Christmas Stollen Recipe

Christmas Stollen is a delicious Christmas bread that tastes even better with age. Cinda Chavich shares her yeast-free recipe to celebrate the season.

Stollen is one of those wonderful Christmas breads, shot with fruit and spice, that actually gets better with age. This yeast-free stollen is sturdy and travels well.

  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup chopped apricots
  • 1 cup dried currants
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tsp rum
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups ground almonds
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp each: mace, cardamom and allspice
  • pinch each of nutmeg and ginger
  • 1 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups quark or ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • melted clarified butter and granulated sugar

Soak dried fruit for several hours or overnight in 1/4 cup of rum. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, sugar, salt and spices. Using a pastry blender (or your fingertips), blend in butter until the mixture is crumbly.

In the food processor, combine the eggs, quark or ricotta, almond extract and remaining teaspoon of rum and purée until smooth. Add to the flour mixture and mix well. Fold in the raisins, apricots and currants, along with any of the remaining rum they were soaking in.

Form the dough into a ball and knead until smooth. Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Roll each out on a piece of parchment paper, into a rectangle about eight inches wide and 10 inches long. Crease the dough along its length, slightly off centre.

Brush with melted butter, and, using the parchment paper, fold along the crease like an envelope, folding the larger section first and the small section over it. You will end up with an oval loaf. Repeat the folding with the second loaf. Place the loaves on a parchment- lined baking sheet.

Bake for 50 minutes or until golden. When the stollens are ready, remove them from the oven and set on a rack. Brush with clarified butter and sprinkle with sugar. Store in airtight containers for two to three days to mellow before serving.

Makes two large loaves.