Growing up I always knew when I visited my auntie’s house at Christmas that she’d have stollen sliced up on a platter ready for snacking. She bought hers from the German bakery, but this bread isn’t hard to make—it just takes some time. First, mix together the sponge and let it rise. Then finish the dough, mixing in candied fruit that’s been macerated in booze. Form the dough into the classic long oval shape, let it rise, then bake it. Brush it with plenty of butter, cover it with a thick coating of powdered sugar, and enjoy it after Christmas dinner, on Christmas morning, or as part of a holiday brunch spread. (This recipe also pairs wonderfully with our easy Eggnog recipe.)
Special equipment: You’ll need an instant-read thermometer and a pastry brush for this recipe.
What to buy: For best results, make sure to buy quality candied zest, not artificially dyed candied fruit. You can find candied zest in the dried fruit section at most well-stocked grocery stores, especially around the holidays.
Game plan: You can store the stollen in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day. If the butter oozes through the powdered sugar, sprinkle the bread with additional sugar before serving.
For the sponge:
For the dough and to finish: