Dutch Easter bread (Paasstol)

One of the traditional treats for Easter in the Netherlands is a “paasstol”: a bread filled with raisins and almond paste. The same bread is also made with Christmas and then called “kerststol”. Other than the name, there is no real difference. In many cases the filling also contains candied fruits and hazelnuts, but I prefer just raisins. A similar bread is made in Germany and then called “Stollen” (Weihnachtsstollen, Christstollen).

Instead of proper almond paste, a store-bought stol will in many cases contain ‘confectioner’s paste’ (“banketbakkersspijs”) which is actually made from beans instead of almonds. It is of course cheaper but doesn’t have the real taste of almond paste.

Ingredients

For the filling

300 grams (11 oz) raisins

pinch of ground cardamom

pinch of ground cinnamon

pinch of white pepper

4 Tbsp rum

150 grams (6 oz) almond paste (if you can’t buy it, you can make it yourself from 75 grams (3 oz) almonds, 75 grams (3 oz) sugar, and an egg white in the food processor)

For the dough

25 grams (1 oz) fresh yeast

200 ml (8 oz) milk

250 grams (9 oz) flour

15 grams (1/2 oz) sugar

1 egg

10 grams (1/3 oz) grated lemon zest

50 grams (4 Tbsp) butter (soft)

6 grams (1 heaped tsp) salt

For the frosting

30 grams (2 Tbsp) butter

confectioner’s sugar

Preparation

Put the raisins in a bowl with the rum and the spices, and stir. Let stand for at least half an hour.

Make a dough from all the ingredients listed and knead it by hand for 5 minutes (dust your hands and the work surface with flour).

Let the dough rise for 10 minutes.

Drain the raisins (if not all the rum has been absorbed). Roll out the dough with a rolling pin to a thickness of about 1/2 cm (1/4 inch). Spread out the raisins on top. Now roll up the dough and knead it some more.

Let the dough rise in a warm place (the oven with the light turned on works great for this) for 20 minutes.

Flatten the dough and make a groove in the middle with a rolling pin. Knead the almond paste, shape it into a cylinder and put it in the groove. Fold over the dough to close the loaf.

Let the stol rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Bake the stol  in the middle of the oven on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 40 minutes.

Let the stol cool on a rack. While it is still hot, put some butter on top and spread it out with a knife as soon as it melts.

Sprinkle generally with confectioner’s sugar to make the frosting.

The stol is ready to eat once it has cooled down to room temperature. I like to eat it just like it is, but some people like to put butter on a slice of stol or take out the almond paste and spread it over a slice with a knife.

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21 thoughts on “Dutch Easter bread (Paasstol)

  1. Dear Stephan,
    I am a food bloger from Serbia and I want to thank you for this wonderful recipe of your. I combined 2 recipes on the net, one of which was yours, to make Paasstol. Thank you for the great recipe and for sharing the tradition of your country with us.
    http://foodforthought-jelena.blogspot.com/2013/05/paasstol.html

    This recipe was featured in the online foodblogers magazine MEZZE on page 108-109. We made Easter breads from around the world and my pick was Paasstol. It is not in English but lots of people are now familiar with your tradition.
    http://mezze.rs/april-2013/

    Thank you
    Jelena, from Belgrade

    Like

  2. What a gorgeous recipe. I would love to make paastol. I would definitely use almond paste, which is so delicious. The cardamom and raisins sound sweet, spicy and perfect in the buttery, eggy bread. Your raisins are so beautiful in their colors, too.

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  3. Thanks for the recipe! I prepared it last weekend and it was delicious. Next time, I would do exactly the same but put in less egg white in the almond paste as it needs to be drier. Another advice: shape the dough and let it rise on a baking sheet from the start in order to fold it later on (sushi-maki style) more easily and without spilling dough.

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    1. Thanks Jeroen. I have been allowing the dough to rise on a baking sheet as you are right: it is easier. I should take photos next time I bake a paasstol/kerststol and update the photos in the post. I like to spread out the almond paste on the bread, and then it is easier if it is not as dry.

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  4. Aha so the egg white is also for easier use after baking? I will try with 1/2 an egg next time and see whether that works.

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  5. Dear Stefan,
    I live in Ithaca ny, and happened to stumble across your blog this Easter! I really love this recipe, it was so fun to make and even more fun to eat. I made it for my family and they loved it as well! I think it’s awesome how you have a blog, keep it up! I will continue to check in and follow you so I can try more new recipes! Bravo and happy Easter!
    Best,
    Frida

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Saved this one Stefan, I like that you didn’t use candied fruits. I used dried (soaked) fruit in mine. Also didn’t use marzipan didn’t have any and the recipe called for sugar and cinnamon which I did but only made a quarter of the recipe the rest is resting in the fridge. Your Stol looks amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for the recipe! I am enjoying it right now! 🙂 I posted the link on Facebook on the Dutch group so I’m sure you’ll have many more trying it out now. 🙂 Happy New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

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