Appalachia Appalachian Food

Christmas Bread

Christmas bread

If I see a recipe that I think sounds good-I rip it out of my magazine and stick it in my cookbook. Sometimes I make the recipe right away; sometimes it takes me a while to get around to making it; and sometimes I end up throwing the recipe away-never trying it at all.

The recipe for Holiday Bread that you see in the photo above is one I ripped out of a Good Houskeeping, Country Living, or Southern Living magazine 5 or 6 years ago. I know it’s been that long-because that’s how long it’s been since I took the time to organize my recipes. I like to glue the good ones down in a composition book…but most of the time I just cram them in the front of the notebook.

Anyway, I never tried the recipe. I thought it sounded like something my bunch would like, but somehow never made it until this year…I shouldn’t have waited so many years-it is really good.

Easy christmas stollen

 

Christmas Bread (a simple stollen)

  • 2 1/3 cups plain flour (all purpose)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter cubed
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup tart dried fruit coarsely chopped (I used what I had on hand: a mixture of dried cranberries, blueberries, and apricots)
  • 1/3 cup pecans toasted and chopped (I didn’t toast them-I forgot!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel (I used lime because I didn’t have a lemon)
  • 2 large eggs
  • powdered sugar (optional)

Making stollen for christmas

Heat oven to 325 degrees and grease a large cookie sheet.

Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; add butter and cut in with a pastry cutter until flour mixture looks like coarse crumbs.

For years I had a cheap pastry cutter. Every time I used it the handle came loose and I had to hold it a certain way to keep it from popping off. Then it happened-I found a heavy duty stainless steel pastry cutter at a yardsale in Asheville. I think I paid 50 cents for it-and I’m betting it cost over 20 bucks! Didn’t look like it had ever been used-but it is a pleasure to use-so nice to have a good tool in your hand.

Add ricotta, dried fruit, pecans, lemon/lime peel, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture-stir till combined.

Place dough on floured surface and knead gently-you may have to add a little additional flour-I did. The dough is really soft but also forgiving-so if it doesn’t look perfect don’t worry.

 

Shape dough into a loaf shape. The shaping is really up to your personal preference. I go for a loaf about 10 – 11 inches long and 6 – 7 inches wide across the middle.

Bake for 55-60 minutes or until golden brown. After it’s baked-let the bread cool completely on a rack-if you can bare to wait! The bread doesn’t rise hardly any. When I first got it out of the oven I though it would be chewy and tough-but it’s not.

Christmas bread recipe

You can sprinkle powdered sugar over the bread when you serve it-it’s not necessary but it does make it look pretty. I can’t believe I waited so many years to make this bread-but we all like it so much I’m positive I’ll be making it for years to come.

Tipper

p.s. I wish I could give credit to the person who wrote the recipe-you can almost see what looks like the name Susan at the top of the part I ripped-so thank you Susan whoever you are : )

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30 Comments

  • Reply
    Miriam Rahn
    December 12, 2016 at 10:40 am

    I know this might not work for everyone but it is a time saver for me. When I see a recipe I want to use later I copy and paste to my email, then put it in a folder for that type of recipe——cakes, cookies, breads, casseroles, —whatever. If I am in a doctors office I take a picture of it and send to my email.

  • Reply
    Pamela Danner
    December 18, 2014 at 11:34 am

    This looks delicious! Thank you for sharing.
    Pam
    scrap-sewgranny.blogspot.com

  • Reply
    Mary
    December 16, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Thanks, Tipper, this sounds like wonderful bread–and easy to make! I just bought a book called One-Hour Cheese and a lemon ricotta is one of the recipes! I’ll probably buy the cheese for this first batch, but I’m going to try the homemade in it after the first of the year.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    December 16, 2014 at 10:14 am

    Tipper & b. Ruth – Of course you would flour the cling wrap. That’s what I do when I make biscuits and such. I cover the countertop with tin foil or plastic wrap and flour that. When I’m through I wad up the whole mess and toss it. I guess I am just a lazy old man. I used to be a lazy young man but I grew out of it.
    The flippin thing might not be such a good idea because any residual flour would end up on the cookie sheet. Then you would need a food grade dust buster.

