German Butterstollen my way

I already posted this in the old facebook group two years ago, but since it doesn’t exist anymore, I’m gonna post it here again. It’s gotten a twist though. It’s gone sourdough since I’m completely off industrial yeast now.

Stollen is a traditional german christmas bread that comes in many different flavors. I love the traditional Dresdner Butterstollen taste, but I’m not into the chunks. So please forgive me for doing the rebel thing and shredding the raisins and candied peels into tiny, little, non-irritating pieces in the food processor.

I made three stollen with different fillings, and you’ll probably have trouble recreating the poppyseed one if you don’t live in Germany, because I used a convenience product. If that’s the case, feel free to double the ingredients for one of the other fillings or create your own.

For those 3 Stollen you need:

  • dough
    • poolish:
      • 150g lievito madre (somewhere between peak activity and fed yesterday)
      • 100g warm water
      • 100g all purpose flour
    • 100g milk
    • 350g all purpose flour
    • 50g sugar
    • 7g salt
    • 200g butter (soft if you use an ankarsrum, cold and in small cubes if you use a mixer with a rotating hook)
  • Filling 1: traditional
    • 100g raisins
    • 30g candied lemon peel
    • 70g candied orange peel
    • 60g rum (I use austrian Strohrum, 160 proof. Not for the faint hearted, but SO MUCH FLAVOUR!) – you can substitute apple juice if you want to make it alcohol free
    • 60-70g marzipan
  • Filling 2:
    • 100g dried cranberries
    • 100g dried apricots
    • 50g Calvados (apple brandy) – you can also use juice
    • 60-70g marzipan
  • Filling 3:
    • 1 pack of Mohnback (250g of ready to use poppyseed filling)
    • 60-70g marzipan
  • after baking:
    • clarified butter (melted)
    • 90g powdered sugar
    • 210g white sugar
    • 1 Tbsp vanilla sugar
    • some more powdered sugar for decoration (next day)

Start with making the fillings if you want to use big chunks. Mix the fruit and peels with the alcohol and let it steep for 12-24 hours. Stir every 4 hours or so. All the liquid should get soaked up.
The marzipan is used later in the recipe.

I give the fruit, peels, and booze a ride in the small food processor that came with my stick blender. It not only makes the texture of the stollen much better for me, it also reduces the steeping time drastically. The filling is ready within 30 minutes.

Next job is to make the poolish: mix the lievito madre, warm water and flour and leave it covered in a warm place until active and bubbly. I like to use the proofing box for this, so the sourdough doesn’t develop any sourness. Takes about 2 hours.

Once the poolish is ready, mix in the other ingredients. If you use an ankarsrum, you can add the butter with everything else. It’s a bit messy at first and it’ll take a while to knead, but you’ll end up with a nice, pliable, slightly sticky dough.

If you use a mixer like a kitchen aid or similar, mix and knead everything BUT the butter until the dough nearly passes the windowpane test. Then add the butter in small, cold chunks and keep kneading until it’s completely incorporated.

Let the dough rest for 1 1/2 hours. Then divide it into 3 portions. Stretch or roll two of the portions out and spread the fruit fillings on top. Do a few rounds of stretching and folding, until the filling is well distributed.

Green bowl: raisins and candied peels. yellow bowl: cranberries and apricots. Red bowl has plain dough for the poppyseed stollen.
Cover and ignore for another 1 1/2 hours.

Roll the dough into a square-ish shape, also roll about 60-70g marzipan into a flat of the same length, then layer it: dough, marzipan, poppyseed filling. Then roll it up, pinch the seams, and transfer it onto a lined baking sheet seam side down.

Roll one of the fruity doughs into a square as well. Form another piece of marzipan into a stick, place it on the dough, roll it up, same as above. Repeat with dough no.3. To give the Stollen their traditional shape, give them a whack with the rolling pin.

Bake at 180°C / 350-355F for about an hour. Oven spring is minimal, but that’s expected and normal with such a rich and heavily filled bread. It’s to be enjoyed in thin slices.

In the meantime, get some clarified butter ready for melting and mix sugar and powdered sugar. Add some vanilla sugar or a scraped vanilla bean for extra flavour.

Straight from the oven, brush the Stollen with the melted, clarified butter from all sides until covered. Then roll them in the sugar mix. Shake off the excess and place the stollen on a rack to cool overnight.


If there’s sugar mix left, it’ll end up in a cookie dough in the not too distant future.

The next morning, add a fresh coating of just powdered sugar for looks, then wrap the stollen in clingfilm. Do a double layer, you want it airtight. They need to cure for a few days, but keep for 2 months if necessary.

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