Christstollen – German Christmas Cake

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

The Christmas time is my favorite time of the whole year in Germany. I just love this cosy atmosphere: The tempting smells of the caramelized almonds on those crowded christmas markets, people holding a cup of  Gluehwein (hot spiced wine) in their hands and talking and laughing in good mood, the huge variety of christmas pastries in every bakery and café…

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

But the best of all is baking a christmas pastry or cake at home! In the candle light, the christmas music is floating in the air… This is also one of the rare moments for me and my hubby to bake something together. We are discussing the recipe, kneading the dough with our hands, competing who has the better kneading technique and laughing a lot…

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

Now you can see the result: Not really bad, is it? My hubby made a traditional version of the German Christstollen. And I decided to go for a Christstollen with a tiny asian touch. Instead of raisins and candied orange and lemon peel, I took the dried lychee which I discovered during my Thailand trip and the candied pomelo peel which I bought from a wonderful food store in Paris.

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

I can not decide which version I prefer. Indeed I love both of them. And I love to bake them even more! 😉

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

Enjoy the wonderful Christmas time!!! 😀

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

Ingredients (adopted from Hias2000‘s great recipe, with some changes)

For the filling:
600g raisins
100g blanched almonds
30g candied orange peel
30g candied lemon peel
30g dried lychee
30g candied pomelo peel
20g sesame seeds
150ml rum

For the dough:
1kg flour
80g fresh yeast
170ml milk
10g sugar for the yeast
500g butter
150g sugar grated peel of 2 untreated lemons
1 tsp salt

In addition:
80g butter for brushing (melted)
Icing sugar for dusting

  1. Prepare the filling the day before baking: Mix all ingredients for the filling with rum, mix well and let it sit overnight covered.
  2. For the dough: Crumble the yeast into a bowl, cover with warm milk (below 30 degrees celsius!) and mix in 10g sugar, sprinkle with a little flour. Let it rise covered in a warm place (not too hot!) for about 30 minutes . Sieve the flour into the bowl of the food processor. Spread 500g butter flakes over the flour. Thereafter, add the sugar and salt. Spread the risen yeast onto it. Work the dough with a dough hook on low speed (stage 2 for KitchenAid) to a streusel-like mass. Then add the milk gradually. Knead the dough for another 15 minutes until you get a greasy but not sticky mass.
  3. Press the dough flat on the work surface and spread the filling on top. Knead briefly (not too long). Then allow to rise (covered) for another 30 minutes. Again knead briefly. Portion in desired size, shape the stollen into long loafs (I made three stollen from the dough).
  4. Line the baking tray first with aluminum foil, then with baking paper. Place the stollen on the baking tray and again let rise for 30 minutes (covered).
  5. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees. Bake the stollen in the oven for about 50 minutes. Once the stollen are turning light brown, cover them with aluminum foil.
  6. Get the stollen out from the oven and brush with melted butter immediatly, allow to cool completely. Then again brush with melted butter. Finally, sprinkle with powdered sugar and wrap in wrapping film. The stollen can be made several weeks before Christmas (they need some time to become soft and juicy).
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