  • Reply
    Frank Vincent
    December 15, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    Hi Tipper! Thanks for “der Weinacthsstollen” recipe from “Susan” I’ll have to try baking it this year.
    While in the military we were fortunate to have lived in Germany for nearly ten years. While stationed there we experienced many German traditions throughout the years and Christmas was especially wonderful as we enjoyed celebrating it with both our “military family” as well as our new found German neighbor families. Directly across the street from our home on Menzelstrasse was the local community bakery (“backerei”) where we thoroughly enjoyed all the breads, pastries and cookies you could ever think of! There are few businesses here in the Philadelphia area that stock traditional German treats so whenever we get cravings for them we order then from either German Deli.com http://www.germandeli.com/ or http://www.dimpflmeierbakery.com/ and Hartmann’s for German meats http://www.hartmannssausage.com/.
    Again, thanks for the recipe!!
    Merry Christmas Everyone!!
    Frank

  • Reply
    Al P Meadows
    December 15, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    What is a chamois? Is it something like a chameleon? Do people eat them?

  • Reply
    Phyllis
    December 15, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    Thanks, Tipper! Checked for stollen in the grocery store today and not finding any, I am
    making this tomorrow.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    December 15, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    Tipper,
    and Jim…Why, I would’ve sent you a whole package of chamois from Wally World had you just asked me!
    That’s a ‘mighty fer piece’ to go for soft, absorbent, fancy leather to polish up that turkey rifle!
    Will be on the lookout for that persimmon bread recipe! I saw some of those huge hybrid persimmons just a while back at Costco! They were beautiful!
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    December 15, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Tipper,
    and Ed, 1. Since the dough is soft and gently kneaded, (don’t over-knead), I think the purpose of the fold is to allow heat and air through it so it will not be a dense bread. I would think one “patted shaped lump” might make the bread more dense…but then of course this ‘simple stollen’ doesn’t have yeast in the recipe. 2. The plastic wrap idea sounds good, except for sticking!
    RUCK AND DUN FOR DOVER! b. Ruth is pondering again!
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS.. I also found a near identical recipe in my Taste of Home collection! Only slight variation!

  • Reply
    dolores
    December 15, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    I love those types of bread. I can’t wait to try making it. It will be over the weekend as I need the ingredients. Thanks for the recipe. Yummers!

  • Reply
    Tipper
    December 15, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    Ed-I dont know why you need to fold it-thats what the recipe said to do : ) I suppose you could try it without folding if you want too. Im sure the plastic wrap would work as long as you used enough flour to keep it from sticking to the wrap. If you try it-I hope you like it!
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia
    http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Tipper
    December 15, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    Joe-Thank you for finding the source for the recipe!
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia
    http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Granny Sue
    December 15, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    Tipper, that sounds exactly like the Christmas bread my mother used to make! I have been looking for a recipe for it. Thank you for posting it. I’ll be giving it a try later this week.

  • Reply
    Ken
    December 15, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Tipper,
    That Christmas Bread looks so good. I’m a nut for about any kind of bread, but I won’t take the time to make it.
    I got a big mess of deer ribs in
    the jiggler pot. It’s about the
    fastest way I know how to get tough meat tender. Should go good with mashed taters, green
    beans and a dodger…Ken

  • Reply
    Joe Penland
    December 15, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    I pulled the recipe up on the Good Housekeeping web site.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    December 15, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Tipper–As you may realize, stollen is basically a German equivalent of our fruitcake, and they often feature it at Christmas. However, it’s available at other times as well.
    Several years back I was fortunate enough to get invited to hunt chamois in Austria and we stayed in a charming inn pretty much in the middle of the Alps and far from any town. Stollen was a staple part of the menu at each breakfast, and I might add those folks sure know how to cook and eat. It is also the cleanest country, by a wide stretch, I’ve ever visited.
    I’m going to be making a persimmon bread for Christmas. I’ve already tried it so know it will be scrumptious, and in addition to lots of persimmon pulp in includes nuts and raisins. I’ll try to remember to share the recipe.
    Jim

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    December 15, 2014 at 10:41 am

    I have two questions:
    1. Why do you need to fold it? Why not make the shape to begin with?
    2. Could you put down plastic wrap to knead it on, then use the edge to fold it over? Then lay the cookie sheet on it upside down, flip the whole thing over, take off the board and peel off the plastic wrap.The board would still be clean and so would the two spatulas.
    DUCK AND RUN FOR COVER! Ed’s thinking again!

