This sugar-dusted German fruit bread, also known as Christollen, is said to resemble the baby Jesus in swaddling clothes. Originating from Dresden in the 15th century, it has been transformed from simple oat bread to a rich, buttery loaf.
- 240 g (1½ cups) sultanas
- 120 g (¾ cup) dried currants
- 100 g mixed peel
- 125 ml (½ cup) dark rum
- 2 x 7 g sachets dried yeast
- 75 g caster sugar
- 185 ml (¾ cup) warm milk
- 500 g plain flour, sifted
- 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 325 g unsalted butter, at room temperature, 125 g melted
- 1 orange, zested
- 1 lemon, zested
- 250 g marzipan
- icing sugar, to dust
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Makes 2 x 25 cm loaves
Soaking time overnight
Proving time 2½ hours
Combine dried fruits, mixed peel and rum in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and soak overnight.
To make dough, combine yeast, 1 tbsp caster sugar and milk in a small bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes or until mixture bubbles.
Using an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix flour, remaining 55 g (¼ cup) caster sugar, spices, eggs, 200 g butter and the yeast mixture on medium speed for 2 minutes or until mixture just starts to come together. Increase speed to high and mix for a further 6 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1½ hours or until dough doubles in size.
Return dough to electric mixer. Stir orange and lemon zests into fruit mixture and add to dough. Knead on low speed until just combined. Place in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for a further 1 hour or until dough doubles in size.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into 2. Roll each portion out to a 30 cm x 22 cm rectangle. Divide the marzipan in half and roll each piece into a 25 cm log. Place each piece in the centre of each rectangle and roll up dough, folding in the ends and sides to enclose the marzipan. Place on an oven tray lined with baking paper, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 30 minutes or until slightly risen.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180°C. Bake for 30 minutes or until loaves are golden brown. Remove from oven, then brush stollen with 125 g melted butter and dust with icing sugar. Cool completely before slicing. Wrap stollen in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Photography by John Laurie.
As seen in Feast magazine, December 2011, Issue 4.