It is thought of that Stollen originated in 1329 as a result of a contest offered by the Bishop of Nauruburg. Bakers in the Dresden region produced a wonderful bread baked with the finest butter, sugar, raisins, candied citron and other specialty ingredients. “The Bishop enjoyed the stollen so much that he ordered a quantity of grain saved for stollen only.”
“Stollen during Medevil years baked in loaves weighing 30 pounds! Stollen became such a part of Dresdeners’ lives that it was cut and served with special, stollen only utensils. It was also tradition that the first piece of stollen was set aside and kept to ensure the family would be able to afford a stollen the following year and the last piece saved to ensure the family had enough food for the year.” As the recipe was past through generation the Stollen flavor began to richen into the bread like cake we know of today.”
Sydney and I take great pride each year to recreate a recipe not only with an amazing flavor, but rich history to match.
Adapted from Peter Reinhart
Once the dough has been resting for 45 minutes remove from the dough bucket or bowl.
Knead the dough a few times, on a lightly floured surface, and roll the dough out into a rectangle 45 x 31-cm/ 18 x 12-inch.
As you roll the dough add the almond paste and candied fruit in three even sections.
The dough can be shaped into a crescent or as we chose a wreath.
Proof the wreath or crescent for about two hours till doubled in size.
Ten minutes prior to baking place the rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/ 350 degrees F and spray the the oven with a water bottle three times. Place the stollen on a baking sheet with parchment paper in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, rotate the stollen, and spray the oven three times with a water bottle. Bake an additional 20 minutes or until the stollen has darken to a “mahogany” color, registers 88 degrees C/ 190 degrees F, and sounds hallow when lightly tapped.
Transfer the dough to a cooling rack and sprinkle heavenly with icing sugar (DON’T BE STINGY WITH THE ICING SUGAR).
Leave the Stollen to cool for one hour prior to serving; store the remaining bread in an airtight container or plastic bag.