Noah's Galley

Christmas Stollen

Almost every country in Europe has its favorite sweet bread. The German have Stollen, sweet and filed with fruits. Traditionally, it is served at Christmastime thinly sliced, with coffee or perhaps a glass of wine.

1 cup milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
2 packages active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water, 105 to 115F
4-1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup seedless raisins
1/2 cup diced mixed candied fruit
1/4 cup slivered almonds


1 cup un-sifted confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk
8 to 10 candied cherries

1. In a large saucepan, heat milk until bubbles from around edge of pan. Remove from heat. Stir in granulated sugar, salt, and shortening; let cool until lukewarm.

2. Sprinkle yeast over warm water in large bowl; stir until dissolved. Then stir in milk mixture; stir until dissolved. Add 2 cups flour; beat until thoroughly combined and smooth.

3. Cover bowl with damp towel; let dough rise in warm place (85F), free from drafts, until double in bulk about 30 minutes.

4. Sift remaining flour with nutmeg and cinnamon.

5. Stir raisins, fruit, and almonds into dough. Then stir in four-spice mixture until well mixed.

6. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead 10 minutes or until smooth. Place in greased bowl; cover with damp towel; let rise in warm place until double in bulk about 1 hour.

7. Punch down. Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Knead 5 minutes. Divide into 2 balls. Place on greased cookie sheets. Cover with damp towel; let rise in warm place until double in bulk about 1 hour.

8. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees.

9. Bake Stolen 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees; bake 40 minutes more. Cool on wire rack.

10. Make Frosting: Combine sugar and milk in small bowl until smooth. Frost top of Stollen. Decorate with cherries and bits of angelica.

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