Imagine the scent of warm spices and sweet orange filling your home this holiday season, making this fig stollen recipe will sure put you in the holiday spirit no matter what time of year. This delicious spiced Christmas stollen bread would be perfect for your holiday brunches or afternoon tea.
What is different about this stollen bread recipe?
Stollen is a traditional German bread typically eaten during Christmas. It is a yeasted bread usually filled with dried fruits, nuts, spices, citrus zest, even marzipan.
This Christmas stollen recipe is filled with Sun-Maid or Orchard Choice California Dried Figs and walnuts, spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and orange zest, with a touch of rum if desired.
How do you shape Christmas stollen bread?
A stollen bread has a distinct oval shape with a hump in the middle. To achieve this shape, you’ll need to fold the dough over itself before baking but leaving the edges offset to create that hump when the dough rises.
How long will stollen bread keep?
Stollen can be kept at room temperature for at least 3 days, covered lightly with a clean towel. You can wrap the stollen in plastic to keep it more moist, but the sugar may melt into the bread, you can dust it again with powdered sugar before serving.
If you’re keeping it for longer than 3 days, the bread will start to dry out but it won’t go bad. Toasting it up in the oven at 350°F for a few minutes will warm it up and soften the inside while creating a crystalized sugar crust on the outside, delicious!
Since this bread lasts quite a long time, it is also a perfect food gift this holiday season. You can bake this recipe into 2 smaller loaves or double, triple it to make more and share them with your neighbors, friends, coworkers. Spread the holiday cheers!
Christmas Stollen Recipe
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 large egg , lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter , melted and cooled
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- Zest of 1 orange
- Extra flour for kneading and shaping
Fruits & Nuts
- 1 cup Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Figs
- Juice of 1 orange (about 1/3 cup)
- 1 tablespoon rum (optional)
- 1/2 cup walnuts , toasted & roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
- Granulated sugar
- Powdered sugar
- Add milk and sugar to a small saucepan and bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool down to below 110°F.
- Sprinkle active dry yeast over the liquid surface and let it bloom for 10 – 15 minutes, the mixture should puff up.
- Add the flour, salt, spices and orange zest to a stand mixer bowl and stir to distribute. Add the yeast mixture, lightly beaten egg, and melted butter to the flour mixture and knead with the dough hook on low speed for about 5 minutes. The dough should start to pull away from the side of the bowl.
- Oil a glass bowl and your hands. Scrape the dough out of the mixing bowl and shape it into a ball in your hands and place it in the oiled bowl.
- Cover, and let rise in a warm place for 1 ½ – 3 hours until at least more than double in size.
- In the meantime, chop up the dried figs and place them in a bowl with the orange juice. Add the rum if using, mix and microwave for 30 seconds. Set aside to allow the dried figs to soak up the liquid and cool.
- Once the bread dough has risen and doubled in size, drain the figs and discard the liquid. Add the hydrated figs and toasted chopped walnuts to the bread dough and knead them into the dough using the stand mixer.
- Dust your countertop with some flour and scrape the dough out of the mixing bowl, continue to knead with your hands to make sure the mixins are distributed evenly throughout.
- Shape the dough into an oval about 10” x 6”, mark a crease about ½” – 1” off from one side of the dough, along the long edge. Fold the other side over but stop the seam at the crease. Nudge it into an oval about 10” x 4”.
- Place the dough on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and place an oiled plastic wrap over the top. Let it rise 40 – 60 mins until puffy.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and bake for 30 – 35 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 190°F.
- Remove from the oven and let the bread cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack until you can easily handle it, about 15 minutes or so. Brush melted butter all over the bread, top and bottom.
- Spread some granulated sugar on another large baking sheet and roll the buttered bread in it. Then dust powdered sugar generously all over the bread. Set it on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing it open.