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Christmas Stollen w/Marzipan (aka German Christstollen)

A classic German holiday tradition, Stollen is made only during the winter holidays, and a special treat indeed to make for your own home as well as a gift for friends and neighbors. Enjoy with a hot cuppa.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Rising Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 55 minutes
Servings 2 large loaves
Author Simply Luxurious

Ingredients

Fruit & Nut Filling

  • 3 ounces raisins (about 2/3 cup)
  • 3 ounces candied orange peel (about 2/3 cup) candied lemon peel can be added as well
  • 3 ounces chopped roasted nuts of choice almonds and hazelnuts are my go-to
  • Grand Marnier liquer enough to just cover the filling mixture to soak

Yeast Mixture

  • 3 tsp dry active yeast
  • 1 cup whole milk room temperature
  • 2 Tbs sugar (taken from the 1/2 cup of sugar which will go into the entire dough mixture) granulated

The Dough

  • 4 cups pastry flour Bob's Red Mill is my favorite (AP flour works as well)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (minus 2 Tbs used in yeast) granulated
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature (for ease of mixing)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 tsp mace
  • 3/4 tsp cardamon
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Madagascar pure vanilla extract strong (substitute 1 tsp regular vanilla extract)
  • 1 medium lemon (the zest only)
  • 1 tsp fleur du sel

Marzipan

  • 16 ounces almond paste recipe below
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 large egg whites lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract OPTIONAL: as the almond paste already welcomes this flavor - taste to see if you need more
  • 1 large orange (it's zest & 1 tsp of its juice) OPTIONAL for orange zested marzipan

Almond Paste

  • 1 1/2 cups fine almond flour
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (Madagascar)

Finishing the Baked Bread

  • 1/2-1 cup powdered sugar
  • 4-6 Tbs unsalted butter melted

Instructions

Fruit & Nut Filling

  • Chop the nuts and candied orange peel in a fine dice (or as large as you prefer). Place the nuts, raisins and candied orange peel in a small mixing bowl. Pour the Grand Marnier into the small mixing bowl with the fruit and nuts until just barely it reaches the top fruit & nuts. Stir and set aside to soak while the bread rises the first round.

Bread Dough

  • Combine the yeast, milk and 2 Tablespoons sugar in a small mixing bowl. Whisk to combine and set aside for 5-10 minutes. The mixture will start to form bubbles which will reveal the yeast is active. :)
  • Combine all of the remaining dough ingredients into a large mixing bowl (stand mixing preferred) set with a dough hook. Add the yeast mixture and mix until all of the dry ingredients are combined and a single dough ball is formed. If remaining dry ingredients are not being incorporated after 2-4 minutes, add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time until fully incorporated. Once the dough ball is formed, knead by hand or with the dough hook for 7 minutes.
  • Place the dough ball into a buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place somewhere warm to rise (approximately 80 degrees). Let rise for 60 minutes or until almost twice the size (mine are usually less as I don't have a proofing oven, but as long as it has risen, you are set :)).
  • While you wait for the dough to rise (first rising), make the Marzipan.
  • After the dough has risen (approximately 60 minutes), punch down once and place the dough back in the mixing bowl with the dough hook. Drain the fruit and nut mixture, making sure no extra liquid remains. Add the liqueur-soaked nuts and fruit to the dough in the mixing bowl. Turn on the mixture to medium-low speed and mix until combined, making sure the fruit and nuts are not just seen on the outside of the dough but mixed throughout. If the dough becomes a bit too wet, simply add a dash of additional flour.
  • On a floured surface, with a rolling pin, roll out each loaf to an oval shape. Remove the marzipan from the refrigerator and cut to match the length of the oval for each loaf.
  • Place the marzipan on the left or right side (not down the middle). Fold the side you have placed the marzipan on to the middle (covering the marzipan). Then roll the opposite side nearly over the top of the first side. Pinch to attach well the seam now running down the middle of the bread. Tuck the bottom of each end up and then fold in the sides, again pinching to seal the ends of the loaves. Follow this preparation for each loaf. Place the seam side down on a baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 60 minutes in a warm place.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Once the second rise is complete (you will see the loaves have expanded, but don't let rise for more than 60 minutes as you don't want to overproof and have incredibly flat bread).
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes or until deeply golden brown. You are looking for an internal temperature of 190 degrees.
  • Just before you remove the bread from the oven, melt your butter.
  • Once you remove it from the oven, poke small holes into the top of the bread with a toothpick, and then brush each loaf with unsalted butter. Immediately follow with a generous dusting of powdered sugar. Enjoy warm or gently wrap up each loaf and place in a cool spot in your home (the pantry) as the bread's flavor will actually increase and the liqueur-soaked fruit and nuts will continue to share their flavor throughout the bread.
  • If enjoying once the bread is cool, you may reheat the bread in the microwave for a warm bite.
  • Feel free to add an additional dusting of powdered sugar to the bread once it cools to maintain the crisp white covering.

Marzipan

  • First, make the almond paste. With a hand mixture or stand mixture, combine all of the dry ingredients - almond flour and powdered sugar. Then add the egg and almond extract. Set aside while you gather the additional ingredients for the marzipan.
  • In a medium to large mixing bowl with a stand mixer or hand mixer, combine the almond paste, powdered sugar, egg whites and any optional extract. That's it.
  • Separate and roll out into individual stripes about one inch in diameter. Roll in plastic wrap and place in the freezer (for future use) or the refrigerator for use in the recipe today. Be sure to label if you have added Orange Zest.