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Christmas Bread (Kerststol)

User Rating 5 Star Rating (1 Review)


Christmas Bread (Kerststol)

Christmas Bread (Kerststol)

Photo © Karin Engelbrecht
My Kerststol is not strictly traditional. I have played around with the fruits and the liquor. I simply cannot help thinking that Dutch housewives of yesteryear stuck to raisins and currants only because they did not have access to all the wonderful dried fruits we can find today. Not that there is anything wrong with raisins and currants, I just do not see the need to use them exclusively. If you are a stickler for the traditional, use only raisins, currants and glace fruits and soak the fruits in brandy.


  • 2 cups raisins (250 g)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (150 g)
  • 4 tbsp orange liqueur
  • A pack of white bread mix
  • 2/3 cup warm water (150 ml)
  • 2/3 cup warm milk (150 ml)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp butter (25 g)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1/3 cup chopped candied orange peel (50 g)
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts (50 g)
  • 1/3 cup chopped hazelnuts (50 g)
  • 1 cup (tightly packed) 'spijs'/almond paste (200 g)
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • Icing sugar, to sift on top


Soak the raisins and cranberries in the orange liqueur overnight. In a large mixing bowl, add the water, milk, butter, sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon and orange zest to the white bread mix. Knead for a few minutes (you can do this in a mixer with a dough attachment) until the dough forms a ball. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and rest for 10 minutes in a warmish place. Add the chopped candied orange peel, nuts and the (drained) soaked fruits to the dough. Knead again.

Roll the almond paste into a log of approximately 10 inches (26 cm). I find it easiest to roll it into a sausage shape in plastic wrap and then it in the fridge while the dough is rising.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle with some flour. Place the dough on the parchment paper and form an oval shape of approximately 8 inches by 12 inches (20 x 30 cm). Place the almond paste roll lengthways down the center of the dough. Fold the dough over the almond paste lengthways, and gently pinch to seal. Cover the bread with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 392 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius). Brush the top of the bread with water and bake for approximately 45 minutes until brown. Allow to cool on a wire rack and brush with the melted butter. Dust with icing sugar before serving the bread in thick slices, slathered with real butter.


  • If you forgot to soak the fruit, simply put it in the microwave on high for 2 minutes and allow to cool.
  • I used Koopmans Mix voor Witbrood (1 lb/500 g), but you could use any bread mix for a standard sized loaf of white bread.
  • See my step by step guide to making almond paste. Freeze the almond paste you don't use -- you can use it to make gevulde speculaas or gevulde koek.
User Reviews

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 5 out of 5
A new tradition in Virginia, Member VirginiaEllen

Our Christmas dinner had a Dutch theme this year after a wonderful trip to the Netherlands this spring. I made this bread for my family and several friends. It can be made in loaf pans. After pinching the dough together I flipped it so the seam was on the bottom. Looks better this way but tastes the same..yummy!

1 out of 1 people found this helpful.

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