This non-yeast German Christmas Stollen recipe is the BEST in my opinion. Why? Because it's always moist, has a wonderful flavor, and is so super quick to make.
Best of all, this Quarkstollen (although I use Greek yogurt instead of Quark) is ready to serve immediately and doesn't need to age like the yeasted Stollen.
As well, the Stollen made with yeast, such as the Dresdner Stollen (considered the traditional German Christmas bread) does take a bit of time to make as it needs to rise twice during the making process.
To make my German stollen bread extra special, I add a roll of Marzipan right down the middle, so that everyone gets a bit. Lecker, lecker!!!!
If you don't like marzipan, just omit it. And, if you don't like raisins, just omit them. If you like more nuts, add them. Make Oma's Christmas Stollen (Weihnachtsstollen) just the way you like it! Delicious German food!
My Mutti made a very similar German stollen recipe, but used cottage cheese that she would cream by pressing through a metal sieve. She had no access to quark in the northern Canadian city that we emigrated to.
And, in those early 1950s, she didn't know how to make quark herself (no way to google for info, back then).
However, if you want to make this with quark, just use the same measurements as I do using the Greek yogurt.
Or, you can easily make your own quark using buttermilk.
For me, it's just much simpler to use the Greek yogurt. It's so readily available. I use the full-fat type. After all, this IS Christmas time! It's not the time for a diet.
There are the traditional fillings for a Stollen recipe. The most traditional of all, the Dresdner Christstollen, has candied citrus peel, dried fruit, and nuts. It usually has a roll of marzipan down the middle.
You can choose to make your quarkstollen the same way. For me, I prefer to use golden raisins, dried cranberries, and almond slivers. For flavoring, I use vanilla extract. Marzipan? Absolutely!
Don't like the candied lemon peel or orange peel or candied fruits? Then omit them. I did. I prefer using just raisins and dried cranberries. You choose what you'd like, keeping the total quantities about the same.
Another great addition is citrus zest (either lemon zest or orange zest). You can easily add around 1 tbsp to your nut and fruit mixture. Or, perhaps use almond extract instead of vanilla. Your choice.
If you decide to make yours without marzipan, then shaping it is very easy. Shape it into a long loaf. Then press one side (lengthwise) down a bit.
That way, when you slice the stollen (after it is baked) the pieces will have one side higher than the other. This is the traditional shape. BUT, you can just keep it as a long loaf. After all, looks aren't everything. :)
Thankfully, homemade stollen doesn't have to be difficult to make. Although the recipe below looks quite long, it actually is a very easy, one-bowl recipe.
Get all your ingredients out, measure them, and you'll be able to literally throw everything together.
Once the dry ingredients are in a large bowl, create a crater in the middle.
Add the rest of the ingredients (minus the melted butter and powdered sugar.)
You can first mix with a wooden spoon, or just get your hand in it right away. Feels so good!!!!
Knead it lightly until it holds together. It will be a bit sticky, but that's ok. If it's very moist, and this will depend totally on how moist your Greek yogurt is, you can add a little bit of flour.
Then take your dough and plop it onto some parchment paper on your work surface. Push it into an oval shape. Cover with another sheet of parchment paper and use your rolling pin to roll it to a large oval, about 9x12 inches.
Pull off the top parchment paper and place the marzipan roll right down the middle.
Using the parchment paper to lift one side of the stollen dough over the marzipan so that it almost folds in half, but not quite. You want the final stollen to be thicker on the folded side.
Carefully pull back the parchment paper. Trim off part of the parchment paper that has dough stuck on it so it doesn't burn. Lift the stollen with the parchment paper underneath onto the parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
It's easier to move the dough with the paper than trying to lift the unbaked stollen to put onto the baking sheet.
Using your fingers, moistened with water, press down the top edge so that it sticks to the bottom. Then push in the outer edges a bit to give the Stollen appearance.
Once baked, let the Quarkstollen cool momentarily. Get your butter melted and have your powdered sugar ready to go. Place your Stollen on top of a rack. Placing some parchment paper underneath will make clean-up a breeze.
Brush the very warm Stollen with melted butter. Do NOT skimp with this. If you want, you can first poke your Stollen with a wooden pick so that the butter absorbs a bit into the cake.
With the baked loaf still very warm and covered with melted butter, dust the powdered sugar (also called icing sugar or confectioners' sugar) over the top of the Stollen using a sieve. Make the layer of sugar quite thick. It will absorb into the butter as it sits.
As it sits, you can always dust more powdered sugar on top if you wish.
And… it's ready to serve. No need to let this sit for days or weeks to mellow. It's ready to go.
But, it does taste better the next day, and you can choose to let it age longer if you wish. However, I also think it tastes good when it's still a tad warm from the oven.
This may not be a traditional Stollen made with yeast, but it is just as delicious and so much quicker and easier to make. It is such a special treat to enjoy during the holiday season, especially when served with a cup of coffee!
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