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Stollen Wreath

Stollen Wreath is a little bit of a twist to the traditional German stollen, this sweet yeasted dough is just stunning for the holidays! The dough is studded with cranberries, raisins and almond flavor. Powdered sugar and and a sprinkling of almonds on top make it simply beautiful.
Prep Time2 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American, German
Keyword: Christmas bread
Author: Savoring Italy

Ingredients

  • DOUGH
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 ounce envelope active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water 100 to 110 degrees
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
  • 4 1/2-5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • FILLING
  • 4 Tablespoons butter melted
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup brandy or other liqueur
  • 1/4 cup almond pastry filling
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup almond slivers

Instructions

  • DOUGH
  • Place the dried fruits in a small bowl with the brandy; set aside.
  • Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat and let stand until cooled to room temperature.
  • Meanwhile, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water in a large bowl.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of the sugar and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  • Beat in the remaining 2 Tablespoons of sugar, eggs and butter. Beat in cooled milk. Gradually add the flour and salt, scraping down side of bowl, until a soft dough forms.
  • Turn dough onto a floured work surface and knead the remaining flour into the dough, adding more flour if too sticky. Knead for about 10 minutes until smooth. The dough will be soft.
  • Grease a large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours-2 hours. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Drain the dried fruits from the liqueur; set aside.
  • Punch down the dough.
  • Dump the dough out onto a floured surface, roll the dough into a 9- by 30-inch rectangle.
  • ASSEMBLE WREATH
  • Brush dough with 1/2 of melted butter. Spread the almond pastry filling in the middle. Sprinkle on the dried fruits and cinnamon-sugar.
  • Brush the borders with water. Tightly roll the dough into log, rolling toward the clean border; pinch the seam to seal.
  • Place roll seam-side down on the baking sheet. Cut the log in half lengthwise with a chef’s knife.
  • Twist the two halves together, crossing one over the other a few times. Pinch the end together, then tuck both pinched ends under the loaf slightly.
  • From the twists into a wreath.
  • Cover the wreath loosely with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until plump, 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Uncover the wreath and brush with melted butter.
  • Toss on the almond slivers.
  • Bake the bread, rotating the baking sheet halfway through, until golden brown (a thermometer inserted into the middle should register 170 degrees F to 175 degrees F), 30 to 35 minutes.
  • If you have any butter left, brush some on the bread hot out of the oven and sprinkle on more cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  • Carefully transfer the wreath to a serving plate. Dust with powdered sugar…enjoy!!

Notes

This can be prepared 2 days ahead of time (if you can resist eating it!).
After baking wreath, cool completely and wrap it tightly and carefully in foil paper. Store at room temperature then re-heat at 350° for 10-15 minutes.