Christmas Stollen


Every year I have every intention of making stollen, and every year I don’t get around to it. Among fancy Christmas breads it seems like the simplest – I set my sights below fancy wreaths and braids to a lumpy oval with one side flopped over – but it still seems to come down to timing – wouldn’t it be a great thing to deliver around to friends in the days before Christmas? I always think so too, but when I leave it until the days before Christmas I inevitably wind up with other stuff to do and settle for quicker things like mandarin jam and fleur de sel caramels, if that.

So I jumped the gun and made some already, and it turns out it’s nowhere near the big deal, time-wise, that I’ve created in my head. So this week I’ve been limbering up my gut for the deluge of Christmas parties and turkey dinners to come by eating lightly toasted and (heavily) buttered stollen with my coffee in the morning, my second coffee in the afternoon, and every time I pass the toaster in between. Today I brought the end of the loaf across the street and we nibbled from it as we painted, and then set another batch to rise (you can slow it down in the fridge overnight) to bake and bring to a Christmas party tomorrow night. I’ve loaded up on currants and almonds and I’m set to turn this kitchen into a North Pole sweatshop, cranking out loaves between now and Thursday.

But wait, I skipped a part of the story – the part where I started flipping through books and websites, something I tend to do when a deadline is bearing down on me and I can’t put even two words together and suddenly it’s URGENT that I come up with a recipe LIKE RIGHT NOW. A recipe for stollen seems like the sort of thing you should inherit from your great-grandmother, or marry into, and I had done neither. But (in keeping with the procrastination theme) all I had to do was mention stollen on Twitter and Aimée from Under the High Chair sent me a link to hers, which was – not surprisingly – from The Joy of Cooking, the source of my dark fruitcake recipe. Of course Mrs. Rombauer knows her stollen – why didn’t I think of that? It wasn’t anywhere near as complicated as some recipes I came across. Still, I tweaked it a bit. I can’t help myself. I’m sure Aimée did her thing with it too.

To sum: I cut the butter back from 1 1/2 cups to 1 cup – which seemed like plenty, especially considering Martha’s stollen has 1 1/4 cups too 11 cups of flour – and it was just fine. (Here’s the math: that cuts 800 calories and 88 grams of fat from the two loaves! Why not?)

I used grated orange zest in place of lemon – partly because I didn’t have a lemon, but also because I love orange in things like this. I added it along with the butter and sugar as I creamed it – anytime you add zest to something, beating it along with the butter and sugar will release the maximum amount of citrus oil and distribute it well throughout the dough.

I also used sliced almonds instead of chopped – not so hard on the teeth – and ditched the rum (didn’t have any, and figured gin might not be the best substitute, plus I assumed the kids will be eating some) but added some vanilla. It made two pretty enormous loaves – the next batch will be divided into three. Why not make three households happy?


Christmas Stollen

Recipe link


December 18, 2009

Adapted from The Joy of Cooking by way of Under the High Chair (and tweaked again)

  • Makes: Makes 2-3 loaves.


1 ½ cups warm milk

1 Tbsp. yeast

6-8 cups all-purpose flour

¼ cup dried cranberries or cherries

¾ cup golden raisins

¾ cup currants

1 ½ cup sliced almonds

½ cup diced candied citrus peel

1 cup butter, at room temperature

¾ cup sugar

grated zest of an orange

3 eggs

¾ tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. vanilla

icing sugar, for dusting


1In a large bowl, combine the warm milk and yeast. Allow to sit for 10 minutes until yeast is dissolved. Whisk in 1 cup of the flour and let it sit in a warm place until doubled in size and spongy.

2Meanwhile, combine cherries, raisins, currants, almonds and citrus peel. Sprinkle a little of the flour over and toss it with your hands. Set aside.

3Beat the butter, sugar and orange zest in a large bowl (use a stand mixer if you have one) until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, followed by the salt and vanilla.

4Add the fruit and nuts, the sponge and 6 cups of flour. Stir and knead the dough until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if it's too sticky. (You may eventually need to turn it out onto a floured countertop to do this, unless you have an effective dough hook.)

