What is Stollen?
Stollen is a traditional German Christmas loaf densely packed with raisins and rich with real butter. It has a special place amongst traditional German Christmas pastries. Stollen is sometimes referred to as ChristStollen, Weihnachtsstollen or Winterbrot. Why ChristStollen? Because the loaf is said to symbolize the swaddled Christ Child.
This sweet raisin bread was first recorded in 1330 at a monastery near Leipzig in Naumburg (near Leipzig). 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!
For Christmas 2020 Gingerbread World is offering Stollens from three different bakeries - each with its own unique characteristics:
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 it has a lighter taste and goes so well with coffee.
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. The Small Niederegger Loaf is a perennial favourite and sells out quickly.
Dresdner 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 during the Advent Season.
Our Dresdner Stollen baked by the Vadossi bakery is really dense and a bit flatter than some of the others – and it is a sought after favorite. Christstollen from Dresden are produced under the seal of the Dresden Christstollen Protection Association and are subject to strict quality control.
NEW for 2020
Introducing the Vadossi Stollen Advent Calendar. Behind each of the 24 windows is a scrumptious bite of Stollen in four different flavours: Classic Stollen, Baked Apple Stollen, Almond Stollen and Marzipan Stollen. A beautiful scene of the Dresden Streizelmarkt Christmas Market and the famous Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) is on the cover.
Click on any of the images above to visit the product page for details and to order. Stollen and other German Lebuchen and Christmas pastries arrive in our Canadian warehouse in early November but you can Pre-Order yours now to make sure you get what you want.
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