Dresden Stollen / Stollen with Marzipan / Mohn-Stollen (like Mohnstriezel)
Stollen is the traditional German Christmas Bread for the “Adventszeit” – Advent time. Starting four Sundays before Christmas, Germans start to celebrate Advent. There are several traditions involved and a Stollen is part of it.
How to Bake Stollen Recipe Video
The 4 Advent Sundays
Usually, the first Advent Sunday is the last Sunday in November and Germans prepare for it. They buy or make an Adventskranz, a wreath from twigs of firs. The wreath is decorated with bright fabric ribbons and little Christmas pendants and there are 4 candles attached to the wreath. On the first Sunday, the first candle is lit. Each following Sunday, an additional candle is lit. These Sundays are also the time when families or friends gather at a table with an Adventskranz and enjoy Christmas Stollen, Lebkuchen (Gingerbread) and other Christmas treats. A Glühwein (mulled wine) or tea or coffee are enjoyed with it and often also Christmas music is played in the background. Deutsche Gemütlichkeit!
10 Steps to a Perfect Stollen
The recipe can be a little overwhelming – especially if you are planning to follow my lead from the video and bake 3 different Stollen. That’s why I divided the recipe into 10 steps. I hope this will help you to easily make the best Stollen ever.
The Dresden Stollen, also called Dresdner Christstollen, is probably the most famous and popular Stollen in and outside of Germany. That is why I decided to cover this recipe here. However, I felt like people might want to have a little variety, that’s why I wanted to show this recipe with two additional fillings: Marzipan and Poppyseed Filling. I’m pretty sure there will be people complaining that
- A Dresdner Christstollen can only be called this if it is baked in the town of Dresden.
- There is no filling in a Dresdner Stollen other than the raisins and candied lemon and orange peel
Of cause there are rules to baking a Stollen – we’re Germans afterall!
The History of Stollen
Stollen used to be a Lent food, only made from water, flour, and yeast (or probably sourdough back then) – no butter or milk. It was limited to these ingredients by the catholic church. But an electoral prince from Saxony and his brother asked the pope for permission to abolish the butter ban. And indeed, in 1491 they got the “Butter Letter” allowing them to use butter and other ingredients.
Within less than 70 years after that, the popularity of Stollen spread and the king had his 36 pound heavy Stollen baked for Christmas and carried through the town to the palace by 8 bakers and their 8 journeymen. In 1730, things got even more out of hand: Elector “August the Strong” had a Stollen made by roughly 100 bakers with 3600 eggs (a rather uncommon ingredient), 326 pitchers of milk, and 20 hundredweight flour. Looking backe, the 1,8 tons heavy Stollen was the kickstart to the traditional Dresdner Stollen and to this day, an event in December reminds of it.
Spices and Resting Time
What differs the traditional Christmas Stollen from other breads are two things: The spices and the resting.
For the spices there is a strong taste of Cardamom and Cloves, accompanied by Cinnamon and Mace. This strange spice mix needs to develop its flavor after baking. For that, the Stollen needs to rest for at least a week, better two weeks. So, while usually we want to eat our bread and cake fresh, in this case it is key to wrap the Stolle airtight and let it sit.
Pin Dresden Stollen to Pinterest
Stollen – original Dresden Stollen Recipe
For the Dough
- 200 g Raisins for traditional Stollen
- 50 ml Rum
- 330 g All-Purpose Flour devided to 2 x 165 g
- 85 ml Milk lukewarm
- 1 pck. Active Dry Yeast 7 g / 0.25 oz
- 50 g Sugar
- ⅓ tsp. Salt
- 165 g Butter soft
- 33 g Almond Flour
- 80 g candied Orange Peel
- 40 g candied Lemon Peel
- 35 g Butter to brush loafs
- Sugar to cover loafs
- Confectioners' Sugar to cover loafs
Spices for the Dough
- ⅓ tsp. Cinnamon
- 2 Cloves grind
- 3 Cardamom grind
- ¼ tsp. Mace
- 200 g Marzipan for 1 Marzipan Stollen
- Poppyseed Filling for 1 Poppyseed Stollen Recipe below
Step 1 – a day before
- Put the 200g raisins into a large bowl, cover with the 50 ml Rum and let sit overnight. Leave the raisins out of the recipe if you make a poppyseed filling.
- Optional: prepare the poppy seed filling if you want to use it. You could prepare it the next day but doing it a day before is less hassle. Learn how to make the Poppyseed filling in the Poppyseed Crumble Cake recipe on this blog but use the quantities from this recipe.
Step 2 – the next day: Yeast Pre-Dough
- Sprinkle the yeast onto the 85ml milk, let dissolve and activate
- Use 165 g of the flour and add 1 tbsp. of the Sugar, then add the activated yeast with the milk and start kneading.
- After2 minutes of kneading, add the Salt, then knead until a solid dough has shaped.
- Give it a short knead by hand, put into a bowl, and cover.
- Let rest 90 minutes.
Step 3 – the Spices
- Prepare and mix the spices: If not ground yet, ground the Cardamom and Cloves. Use only the seeds inside cardamom.
Step 4 – The Dough
- In a mixing bowl, mix the remaining 165 g flour with the spices.
- Add the remaining Sugar, the 33 g almond flour and mix it with a spoon.
- Now add the soft 165 g Butter and knead this to a dough.
- Add the Yeast-Pre-Dough and knead both doughs together.
Step 5 – Raisins, candied Fruits
- Add the content of the raisin bowl and the candied orange peel and lemon peel to the dough and mix it in by hand (avoid the mixer so the raisins don’t become mushy). Leave this step out if you make a poppyseed filling.
- Cover the dough and let rest for 1 hour.
Step 6 – shape the Stollen
- Preheat the oven to 200°C / 390°F (not convection)
- On parchment paper, roll out the dough to a thick layer.
- Optionally, add the fillings: marzipan or poppyseed filling.
- Then fold into the typical Stollen shape – see the video.
- Remove all raisins from the top of the Stollen so they don't burn!
Step 7 – baking
- Bake at this temperature for about 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 150°C / 300°F.
- Bake for another 25 to 30 minutes. (more or less time might be needed)
- Let cool for 30 minutes before continuing.
Step 8 – covering the Stollen
- Melt the 35 g of Butter and let it boil until the whey separates from the fat.
- With a wooden skewer, poke plenty of holes into the Stollen.
- Brush the entire Stollen generously with the butter, bottom included.
- Cover the Stollen with Sugar as good as possible on all sides.
- Now, let the Stollen cool completely!
Step 9 – Increase the Taste
- Last, thickly cover the Stollen with Confectioners’ Sugar on all sides.
- Wrap the Stollen closely in aluminum foil and let rest for at least 1 week, better 2 weeks. The Stollen will develop more flavor during this time.
Step 10 – Enjoy
- Cut the Stollen in slices and serve them with hot tea, hot chocolate, or Glühwein (recipe on the blog) which is mulled wine. Some people like to spread butter on their slice of Stollen.