisins in 4oz of brandy while the sponge is rising.
  • star rating 12/06/2009
  • Dora from Central Oklahoma
  • This is the first time I had made stollen. My mom makes a version of it and I have also had some that was bought at World Market. It was easy to make, the dough rose very well, it was more than just "puffy". Good tasting. My only issue is that it seemed a little on the dry side. I do think this is something that I am doing and not the recipe. It seems that all my breads come out a little dry. I'm not one to stray from directions and measurements. I think I follow the recipe as written. Any ideas? I will definitely make this again.
    Dora - If all your breads come out a little dry then perhaps you are measuring a heavy cup of flour or you are adding too much flour into your dough as you knead. We recommend using the scoop, sprinkle and sweep method. This method is highlighted on our website under recipes Elisabeth @ KAF
  • star rating 12/05/2009
  • eunice b from
  • This was the first time a had made stollen and I was very pleased with the result. The end product was light and tender with just the right amount of sweetness. Look forward to making this recipe again.
  • star rating 01/16/2009
  • Blueberry Hill from SD
  • Easy to make and delicious. My family loved this bread when I made it over the Holidays. Great with a cup of tea or coffee!