What says Christmas more than a Stollen loaf densely packed with raisins and rich with real butter. There are many types of Christmas loaves - or Winterbrot - and Stollen (or ChristStollen) has a special place amongst traditional German Christmas pastries. Why ChristStollen? Because the loaf is to symbolize the swaddled Christ Child.
This sweet raisin bread is said to have been first recorded in 1330 at a monastery near Leipzig in Naumburg. Stollen has an interesting relationship with fasting in the months before Christmas but Pope Innocence VIII himself granted permission for butter to be used in the dough in 1491 and Stollen came into its own as a Christmas treat.
Stollen is a cake-like fruit bread made with yeast and flour and although it is sweet it does not have to include a lot of sugar. The sweetness comes from the orange and lemon zest, the dried fruits and raisins and the rich taste comes from the butter and nuts. Often made well before Christmas so that the loaves can sit and mellow and soften. The yummy, sweet icing sugar coating is actually there for a reason - to keep the loaf moist. And actually a real Stollen should have two layers of butter and sugar coating it - because if one is good...two is better!
This year Gingerbread World is offering Stollens from three different bakeries - each with its own unique characteristics (Product links will be available after August 21, 2017):
Lebkuchen Schmidt offers its Nuremberg Stollen in 3 sizes - the large 1000 gram loaf is incredibly well priced, the 500 gram medium loaf and the Mini Stollen may be purchased alone or as part of various Chests and Boxes along with other Lebkuchen pastries. Schmidt's Stollen is a little drier and crumbles easily but that has a lighter taste and goes so well with coffee.
And of course there is also the Lebkuchen Schmidt Stollen Chest - hugely popular last year - with 3 Mini Stollens inside: Classic Stollen, Roasted Apple Stollen and Cranberry Stollen. A gift that keeps on giving...once the Stollen are eaten your friends and family will enjoy the small chest for keepsakes and mementos.
Niederegger's Stollen contains Marzipan - and not just any Marzipan but Niederegger's premium ground almond treat with its high nut and minimal sugar content. This year we are offering both the large 1000 gram loaf as well as the Mini. Last year the Niederegger Stollen sold out incredible quickly.
An even faster seller last year was the Henry Lambertz Dresdener Stollen. Dresden Christstollen, which is also fondly known to the people of Dresden as 'Striezel', is inextricably linked to Germany's oldest Christmas market: Dresden's Dresdner Striezelmarkt. It was here, around 1500, that 'Christmas bread' was first sold to the people of Dresden. This Stollen is really dense and a bit flatter than some of the others - but it is a sought after favorite. Also read our article about Striezelkinder and the beautiful Striezelkinder figures in this year's Collection.
We'd love to hear your stories about Christmas breads and about your family's traditions around Christmas baking. Leave a comment below (your email address is never published).
Best of the Season to you all!
Owner @ Gingerbread World
Share this post