Stollen

Stollen

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A Stollen is a loaf-shaped cake containing dried fruit, and covered with sugar, powdered sugar or icing sugar. The cake is usually made with chopped candied fruit and/or dried fruit, nuts and spices. Stollen is a traditional German
Germans
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

 cake, usually eaten during the Christmas
Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

 season, when called Weihnacht
Weihnachten
Weihnachten is the German observance of what is commonly known in English as Christmas Day. - Preparations :In preparation for Weihnachten , many German families celebrate Advent. This is a time of religious preparation for the arrival of das Christkind...

sstollen or Christ
Christ
Christ is the English term for the Greek meaning "the anointed one". It is a translation of the Hebrew , usually transliterated into English as Messiah or Mashiach...

stollen. A similar cake, found in Dutch cuisine
Dutch cuisine
Dutch cuisine is shaped by the practice of fishing and farming, including the cultivation of the soil for raising crops and the raising of domesticated animals, and the history of the Netherlands.-History:...

, is called a Kerststol
Kerststol
Kerststol is a traditional Dutch oval-shaped fruited Christmas bread loaf.-The pastry:The pastry is made of yeast-bread dough with dried fruits, raisins and currants, lemon and orange zest, water, milk, butter, sugar, vanilla, brandy and cinamon....

 in Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

, while in Italian cuisine
Italian cuisine
Italian cuisine has developed through centuries of social and political changes, with roots as far back as the 4th century BCE. Italian cuisine in itself takes heavy influences, including Etruscan, ancient Greek, ancient Roman, Byzantine, Jewish and Arab cuisines...

 the panettone
Panettone
thumb|200px|right|A non-traditionally shaped panettone loaf.Panettone is a type of sweet bread loaf originally from Milan , usually prepared and enjoyed for Christmas and New Year in Italy, Malta, Brazil, Germany and Switzerland, and is one of the symbols of the city of Milan. Maltese nationals are...

 also shows a likeness.

Recipe



Stollen is a bread-like fruitcake
Fruitcake
Fruitcake is a cake made with chopped candied fruit and/or dried fruit, nuts, and spices, and soaked in spirits. A cake that simply has fruit in it as an ingredient can also be colloquially called a fruitcake. In the United Kingdom, certain rich versions may be iced and decorated...

 made with yeast, water and flour, and usually with zest
Zest (ingredient)
Zest is a food ingredient that is prepared by scraping or cutting from the outer, colorful skin of citrus fruits such as lemon, orange, citron, and lime. Zest is used to add flavor to foods....

 added to the dough. Candied orange peel and candied citrus peel (Zitronat), raisin
Raisin
Raisins are dried grapes. They are produced in many regions of the world. Raisins may be eaten raw or used in cooking, baking and brewing...

s and almond
Almond
The almond , is a species of tree native to the Middle East and South Asia. Almond is also the name of the edible and widely cultivated seed of this tree...

s, and different spices such as cardamom
Cardamom
Cardamom refers to several plants of the genera Elettaria and Amomum in the ginger family Zingiberaceae. Both genera are native to India and Bhutan; they are recognised by their small seed pod, triangular in cross-section and spindle-shaped, with a thin papery outer shell and small black seeds...

 and cinnamon
Cinnamon
Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several trees from the genus Cinnamomum that is used in both sweet and savoury foods...

 are added. Other ingredients, such as milk, sugar, butter, salt, rum, eggs, vanilla, other dried fruit
Dried fruit
Dried fruit is fruit where the majority of the original water content has been removed either naturally, through sun drying, or through the use of specialized dryers or dehydrators. Dried fruit has a long tradition of use dating back to the fourth millennium BC in Mesopotamia, and is prized...

s and nuts and marzipan
Marzipan
Marzipan is a confection consisting primarily of sugar and almond meal. Persipan is a similar, yet less expensive product, in which the almonds are replaced by apricot or peach kernels...

 may also be added to the Stollen dough.
Except for the fruit added, the dough is quite low in sugar. The finished cake is sprinkled with icing sugar. The traditional weight of a Stollen is around 4.4 pounds (2 kg), but smaller sizes are now available.

The Dresden Stollen (originally Striezel), a moist, heavy bread filled with fruit, was first mentioned in an official document in 1474, and the most famous Stollen is still the Dresdner Stollen, sold, among other places, at the local Christmas market, Striezelmarkt
Striezelmarkt
The Striezelmarkt in Dresden is one of Germany's oldest documented Christmas markets. It was first mentioned in 1434, under Friedrich II, an Elector of Saxony, when it was held the Monday before Christmas on the Altmarkt square...

.
Dresden Stollen is produced in the city of Dresden
Dresden
Dresden is the capital city of the Free State of Saxony in Germany. It is situated in a valley on the River Elbe, near the Czech border. The Dresden conurbation is part of the Saxon Triangle metropolitan area....

 and distinguished by a special seal depicting King Augustus II the Strong
Augustus II the Strong
Frederick Augustus I or Augustus II the Strong was Elector of Saxony and King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania ....

. This "official" Stollen is produced by only 150 Dresden bakers.

History


The early Stollen was a different pastry, the ingredients were very different - flour, oats and water.

As a Christmas pastry, Stollen was baked for the first time at the Saxon Royal Court in 1427, and was made with flour, yeast, oil and water.

The Advent
Advent
Advent is a season observed in many Western Christian churches, a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. It is the beginning of the Western liturgical year and commences on Advent Sunday, called Levavi...

 season was a time of fasting, and bakers were not allowed to use butter, only oil, and the cake was tasteless and hard.

