Chocolate-Hazelnut Stollen

Chocolate-Hazelnut Stollen

Chocolate-Hazelnut Stollen

We've updated the classic fruit and spice stollen with an unusual (and delicious!) chocolate-hazelnut version. Infused with orange zest and filled with homemade chocolate-hazelnut filling, this lighter-textured stollen is a holiday bread that gives a nod to its roots, and at the same time starts a new (and exciting) tradition.

Note: For help fitting this bread into your schedule, use the suggested times (in italics) in the directions below.

Prep
1 hr 30 mins
Bake
30 to 35 mins
Total
20 hrs
Yield
3 small loaves
Chocolate-Hazelnut Stollen - select to zoom
Chocolate-Hazelnut Stollen - select to zoom
Chocolate-Hazelnut Stollen - select to zoom
Chocolate-Hazelnut Stollen - select to zoom

Instructions

  1. To make the preferment: Prepare this the evening before you plan to bake the stollen. For best results, weigh your flours; this recipe was developed by metric weight. However, if you prefer to work with volume measurements, please be sure to measure your flour the King Arthur way: gently spoon the flour(s) into a cup, then sweep off any excess.

  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the preferment ingredients. Cover and set aside to rest at room temperature for 12 to 16 hours; overnight works well.

  3. To make the soaker: Prepare this the same evening you make the preferment. In a small bowl, combine the hazelnuts, orange zest, vanilla, and soaking liquid. Cover and set aside to rest at room temperature for 4 to 24 hours; overnight works well.

  4. To make the hazelnut paste: This can be done the day of baking or up to two weeks ahead. Place the hazelnuts and half the confectioners’ sugar (47g, a scant 1/2 cup) into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the mixture until it’s finely ground.

  5. Add the remaining confectioners’ sugar, cocoa, salt, and egg white. Pulse until the mixture clumps and becomes cohesive. If the mixture won’t come together, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of water and pulse until it forms a firm paste.

  6. Wrap tightly in plastic or your reusable wrap of choice and refrigerate until ready to use.

  7. To make the dough: Start this the morning of the day you'll bake the stollen. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the water, egg, honey, yeast, and sugar.

  8. Add the flour, cocoa, salt, and preferment. Use the dough hook to mix on medium-low speed for about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high and mix for about 6 to 8 minutes. At the end of mixing, the dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl and feel stretchy and smooth.

  9. While the dough mixes, use a rolling pin to pound the cold butter until it’s a pliable flattened block; you should be able to bend the block a few inches in each direction without it cracking.

  10. With the mixer at medium-high speed add the cold butter to the dough in stages, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time. Wait until each addition of butter is incorporated before adding the next (about 1 to 2 minutes), scraping the bowl as necessary between additions.

  11. At the end of mixing, add the soaker and chocolate chips to the dough. Mix on medium-low speed until the ingredients are incorporated, about 1 to 2 minutes.

  12. Use a bowl scraper or spatula to fold the dough over onto itself about 10 to 12 times; this is called a “bowl fold.” Be sure the nuts and chips are fully incorporated.

  13. Cover the dough and place it in a warm spot (about 75°F to 80°F) for 15 minutes, then give it another bowl fold. Repeat this process two more times for a total of four bowl folds, allowing the dough to rest for 15 minutes between each fold.

  14. After the last fold, allow the dough to rest untouched, covered, for about 30 to 60 minutes, until it’s become slightly puffy. If at the outset the dough is cooler than the desired dough temperature of 73°F to 76°F, it may need up to 90 minutes to fully expand.

  15. To preshape the stollen: Divide the dough into three equal pieces (about 300g each). On a lightly floured surface, carefully press the dough to remove any large bubbles and gently stretch it into an oval about 4" x 5". Fold the long sides into the center and roll the dough into a log, patting to seal. Square off the ends with a bench knife or bowl scraper; the result should be a neat 5" log. Repeat with the remaining dough pieces. Let the logs rest on a lightly floured surface, seam side down and covered, for 15 minutes.

  16. While the dough is resting, cut the hazelnut paste in half; reserve half for another use. (See "tips," below.) Cut the remaining half into thirds; each piece should be about 30g. Roll the paste into logs roughly 5” long and set aside.

  17. To shape the dough: Working with one piece of dough at a time, place it seam-side up on a lightly floured surface. Gently pat it into a rectangle about 5” x 7”. Place a log of hazelnut paste, lengthwise, on the top third of the dough. Fold the top of the dough over the paste and toward the middle of the rectangle; press to seal. Fold the top of the dough down toward the bottom of the dough one additional time, pressing to seal near the bottom edge.

  18. Repeat the shaping process with the remaining dough and paste. Place the shaped loaves on a parchment lined baking sheet, cover, and allow to rest at room temperature for about 60 minutes. The loaves should become puffy and feel supple to the touch.

  19. While the loaves are rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.

  20. To bake the stollen: Bake the stollen for 30 to 35 minutes. When done, the loaves will be quite soft and delicate but feel set to the touch.

  21. Remove the stollen from the oven and gently transfer them to a cooling rack. Generously brush the loaves with the melted butter, and immediately sprinkle a heavy coat of granulated sugar over the top. Allow the loaves to cool for at least 2 hours.

  22. To finish: The day of baking or the next day. Use a fine-mesh strainer or sieve to dust the loaves on all sides with non-melting sugar or confectioners’ sugar. Slice and serve immediately or leave whole, wrap well, and store for up to several weeks at room temperature. Freeze for longer storage. Re-dust the stollen with non-melting sugar or confectioners’ sugar just before serving if storing for more than a day.

Tips from our Bakers

  • When toasting the hazelnuts, save yourself time and toast enough nuts for both the paste and soaker (207g or about 1 1/2 cups) all at once. Find the toasting method that works best for you in our blog post, 5 practical ways to toast nuts.

  • This recipe will make enough hazelnut paste for six medium-sized stollen. Increase all the other ingredients to make a double batch of stollen or store extra paste in the freezer for several months. If desired, substitute hazelnut paste in recipes calling for almond paste, keeping in mind the flavor difference.