The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Stollen: For Everyone

CountryBoy's picture

Stollen: For Everyone

Since everyone here has so much experience and expertise, they might possibly be willing to share their thoughts on stollen.  Any and all thoughts appreciated.

Such as:

  1. PR in his BBA listed a choice of soaking candied fruits of either a few hours or a few days.  Which is best or necessary?
  2. And after the soaking how much juice does one squeeze out?
  3. He suggest using OJ; has anyone tried that?
  4. PR in his new whole grain book lists a whole wheat stollen and not the AP flour of his BBA.  Which is best and why?

Stollen seems to offer lots of options and I have only made the PR whole wheat recipe from his recent book.

If you have tips, tricks, or words of wisdom on it I would love to hear.  Thanks so much.

hefetc's picture

We were talking about the wet fruit issue in relation to panettone a few days ago:

The consensus seemed to be that slightly wet fruit was ok, though very wet fruit or fruit that still had some of the candying syrup on it was likely to weigh the bread down.

I should say that either way, it will still be rather delicious, and that the wet/dry fruit issue seems primarily to affect the airyness of the texture. If you want a lighter bread, try draining the fruit (and maybe adding the drained liquid in place of some of the other liquid in the recipe) or even patting it dry and flouring it (as the panettone recipe in the Italian Baker suggests). Airy texture is less of an issue for stollen, so if this all sounds fussy to you, I wouldn't be overly concerned about it.

As to how long to soak it, I'm not sure that there would be much increased marginal utility to soaking for longer than overnight, but, again, if you feel like it, go ahead. If you have, for example, older raisins that are drier, soaking them longer might plump them more. Note that soaking _candied_ fruit (like citron, candied cherries, etc) rather than _dried_ fruit (like raisins, etc) won't really make a difference since the _candied_ fruit is already saturated with sugar.

If you don't want to use rum or brandy or some other alcohol, OJ would probably work (anyone have ideas about whether it would be too acidic?). Whatever you soak the fruit in will definitely affect the taste of your bread, so either squeeze the oj yourself or use some that tastes good to you... I would avoid the overly bitter pasteurized-tasting stuff.

Another tip... you still have time to order some SAF Gold from King Arthur (or get it elsewhere). This is special yeast that does well in sweet and/or acidic doughs. Regular yeast will work fine, but SAF Gold makes things a little more foolproof. It keeps pretty well in the freezer.

Personally, I think that whole-wheat stollen might be a little too... wheaty. But it's really just a matter of personal preference. If you try it, think about using some spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, etc (or even cardamom, which is often traditional in sweet breads) to complement the stronger flavor of the whole wheat. You might also think about using white whole wheat flour, which is sweeter than regular whole wheat, and I think would taste nice in a sweet dough.

Really, the options you're looking at are more about personal taste and texture preference than about whether or not the bread will "work". Think about what you have in your "mind's palette" and use that to figure out what you think is most likely to get you to that result.

CountryBoy's picture

 hefetc thanks for the comprehensive answer; it is very appreciated.

Being a novice with bread baking as I am just compounds the questions when it comes to stollen. 

So any and all guidance is gatefully received.

In response to saintdennis who suggested it was not necessary to drain the fruit.  Everyone has their own  read on this but I believe that heftetc has answered more fully than I could.
harrygermany's picture

Hello CountryBoy,

there are as many different ways to make a Stollen as there are people who tried.

There is one Stollen recipe which is said to be "the real one": the recipe for Dresdner Stollen (Dresden is a city in the east of Germany).
But even this recipe sometimes is changed by some people.

soaking candied fruits:
that is raisins (sultanas and/or currants) + chopped candied lemon and orange peel, soaked in rum with some drops of bitter almond oil overnight (which is something like 8-14 hours).
The candied fruits are for a much better taste and also to make the Stollen more juicy.

how much juice does one squeeze out?:
You do not squeeze any juice out because there is no. The recipe gives you the right amount of ingredients.

whole grain:
For the original recipe you don't use any whole grain flour. Take a real white flour with a medium amount of gluten.

Good luck with the Stollen.


Everyone is a stranger somewhere -
so don´t give narrowmindedness or
intolerance no chance nowhere.

ejs385's picture

I made the whole wheat stollen from PR Whole Wheat book with just a tad of white four.  It tasted wonderful but not exactly like stollen.  Next time I will soak the dried fruit in rum or brandy rather than orange liqour and add some almonds.  I did not use marzipan.  

btw:  I have had problems whenever I use white whole wheat flour for anything.  Always an astringent aftertaste. Gave up on it.




CountryBoy's picture

There are frequent references to using OJ as an alternative to alcohol for soaking.  I did this a couple of weeks back for stollen and it definitely did not taste right.  Suggest you use alcohol or water instead.