The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough Christmas Stollen

LeadDog's picture

Sourdough Christmas Stollen

It is Christmas time and it seems lots of people are making Stollen so here is my addition to the mix. 

I heard about Stollen recently and how good it is so I decided that I wanted to make some.  The only problem is I have never eaten or seen Stollen.  I looked in my books and on the internet for recipes for sourdough Stollen and decided to improvise and make my own.  The paragraph from Peter Reinharts's "The Bread Baker's Apprentice" is very nice and I think worthy of quoting here.

Dresden is considered the spiritual home of this traditional Christmas bread.  The bread symbolizes the blanket of the baby Jesus, and the colored fruits represent the gifts of the Magi.  As in nearly every festival bread, the story aspect of this loaf is culturally important, for it is a way parents teach their children about their heritage.

This is a bread that is soft with lots of different flavors bursting onto your taste buds with every bite.  There are exotic spices, dried fruit, nuts, and a little bit of Brandy in the bread.  The outside of the bread is painted with melted butter then covered with powdered sugar.  This really is a special bread for a festival.



Stollen crumb

The way I made it here on my website.  



ques2008's picture

nice looking stollen.  tried to go to your web site but it's not downloading - probably lots of visitor traffic!

LeadDog's picture

Thanks gues2008.  Yes the site did get a lot of hits since I posted this.  I'll check and see if there is something wrong with it.

gcook17's picture

I just had to throw in this observation on buttering stollen after baking because if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes I wouldn't have believed it.

A year ago I watched Brian Wood at SFBI show his class how to finish stollen after baking it.  He had a huge tub of melted butter and a good sized paint-brush.  He started brushing the butter on the loaf and then he kept brushing, and brushing, and brushing, and brushing, and brushing, and brushing...well, you get the idea.  I couldn't believe how much butter he made those loaves absorb!   And they tasted fantastic.  In another class I tried some stollen that students had stingily brushed with one miserly coat of butter and the taste was noticably lacking.  This year I found that it takes 1/2 pound of clarified butter (unsalted) to sufficiently paint 4 one-pound stollens.

Some people might say that the extra 1/2 pound on top of the 3/4 pound of butter that was already in the dough is too much for good health, but I think it's better to eat a little of something that is delicious rather than a lot that's mediocre. 


loydb's picture

That looks fantastic!