Fruit-Filled German Christmas Bread

Fruit-Filled German Christmas Bread

Make this rum-scented bread up to two weeks before you want to serve and eat it.


  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried sweetened tart cherries
  • 1/3 cup chopped candied orange peel strips
  • 1/3 cup chopped candied citron or lemon peel strips
  • 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) dark rum or brandy
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk, lukewarm (95°F to 110°F) 
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast (from 1 [3/4-ounce] envelope)
  • 1 1/4 cups (about 5 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Oil
  • 1 1/4 cups (about 5 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 10 tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest (from 1 orange)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2/3 cup chopped almonds or slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup clarified butter, warmed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) powdered sugar


  1. Stir together raisins, cherries, citrus peel strips, and rum in an airtight container; cover and let stand at least 8 hours or up to 3 days. Stir mixture occasionally, ensuring rum absorbs evenly into fruit.
  2. Whisk together, milk, sugar, and yeast in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment until well combined. Let mixture stand for 5 minutes. Add flour and salt; beat on low speed until dough is smooth, about 10 minutes. Place dough in a lightly greased (with oil) large bowl, and cover. Let stand in a warm place (75°F to 80°F) until dough is doubled in size, about 1 hour, 30 minutes.
  3. Whisk together flour, sugar, cardamom, nutmeg, ginger, and salt in a medium bowl until combined. Beat butter, zests, vanilla extract, and almond extract with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on low speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture, and beat on low speed until fully combined, about 1 minute, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl; beat until thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds. Add risen Yeast Dough to Butter Dough in 1 tablespoon-size chunks. Beat on low speed until dough is cohesive and pieces of Yeast Dough are not seen, 1 to 2 minutes. Switch to dough hook attachment, and beat on low speed until smooth and dough ball comes together, about 8 minutes. (Dough will be similar to a thick cookie dough consistency.)
  4. Add almonds and soaked fruit to dough. Beat with dough hook attachment on low speed until fruit and nuts are almost evenly distributed throughout dough, about 30 seconds. With dough still in mixer bowl, massage dough using your hands until all fruit is fully incorporated. (It’s going to seem like too much fruit, but it’s not. Be careful not to overmix or mix too vigorously because soft fruit can sometimes mush up if you mix it too roughly or for too long, turning dough an unsightly brown.) Let dough rest in a warm place for 1 hour, 30 minutes. (It should puff up slightly.)
  5. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface. Pat dough into a 12-inch square; fold left side of dough towards center, and fold right side towards center, meeting left side. Starting at end closest to you, roll dough into a log. Using your hands, roll log to a length of 15 inches. Place dough log, seam side down, on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Cover lightly using plastic wrap, and let rest in a warm place for 1 hour. (It will not rise much, but it should rise somewhat and be slightly puffy.)
  6. While dough rests, preheat oven to 425°F with rack in middle position. When oven is preheated and dough is rested, score dough lengthwise 1/2-inch deep down center. Place dough in oven, and immediately reduce oven temperature to 375°F. Bake at 375°F until Stollen is nicely browned and the interior registers 190°F on an instant-read thermometer, 25 to 30 minutes. Taking the internal temperature is the best way to ensure the Stollen is done and prevent overbaking the Stollen, which means it will be dry when sliced. Let cool on baking sheet for 20 minutes; transfer Stollen to a wire rack, and let cool completely, about 2 hours. Pick off any burnt pieces of fruit on outside of Stollen (these will be very bitter).
  7. Brush Stollen generously with warmed clarified butter; sprinkle all over with granulated sugar. Shake off excess sugar. Let Stollen stand until butter cools completely, at least 6 hours or up to 12  hours.
  8. Using a sifter or strainer, generously dust entire Stollen with powdered sugar. Wrap Stollen in parchment paper, and then wrap in aluminum foil or plastic wrap.

You Might Also Like...