5Cover the dough with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled in bulk.

6To shape your loaves, divide the dough into two or three pieces, pat each into a rough oval and fold one third lengthwise over the other two thirds. Place on baking sheets - one loaf per sheet - cover and allow to rise again until almost doubled in bulk. As they rise, preheat the oven to 350F.

7Bake loaves for 30-40 minutes (depending on whether you made 3 or 2), until they are golden brown. When loaves are cool, dust them generously with icing sugar.

Makes: Makes 2-3 loaves.

And now… drum roll please (the one from Christmas Vacation, if you please)… it’s the Christmas edition of FREE STUFF FRIDAYS! And as such I have something extra special. You may have guessed what it is. It’s two tickets to the sold-out Anthony Bourdain show at the Jack Singer in January.

(Which, by the way, I’m emceeing – so any advice on what exactly to say when INTRODUCING Anthony Bourdain and then facilitating the Q&A afterward would be much appreciated. I have about 3 weeks to lose 30 pounds and come up with something intelligent yet witty. Think I can swing it?)

I’m sorry to exclude everyone who isn’t in Calgary (or can’t be on the evening of January 12th) but this freebie is too good. So to recap: the winner gets a pair of tickets to see Anthony Bourdain at the Jack Singer Concert Hall on the evening of Tuesday, January 12th. These unfortunately aren’t the extraordinarily sought-after VIP tickets that include the afterparty where you get to meet A.B. over wine and cheese, but still. You get to go!

I have a different question for you this week, because the folks at the Epcor Centre who are putting on this shindig are already pondering who to bring in for their next event, and would love your input. So if you want to put your name in for these babies, I’d of course love to hear your thoughts on Mr. Bourdain, but also who else you’d like to see. Ruth Reichl? Michael Smith? Jaques Pepin? Gordon Ramsay? Cast your vote, or make a suggestion! And please, just to make it fair – enter only if you can actually make it to the show. Thanks!

One Year Ago: Meringue Walnuts and Indian Spiced Nuts


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58 comments on “Christmas Stollen

  1. Lauren
    December 18, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    Hi Julie, I’m going to try your stollen recipe tomorrow, it looks fantastic and very yummy. As per your question – I vote for Gordon Ramsay!

  2. Kathryn
    December 18, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    Jamie Oliver. But of those four, Gordon Ramsay. Kitchen Nightmares is our pathetic Saturday night secret.

  3. Erica B.
    December 18, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    Sooo hard to choose just one! I vote for Jacques Pepin because he’s one of the originals – before Food Network & reality cooking shows.

    (and yes, I’m in Sylvan Lake but I can make it even if it’s by dogsled!)

    I’m with you on the Christmas goodies thing… so far I’ve made one batch of Peppermint Bark but had plans to do sooo much more.

  4. Janeen
    December 19, 2009 at 12:16 am

    My vote would be for Gordon or maybe Susur lee, or Thomas Keller. There are too many to choose from!

  5. Laurel
    December 19, 2009 at 12:21 am

    Thanks for the stolen recipe, can’t wait to try it out!
    To be honest, none of the chefs mentioned above would be anywhere near as interesting or entertaining as Tony. But, if I had to choose someone else, I’d say Nigella Lawson or Ina Garten – would be nice to hear from a female!

  6. Joni
    December 19, 2009 at 6:30 am

    I can’t get the image of lobster poutine out of my head from your last post! Must get to Brava… I love that place.
    I would LOVE to see Jamie Oliver, so if they can swing that, I’m in.

  7. Joanne
    December 19, 2009 at 7:18 am

    Julie you were so funny with your “rhymes with Banthony Shmourdain”! I think Alice Waters would have a great story to tell!

  8. Corine
    December 19, 2009 at 7:24 am

    Difficult choice! But I’d love to see Mario Battali.

    My favorite stollen recipe is from the old Five Roses cookbook. I’d lost my original copy (going waaay back to my highschool home ec days) but they’ve reissued the cookbook. Of course I had to buy it :) When I make stollen I put a roll of almond filling in the centre.

