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Have you ever heard of this awesome German fruit bread, called “Stollen”. It’s a delicious sweet loaf with fine candied and/or dried fruits and so common in Germany, that Advent season without it simply is unimaginable for most people. This fruit bread is deeply rooted in the German tradition as are Christmas markets, chestnuts and mulled wine. I love Stollen since my childhood, but failed some recipe attempts in the past years. So I was a little frustrated by vegan Stollen baking. But this year I made a new attempt. Spurred on by a lovely email from my faithful reader Susanne, who shared a very easy vegan Stollen recipe with me, I tried my own Stollen creation based on it. At the second try it has already become perfect! However, it is important that you pay attention when baking the stollen: The outside of the stollen quickly becomes hard and dark. You therefore have to bake it slowly and gently at a quite low temperature and preferably only top and bottom heat. I also cover the loaf with a sheet of baking paper while baking to protect it. Have a wonderful Advent season and thanks again, Susanne, for the inspiration. All the best Lea

Ingredients (for one big fruit loaf/serves 10)

  • 350 g (2.5 cups/12.34 oz) (spelt) flour
  • 85 g (0.4 cups) cane sugar
  • 50 g (1/3 cup) ground almonds
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. cardamom
  • 85 ml (2.87 oz)  plantbased milk (such as almond or oat milk)
  • 1 packet dry baking yeast (7 g)
  • 70 g (2.46 oz) margarine + 25 g (0.88 oz) margarine for finishing the loaf
  • 40 g (1.41 oz) dried apricots
  • 50 g (1.76 oz) candied ginger
  • 20 g (0.70 oz) dried cranberries
  • Grated lemon zest of 1 organic lemon
  • 2 tbsp. soy or coconut yoghurt
  • 4-5 tbsp. icing sugar

Good to know: For this “Stollen” (sweet fruit loaf) I have selected candied ginger, dried cranberries and apricots for the filling. But you can vary the dried fruits to your liking and use raisins or other dried fruits. Many people also let the dry fruits soak in rum or amaretto. Only keep to the approximate quantity/weight as indicated in the recipe.

Instructions (25 minutes preparation + 90 minutes for resting + 40 minutes baking time)

  1. In a large bowl mix spelt flour, cane sugar, ground almonds, a pinch of salt, 1 tsp. cinnamon and 1 tsp cardamom.
  2. Heat plantbased milk and melt 70 g margarine in it. Dig a hole in the middle of the flour, pour the warm plantbased milk with the dissolved margarine into it and stir in a packet of dry yeast. Wait a few minutes until small bubbles form.
  3. Finely chop the dried fruits. Peel off the lemon zest of one lemon. Add dried fruit, lemon zest and two large tbsp. of soy yoghurt to the dough and quickly knead an even dough on a lightly floured work surface. Then cover the dough and let it sit/rise in a warm place for about 60 minutes.
  4. After an hour knead the slightly risen dough vigorously (it won’t rise as strongly as a pizza dough), roll out oval and fold once lengthwise, so that you get the typical form of the German fruit loaf (see next picture).
  5. Place the preformed fruit bread on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. In a warm place allow to rise again covered for at least another 30-40 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 175 °C/ 347 °F  top and bottom heat. Bake the “Stollen” for approx. 40 minutes. To avoid a too hard crust, cover the loaf with baking/parchment paper while baking!
  7. Melt 25 g margarine, coat the still hot Stollen with it and dust it with lots icing sugar.

The Stollen has a shelf life of about 3 weeks, but should be well covered, stored in a cool place and not placed in the fridge.