  • Reply
    jose luis
    December 15, 2014 at 9:20 am

    My dear Tipper:
    As you can imagine today I can not help but to comment on the subject.
    Here in Argentina as in the United States, where we continue traditions of our great-grandparents and even parents, brought from Europe (in my case from Spain), bread Christmas for us is exactly the same, but without ricotta cheese, and little more than sugar and is called Pan Dulce( Bread sweet). Its shape is circular and is made with a cast of about 20cm in diameter and 25cm in height exceeded.
    I wish all residents of Appalachia a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, this gaucho and Bluegrass banjo player, José Luis, God always bless !!!!

  • Reply
    eva nell wike, PhD
    December 15, 2014 at 8:53 am

    Tipper: Your bread is so beautiful! It reminds me that we will soon be receiving our loaf from Vienna. We hosted an AFS student several years ago. Since then his WONDERFUL parents send us the loaf of bread and LOTS OF CHOCOLATE CANDY every Christmas!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    PinnacleCreek
    December 15, 2014 at 8:38 am

    Sounds like some wonderful bread for the holidays. This would be a healthy addition anytime, as it seems to have all the basic food groups. Would be wonderful with this cup of coffee!
    I have never quite found the perfect way to keep recipes all neatly organized, and I too end up with many loose ones in front of my notebook. My latest craze is collecting recipes to use for all that extra zucchini grown in the garden each year. Unfortunately, the recipe notebook has now turned into a loose pile of paper since I snatched the notebook for a dear child to use in a class project. I’m waiting on the spring yard sales to buy another. You mention yard sale-makes my heart sing.

  • Reply
    Tipper
    December 15, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Geri-thank you for catching the typo : ) Miss Cindy and B.Ruth caught it too! It should be 1/4 teaspoon of salt-I fixed it now!
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia
    http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Tipper
    December 15, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Barb-I think the dried lemon peel would work fine : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia
    http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    December 15, 2014 at 7:55 am

    I have had many types of Christmas bread, my favorite was made by our neighbors who came from Greece, it was similar to this, but not so much sugar.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    December 15, 2014 at 7:52 am

    Tipper, I tasted this when you made it. It’s very good, with a cup of coffee it’s a fine breakfast. Thanks to Susan, wherever you are.

  • Reply
    Dan O'Connor
    December 15, 2014 at 7:51 am

    This looks great! I think I may make this for Christmas morning for all the family that is coming in.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    December 15, 2014 at 7:19 am

    We have a bakery (Bracken Mountain Bakery) in Brevard, NC that specializes in stollen this time of year. I never have tried it, but I think maybe this is the year. The one you made looks good.

  • Reply
    Barb Wright
    December 15, 2014 at 7:17 am

    This does sound good and looks good as well! I wonder if you could use dried lemon rind? I have some of that,but no fresh right now. I’m thinking I’ll try it.

  • Reply
    Geri Depew
    December 15, 2014 at 7:17 am

    14 teaspoons of salt? Recipe sounds really good, but never saw that much salt in a recipe.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    December 15, 2014 at 6:37 am

    Tipper,
    Thank you for your honesty about tearing out and saving recipes for the “to do or to try” file!
    How many of us do that very thing. I am afraid I am not as organized as you are about eventually gluing them in a notebook unless I happen to try the recipe that very day, then it goes in a “b. Ruth my recipes I like book”! I have one of those organizers but it is bulging and won’t hold another newspaper, magazine or handwritten TV recipe…LOL I come by this honestly as I just went thru my Mothers saved magazine/newspaper stashed recipes. Some way old, and fun to read, even the products from some recipes listed have changed…
    I think I might try this bread. The combination you used of dry fruits might just be the secret ingredient.
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    Quinn
    December 15, 2014 at 4:34 am

    Oh, that does look good! I’ll bet your house smelled wonderful while it was baking, too. And what a lucky find on the pastry cutter! I’ve been keeping my eyes open at thrift ships and tag sales for an old one, because all the new ones I’ve seen are cheap-looking and made in China. Isn’t it satisfying to have a good tool for a task? And even better when you can put a neglected tool back to work. For now, I use two butter knives to cut butter into pastry, but I’m not very good at it – I must look like some kind of mad chef 😉

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