  9. Cheryl
    December 19, 2009 at 7:29 am

    Are they only looking for chefs? In that case I would also recommend Alice Waters.
    Beyond Chefs I think Michael Pollan or Mark Bittman would be quite interesting to see.

  10. Susan
    December 19, 2009 at 7:30 am

    My vote is for Nigella or Jamie.

  11. Sprout
    December 19, 2009 at 7:35 am

    Ina Garten. Or Michael Smith, or…I can’t decide! I love Anthony Bourdain, it is the one show that we PVR every week to watch sometime after the kids are in bed. The Stollen looks great, I can’t believe there’s only 6 days until Christmas, one of them will be dedicated to making this!

  12. Melanie
    December 19, 2009 at 7:55 am

    Picking who to see?? Great question. I love Chuck from Chuck’s day off. He’d be fun, (he’s cute AND french), plus I think he makes some incredible food!

  13. Randi
    December 19, 2009 at 8:10 am

    I have a secret crush on Michael Smith so he would be my choice.

    This year my gift for friends and family is the Parmesan Black Pepper Biscotti from Smitten Kitchen and a bottle of wine. yum.

  14. Terri
    December 19, 2009 at 8:58 am

    I like Alton Brown…I like his educational approach to cooking.
    I have become rather fond of a local chef as well. I think her name is Julie!

  15. angela
    December 19, 2009 at 9:03 am

    definetely Chef Gordon Ramsey. he’s so much nicer on talk shows, than when he’s swearing at ppl on Hell’s Kitchen. and he’s provided me so many hours of entertainment :)

  16. Jennifer
    December 19, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Well, if this were a dream, I would of course say Julia Child…however, since that isn’t possible, my next choice would have to be Nigella or Rob Feenie.

  17. Jean
    December 19, 2009 at 10:47 am

    Hi Julie,
    Great blog, love your stories and recipes.
    I would love to see Jamie Oliver, even just for a book signing…..
    there are too many great chefs I would like to see but, Anthony is the one I really would like to see, hmmmmmmmmmm maybe him with Micheal Ruhlman…..
    Going to make your cheese crackers from Swerve on Monday the look great!

  18. Heather
    December 19, 2009 at 11:21 am

    Hello Julie, Tickets to see Anthony Bourdain would be awesome! so I am going to throw my name into the Friday draw if I can! I would love to see Jamie Oliver as well like many of the others. I also like Giada De Laurentiis…for some reason her recipes never seem very difficult to make but look very yummy!

  19. Erin
    December 19, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    Jamie Oliver would be awesome! Hope you have a merry chritmas!

  20. Vivian
    December 19, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    I’m opting out of the running for the free tickets although Anthony Bourdain has been a favorite since I read his “Kitchen Confidential”. Knowing how unpredictable the QE 2 can be this time Of year, there’s no way I could guarantee my attendance. I’d like, however, to suggest as a guest, one of Canada’s very own…Ricardo! Although his magazine is no longer published in English(a real shame), he is such a talented, adventurous, funny, not to mention, easy- on-the-eyes-with-a-great-smile kinda guy. It would be wonderful to invite him “out west” to show our continued support and encouragement! I watch his show everyday on the French network and although I can’t speak French, I still get a great bunch of ideas from the program!

  21. Laurie
    December 19, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    There is no way I can be in Calgary on January 12, no matter how much I would *love* to see Anthony Bourdain. His adventurousness is awe inspiring. For their next guest I’d love to see Rob Feenie, or Michael Smith, or Ricardo Larrivée, or Laura Calder, or Christine Cushing or Mark McEwen. And what about Ned Bell? I’d love to know more about him. Of course Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawsen are way up there, too. Gordon Ramsay not so much. He was okay on The Hour, but Jamie was way more entertaining. Jacque Pepin is wonderful, too, and he could tell memories of years cooking with Julia Child. And there are some big personalities in the US, like Guy Fieri and Emeril Legasse and Paula Deen and Giarda di Laurentis and Masaharu Morimoto.

