Christstollen: A German Christmas Bread

Christstollen: A German Christmas Bread

stollen

My family’s Christmas traditions are heavily influenced by the eight years we lived in Germany (though I was only alive for four of those years). On the eve of December 6 we kids would place a shoe outside our bedroom door and during the night St. Nikolaus would fill it with treats. My parents bought many of their Christmas tree ornaments, such as the ones below, at the traditional German Christmas market or fair, Christkindlmarkt. And every year we make a traditional German Christstollen or Stollen bread. The dense oat and almond bread is studded with dried fruit and candied citrus peels, while rum and spices add complex flavor and powdered sugar dusts the top. You’ll find knock-offs of Stollen at Trader Joe’s or Cost Plus World Market, but neither come close to what you’ll find in Germany. After years of tinkering with recipes, my mom came up with this recipe that has satisfied us all and become one of the foods we look forward to most every Christmas.

German Christmas Ornaments

Ingredients

1 c.      almonds
2 c.      oatmeal
2- 3 oz. candied lemon peel
2-3 oz.  candied orange peel
3 ½ c. flour, separated

1 c.      cottage cheese
2          eggs
¼ t.      salt
½ t.      vanilla
½ t.      almond extract
4 T.      rum or lesser amount flavoring
¾ t.      mace
½ t.      cardamom
½ t.      nutmeg

¾ c.     butter, softened
1 ½ c. mixture of golden raisins and currants
2 t.       baking powder
1 c.      granulated sugar

2 T. melted butter
powdered sugar

Make the Christstollen

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Grind almonds in a food processor. (No need to wash food processor between following steps.) Pour ground almonds into a large bowl. Grind oatmeal in food processor. Pour oatmeal into the large bowl with the almonds. Place candied orange and lemon peel in food processor, sprinkle with 3 T. flour and whirl until minced. Add minced orange and lemon peels to the large bowl. Add currants and golden raisins. Stir. Work in softened butter until evenly distributed.

In a blender, whirl cottage cheese and eggs until smooth. Stir in flavorings and spices (salt through nutmeg). Pour blended mixture into the large bowl containing the ground almonds, oatmeal, and minced fruit. Combine baking powder, sugar and remaining flour. Mix into fruit-egg-oat mixture just until combined. Do not overmix.

Divide dough in half, form each into a large parker house roll. (Form into oval, crease it just above the center, turn the top half over the bottom half.) Bake at 325° for 30-40 minutes or until lightly golden. Brush with remaining melted butter and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Enjoy!

One Thought on “Christstollen: A German Christmas Bread

  1. Samuel Sharaf on January 3, 2011 at 9:51 PM said:

    That was one of the best treats for Christmas! I am definitely going to look forward to it this coming December and may be you should make at least two :)

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