One chef, one recipe: Stollen bread by Chef Ankit Saini

A delicious Christmas is incomplete without a loaf of traditional stollen bread. This recipe by Chef Ankit Saini, Pastry Chef at Pullman New Delhi Aerocity is perfect for the festive season!
Stollen bread is popular across germany since the early 1400s, and comes in several variations
Stollen bread is popular across Germany since the early 1400s, and comes in several variations. Image: Unsplash

Around for nearly 700 years with its roots in Germany, Christmas without stollen bread is almost unimaginable. While rum cakes, plum cakes, and off late even date and walnut cakes find their place at the Christmas table, the stollen bread is the lesser known cousin of these festive pastries.

Christmas stollen can typically be described as a yeast bread that is baked with dried fruits, candied citrus peel, nuts and spices. Variations include Mandelstollen (almond), Mohnstollen (poppy seed), Quarkstollen (quark), Nuss-Stollen (nuts), Butterstollen (high butter content), Dresdner Stollen and Marzipanstollen.

These types of sweet cakes and breads studded with candied fruits and nuts are hallmarks of Christmas baking in many areas of the world.  Examples include fruitcake which is traditional throughout the English speaking nations, panettone in Italy, keks in Poland, julekake in Norway, bolo-rei in Portugal and birnenbrot in Switzerland. The most popular of the lot however is perhaps the German Stollen.

The word “stollen” refers to a post or boundary stone for a city.  It is also thought it could refer to the entrance of a mine shaft.  Some historians believe that the stollen’s characteristic shape was molded after the shape of a mine tunnel, reflective of the silver and tin mining industries of the time. 

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Chef ankit saini's recipe for stollen bread is perfect for your christmas table
Chef Ankit Saini’s recipe for stollen bread is perfect for your Christmas table

Of course, there’s also religious symbolism associated with the stollen, said to be the body of Christ. Specifically, being dusted with powdered sugar, it is symbolic of the baby Jesus in swaddling clothes. That is also where it gets the name Christstollen, or Christ Stollen from.

Stollen is also famously dusted with a thick coat of powdered sugar, reminiscent of the snowy German landscape, and baked with spices conveying the warmth of the Christmas season. Sounds appealing enough? Then give this stollen bread recipe by Chef Ankit Saini, Pastry Chef at Pullman New Delhi Aerocity a shot and impress your loved ones this season! 

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Stollen Bread

  • 200 gm strong flour
  • 16 gm yeast
  • 160 ml milk
  • 400 gm strong flour
  • 80 ml milk
  • 72 gm breakfast sugar
  • 5 gm salt
  • ½ tsp vanilla powder
  • 10 ml rum
  • ½ tsp almond flavour
  • 240 gm soft butter
  • ½ tsp cardamom powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp nutmeg powder
  • 480 gm liquor soaked fermented nuts
  • 1 kg desi ghee
  • Icing sugar for roll out

Method

  • Mix the first part of flour, yeast and milk and knead the dough, give rest for 20 minutes.
  • Make another dough with the second part and add the first dough also. Cover the dough and let it rest for 1 hour.
  • Divide the dough equally into 2 parts.
  • Roll out the dough and give shape, proof for 40-45 mins and bake at 180℃ for 30 minutes.
  • Heat the desi ghee, dip the hot bread into it and soak for 3-4 minutes.
  • Take out bread from the ghee and roll into the icing sugar.

Read more. 

Iconic Christmas desserts and dishes