  22. Katharine
    December 19, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    Super tough question. I really like so many chefs – admittedly on the Food Network. (Haven’t ventured outside of the most popular lately……) But I really like new and upcoming Anthony Sedlak, love the guys from Wild Chef, of course Anthony Bourdain has always been a favorite of ours, and have you seen the new disgusting food guy? Andrew Zimmern?? He’s pretty awesome too. Only because he eats ANYTHING! But I like to keep it easy and delicious and really love and respect Julie Van Rosendaal. She’s our all time fav. <3<3

  23. Erin
    December 19, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    Ina Garten! Then maybe I could realize my fantasy of becoming her friend and visiting her amazing home. (sorry…tmi). Or Jamie Oliver. Love him too.

  24. Betty C
    December 19, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    So many choices….I think I would pick Michael Smith – very down to earth with recipes that aren’t intimidating.
    Merry Christmas Julie – just in case next week goes completely sideways.

  25. malithi
    December 19, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    Jamie Oliver or Elizabeth Baird hands down!

    Merry Christmas Julie!

  26. Neil
    December 19, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Of the names you listed Gordon Ramsay would be my vote! Although hopefully he wouldn’t yell at us too much. The best, though, would be Anthony Bourdain, but he’s already coming.

  27. Linda
    December 19, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    I vote for Elizabeth Baird – she is a classic.

  28. KC
    December 19, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    I think Nigella would be a good choice too.

    When you introduce Tony you could talk about how he’s the rock star of food/travel television…after all – its a sold out show! And instead of groupies…he’s got foodies!

  29. Lisa
    December 19, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    He’s not exactly a chef, but I’d love to hear Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma is one of my favourite books!

    I’m in Calgary and would love to go to the show!

  30. supersu
    December 19, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    dont put me in for the draw but my choice for a future guest would be david lobovitz.
    he makes rice crispy squares look exotic and fabulous-and i think he funny too!

    have a great holiday

    ps….doing some christmas gift baking this afternoon and NOTHING is working out…..urgh….i hate that….not only waste of time but that means I eat all the mistakes….:(

  31. kathy
    December 19, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    Vikram Vij of Vij’s in Vancouver would be amazing, I just love what he’s done for Indian food and his journey in life is very interesting.

  32. erin
    December 19, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    My vote would be for Martin Picard – but I’m in Edmonton, so my vote doesn’t count!

    But please count me in for the ticket draw – I would definitely make the trip down for Anthony Bourdain!!

    Thanks for this great draw, Julie, and have a wonderful Christmas.

  33. Carolyn
    December 19, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    Must be something in the water. . . I made quark stollen using an overnight method, from Home Baking by Jeffery Alford and Naomi Duguid. Mine look like yours so I guess that’s how they are supposed to look. Why not them for a talk, they probably have a pretty good slide show if their books are any indication.

  34. Lisa
    December 19, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    Looks great – I will have to try! Had it last weekend with fresh ricotta, honey and orange peel.

  35. Lynne
    December 20, 2009 at 6:47 am

    Thanks for all the good food I’ve made this past year – you make my mind boggle at all your activities and energy – and now painting, etc. across the street as well… My pick would be Ricardo.

  36. Tagyn
    December 20, 2009 at 8:49 am

    Julie, you will make a great MC, have fun!
    My pick would be Micheal Smith or Pioneer Woman, both would be quite entertaining.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  37. charm
    December 20, 2009 at 9:23 am

    My votes are for Jamie Oliver or (not a chef but great thoughts about food) Michael Pollan. Merry Christmas Julie.

  38. jen
    December 20, 2009 at 10:31 am

    Hi Julie! I met you at the Cooking Room in Red Deer on Nov 24 and I am still glad that you are as cool in person as you are online/on tv. Now that the sucking up is out of the way, I absolutely second the Michael Pollan nomination but I would also happily go see Ted Allen or Andrea Immer Robinson (I really like her non-snobby approach to wine and food and wine pairings).

  39. H-woman
    December 20, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    I’m in Calgary and available on the 12th!!

    My vote would be for Jaime Oliver or Gordon Ramsay, although there have been some other great suggestions here, too.

    The stollen looks good, but I never have any luck with yeast breads, so I think my mom will get the recipe in her Christmas sock!
    H =)

  40. Morgan
    December 20, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    I will suggest anyone that my wife wants to see!

  41. Logan
    December 20, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Yum, that looks great. Merry Christmas, Julie!

  42. rea
    December 20, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    i’d go local with Michael Allemeier. he seems like such a nice guy.

  43. Alona
    December 21, 2009 at 2:25 am

    Christmas greetings from Moscow, Russia. I made this Stollen. Very tasty. Thank you very much Julie!

  44. Corine
    December 21, 2009 at 8:12 am

    I think Jamie Oliver would be great. I also like Andrew Zimmern. If you haven’t heard of him, he’s a chef, but I know him from his Bizarre Foods show on one of the travel channels. He’d have some pretty interesting stories. Anthony Bourdain is a great start to something like this though. I love him. Just watched his Holiday Edition of No Reservations last night, before we went on a Twinkle Tour through Spruce Meadows and Heritage Pointe.

  45. Linda P
    December 21, 2009 at 8:17 am

    I’d like to put a vote in for Ruth Reichl. I think she would be amazing on relating stories from her travels.

  46. Heather
    December 21, 2009 at 9:08 am

    Michael Pollan or Jamie Oliver!

  47. Sarah (Calgary)
    December 21, 2009 at 9:30 am

    Wow – tickets for Anthony Bourdain. Please count me in. I would like to see (like so many others) Ina Garten or Michael Smith. Like you, simple, low fuss recipes that taste great!

    The Stollen is on my list for Christmas morning – thanks for the idea – I usually make Pillsbury cinnamon buns (the ones from the can that you whack on the counter) but this sounds just as easy if I start them the day before! Merry Christmas to all and Happy New Year.

  48. Lesli Christianson-Kellow
    December 21, 2009 at 11:18 am

    Count me in! The Christmas Stollen is pretty just to even look at…

  49. Karen C
    December 21, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    would love to see Tony!
    & I think Alice Waters would love to see Calgary (in the summer). Did you ever see the Iconoclasts show on her & Mikhail Baryshnikov? wonderful!

  50. Delaine
    December 21, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    Michael Smith, I watch his show everyday!

  51. Eric Vondran
    December 21, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    I also think Alton Brown could be a great guest.

  52. gwendolyn
    December 21, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    If I thought Ina Garten could abandon the Hamptons or Jeffrey for a trip to Calgary, I’d definitely vote for her. Or, you know, Nigella Lawson. But I think Jamie Oliver would be hilarious since I’ve seen him do live-audience bits where he cooks and jokes and brings people up on stage. Now, whether he’d come . . . .

  53. terence
    December 21, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    Alton Brown all the way! He makes food science cool. Oooh, 2nd vote goes to The Thirsty Traveler- Kevin Brauch!!

    AB is my hero. I’ve read Kitchen Confidential 10 times and still keep reading it.

  54. Aimee
    December 22, 2009 at 5:30 am

    Your stollen looks awesome, Julie! Thanks for the shout-out. We’re making ours today-probably 6 or so smaller loves. It’s lovely to giveaway.

  55. Allison McCaffrey
    December 24, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    Hi Julie,
    As always, your stollen looks incredible. HOpe I’m not to late for this amazing treat. My birthday is on the 13th, so wouldn’t this be a smashing bday present. I think I would like to see Kevin, the red bearded finalist from the last Top Chef season. Padma and Tom C would also be amazing to have a Q and A with.

  56. Jennifer
    December 24, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    In the oven as I type. Looks beautiful, and will be so tasty with Christmas morning spiced coffee as the girls open their presents! Thanks so much for the wonderful recipe, Julie. Hope you have a wonderful and very happy Christmas!

  57. wys?odziny
    April 4, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    I’ll immediately take hold of your rss feed as I can’t in finding your e-mail subscription hyperlink or newsletter service. Do you have any? Kindly allow me know so that I could subscribe. Thanks.

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