Christmas Stollen Wreath

Christmas Stollen Wreath

I want to go back.  To go back to being young and innocent, the only pressure studying to pass a math test.  I didn’t love a lot of my youth.  School destroyed me emotionally and exhausted me physically.  I was always a worrier.  But so many things about being a kid, tween, teen were enjoyable.  I often wish I could relive those moments, those feelings, those memories.

I want to go back to our trips to Disney World because truthfully I don’t really remember them.  I know it was a good time from pictures and stories, but I’d just love to experience it again.  It must have been awesome to little seven year old me to see the Magic Kingdom and experience it without a worry in the world.

Christmas Stollen Wreath

I want to go back to the summer we lived in an apartment.  Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t love living in an apartment, but I loved the swimming pool there.  Almost always empty, ready, and waiting for me along with Mom or my baby sitter.  Entire, sun filled days of bliss were spent there, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

I want to go back to all of my Granny’s visits.  I loved her with all my heart, but I was a kid focused on my own things, not hers.  Now that she’s been gone for more than six years, I’d love another chance to talk to her, bake with her, take a walk with her.  we’d connect on an entirely different level.

Christmas Stollen Wreath

Christmas Stollen Wreath

I want to go back to a couple summers ago when my aunt and uncle stayed with me while Mom and Dad went on vacation, then Mom and I went to Fash Bash, a huge fashion show and party.  We did all kinds of other fun things and I felt like the world was my oyster.  I want that summer back to live it all over again.  Of course, as I look out the window at seemingly never ending snow, stacking up inch after inch, I just want summer back period.

However, I can’t have any of those things back.  Instead, I’ll just have to try to remember and focus on making the future even better than the past.

Luckily, I have some of this Stollen stashed away in the freezer to relive and making it with Mom was a new, wonderful memory.  I’ve wanted to make Stollen for years and finally got around to it.  I’m so glad I did.  The recipe is easy to make, though it does require lots of rise time.  The end result is a decadent coffee cake like bread.  The exterior has a shiny, bakery worthy crust, while the interior is soft and moist.  It’s loaded with dried fruit and almonds.  Plus, it feeds an army.  Seriously, this thing is MASSIVE!  It’s perfect for Christmas morning alongside a cup of coffee or tea!  I’m already making awesome new memories with this Stollen and you will be too!

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Christmas Stollen Wreath

Christmas Stollen Wreath

 

Christmas Stollen Wreath

Prep Time:

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: About 20 pieces

Ingredients

1 cup currants

¼ cup bourbon

1 ¼ cups jumbo raisins (I like Trader Joe’s medley)

¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice

5 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

6 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus 1 teaspoon

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup milk (I used almond, but any will work)

13 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

¼ cup warm water (about 110 degrees)

2 packages active dry yeast

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

Zest of 2 oranges

Zest of 1 lemon

¾ cup dried tart cherries

¼ cup chopped dried apricots

1 ¼ cups unsalted almonds, coarsely chopped

Confectioners’ sugar, for serving

Instructions

In two separate, small bowls, soak currants in bourbon and raisins in orange juice.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, 6 tablespoons sugar, salt, cinnamon, and cloves.

In a medium microwave safe bowl, heat milk and 10 tablespoons butter in 30 second increments until butter is fully melted. Cool for about 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine warm water, 1 teaspoon sugar, and yeast. Let stand 2-3 minutes until yeast is frothy and bubbly. If the yeast does not froth, it is dead and you need to try different yeast. Add the yeast mixture, the milk mixture, and the eggs to the flour mixture and stir to combine.

Once a dough is formed, add currants and raisins, along with about a spoonful of liquid from each bowl, orange zest, lemon zest, cherries, apricots, and almonds. Stir the add-ins in as much as possible before transferring to a lightly floured surface. Knead for about 10 minutes.

Butter a large bowl with 1 tablespoon of butter. Place the dough in the bowl and turn it to coat it with butter. Cover with a piece of parchment paper and place in a warm place until doubled in size, 1-2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Punch the risen dough down and roll it into a rectangle about 16 by 24 inches and ¼ inch thick. Starting with a long side, roll the dough up tightly, forming a long, thin cylinder. Connect the ends of the dough, forming a large circle. Make sure the edges are sealed and the circle is as uniform as possible. Transfer the dough to a parchment lined baking sheet.

Cover the dough with parchment paper and place in a warm spot to rise for 30 minutes. It will not rise much. After the 30 minutes, brush with 2 tablespoons melted butter and bake until golden brown and crusty, 35-45 minutes, rotating halfway through. Cool completely. Bread may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or frozen in pieces, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for a couple hours or in a 350 degree F oven for about 20 minutes. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving. This really adds to the flavor; however, do not freeze it with confectioners’ sugar.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

An additional 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 hours is required for bread to rise, but this is not hands-on time.

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Comments

  1. I love stollen! We don’t make it every year, but it’s always so good when we do. The wreath is a great idea – we should try that. Thanks.

  2. you know I still have not made one of these, in like, ever!
    I need to fix that

  3. I have never had or made Stollen but yours look delicious! Such a Christmas-y looking treat.

  4. Yum! I could eat the whole thing by myself!

  5. I wanna go back too! I completely understand what you mean.

    I love this pretty pretty bread wreath, it looks lovely and delish!

  6. Debbie Eccard says:

    Yes, I share your sentiment especially where Gran and our trip up to stay with you is concerned…not so much the tween etc years. I too think this stollen sounds wonderful for Christmas morning with tea. I shared this in FB as I think others would really enjoy.

    Merry Christmas!

  7. Yum!

  8. Johlene says:

    I love Xmas Stollen, when we went to Germany 2 years ago (during Xmas time) I fell in love with the flavour of this sweet dough.. delicious!!! Xx

  9. Deb says:

    The Stollen Wreath is delightful and filled with holiday cheer! I just found the recipe for stollen that my mom used and am still hoping to make the recipe before Christmas. She baked stollen each year as a remembrance of our time living in Austria. In making the recipe I hope to travel back to childhood, if only for a moment. Our memories are so much a part of the holidays. I often think that is why we insist on being sooo very busy during the season, it tempers the strength of the memories.

    • Laura says:

      Yes, being busy can help us deal with the flood of memories this time of year. I hope you do make your mom’s stollen. I bet it’s a wonderful recipe!

  10. Come Christmas time, and I love to see the recipes of Stollen Wreaths on the internet. I always it’s one of the most gorgeous and unique Christmas desserts. So glad you made it! Pinned! Happy Monday! :)

  11. Ashley says:

    I completely get what you’re saying … I feel the same way sometimes. To go back and know what you do now and really enjoy everything. This stollen looks amazing – so pretty and of course festive!

  12. Delores Fangman says:

    Dear Laura,
    Thank you for all the cooking tips and personal updates in your Pies and Plots all year long. I always enjoy the recipes. You get me out of a cooking rut with your ideas. The recipes and photos are so beautifully presented. Have a happy holidays, and best wishes for the New Year. Delores Fangman

    • Laura says:

      Thank you for your sweet comment, Delores! I’m so glad you like the recipes. I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year too!

  13. Oh goodness, this is perfect! One big wreath full of yum!

  14. This looks amazing! I could eat the whole thing myself! Yummy! ;)

    Diana
    http://www.ManhattanImageandStyle.com
    New Outfit Post: A Colorful Cold Day

  15. Joanne says:

    The holidays just aren’t quite as magical as you get older. It would be so nice to go back to a time when things were simpler…but maybe food memories like this stollen can help take us there for a little while? It is quite the impressive loaf!

  16. YUM!! This looks like such a great recipe!! Perfect for this time of year… sure to be a crowd pleaser!! YUM

  17. Summer is always good, but after all these years, I still miss Spring Break! This stollen looks great. When the kids were little we had a nanny from Germany who baked this. She used to search high and low for just the right ingredients. Yours looks GORGEOUS!

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