In the 15th century, in medieval Saxony (in central Germany, north of Bavaria and south of Brandenburg), the Prince Elector Ernst (1441 - 1486) and his brother Duke
Duke
A duke or duchess is a member of the nobility, historically of highest rank below the monarch, and historically controlling a duchy...

 Albrecht
Albert, Duke of Saxony
Albert III was a Duke of Saxony. He was nicknamed Albert the Bold or Albert the Courageous and founded the Albertine line of the House of Wettin....

 (1443–1500) decided to remedy this by writing to the Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

 in Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

. The Saxon
Saxony
The Free State of Saxony is a landlocked state of Germany, contingent with Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia, Bavaria, the Czech Republic and Poland. It is the tenth-largest German state in area, with of Germany's sixteen states....

 bakers needed to use butter, as oil in Saxony was expensive, hard to come by, and had to be made from turnips, which was unhealthy.

Pope Nicholas V
Pope Nicholas V
Pope Nicholas V , born Tommaso Parentucelli, was Pope from March 6, 1447 to his death in 1455.-Biography:He was born at Sarzana, Liguria, where his father was a physician...

 (1397–1455), in 1450 denied the first appeal. Five popes died until finally, Pope Innocent VIII
Pope Innocent VIII
Pope Innocent VIII , born Giovanni Battista Cybo , was Pope from 1484 until his death.-Early years:Giovanni Battista Cybo was born at Genoa of Greek extraction...

, (1432–1492) in 1490 sent a letter to the Prince, known as the "Butter-Letter" which granted the use of butter (without having to pay a fine) - but only for the Prince-Elector and his family and household.

Others were also permitted to use butter, but with the condition of having to pay annually 1/20th of a gold Gulden to support the building of the Freiburg Minster
Freiburg Münster
Freiburg Minster is the cathedral of Freiburg, southwest Germany. The last duke of Zähringen had started the building around 1200 in romanesque style, the construction continued in 1230 in Gothic style. The minster was partly built on the foundations of an original church that had been there from...

. The ban on butter was removed when Saxony
Saxony
The Free State of Saxony is a landlocked state of Germany, contingent with Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia, Bavaria, the Czech Republic and Poland. It is the tenth-largest German state in area, with of Germany's sixteen states....

 became Protestant.

Over the centuries, the cake changed from being a simple, fairly tasteless "bread" to a sweeter cake with richer ingredients, such as marzipan
Marzipan
Marzipan is a confection consisting primarily of sugar and almond meal. Persipan is a similar, yet less expensive product, in which the almonds are replaced by apricot or peach kernels...

, although the traditional Stollen is not as sweet, light and airy as the copies made around the world.

Dresden Stollen festival


Every year a Stollenfest takes place in Dresden. This historical tradition ended only in 1918 with the fall of the monarchy, and started again in 1994, but the idea comes from Dresden’s history.

Dresden’s Christmas market was mentioned in the chronicles for the first time in 1474.

The tradition of baking Christmas Stollen in Dresden is very old. Christmas Stollen in Dresden was already baked in the 15th century.

In 1560, the bakers of Dresden offered the rulers of Saxony Christmas Stollen weighing 36 pounds each as gift, and the custom continued.

Augustus II the Strong
Augustus II the Strong
Frederick Augustus I or Augustus II the Strong was Elector of Saxony and King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania ....

 (1670–1733) was the Elector of Saxony, King of Poland and the Grand Duke of Lithuania.
The King loved pomp, luxury, splendour and feasts. In 1730, he impressed his subjects, ordering the Bakers’ Guild of Dresden to make a giant 1.7-tonne Stollen, big enough for everyone to have a portion to eat. There were around 24,000 guests who were taking part in the festivities on the occasion of the legendary amusement festivity known as Zeithainer Lustlager. For this special occasion, the court architect Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann
Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann
Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann was a German master builder who helped to rebuild Dresden after the fire of 1685, and designed Dresden Castle and the Pillnitz church.Pöppelmann was born in Herford...

 (1662-1737), built a particularly oversized Stollen oven. An oversized Stollen knife also had been designed solely for this occasion.

Today, the festival takes place on the Saturday before the second Sunday in Advent, and the cake weighs between three and four tonnes. A carriage takes the cake in a parade through the streets of Dresden
Dresden
Dresden is the capital city of the Free State of Saxony in Germany. It is situated in a valley on the River Elbe, near the Czech border. The Dresden conurbation is part of the Saxon Triangle metropolitan area....

 to the Christmas market, where it is ceremoniously cut into pieces and distributed among the crowd, for a small sum which goes to charity. A special knife, the Grand Dresden Stollen Knife, a silver-plated knife, 1.60 meters long weighing 12 kg, which is a copy of the lost baroque original knife from 1730, is used to festively cut the oversize Stollen at the Dresden Christmas fair.

The largest Stollen was baked in 2010 by Lidl
Lidl
Lidl is a discount supermarket chain based in Germany that operates over 7,200 stores across Europe. The company's full name is Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG...

; it was 70 meters long and was certified by the Guinness Book of World Records, at the trainstation of Haarlem
Haarlem
Haarlem is a municipality and a city in the Netherlands. It is the capital of the province of North Holland, the northern half of Holland, which at one time was the most powerful of the seven provinces of the Dutch Republic...

.

A stollen is like regular sweetened fruit bread. However, because it is slathered with melted unsalted butter and rolled in sugar as soon as it comes out of the oven, the result is a much better keeping and moister product. The marzipan rope in the middle is optional. The dried fruits are macerated in rum or brandy for a superior tasting bread.

See also

  • Kerststol
    Kerststol
    Kerststol is a traditional Dutch oval-shaped fruited Christmas bread loaf.-The pastry:The pastry is made of yeast-bread dough with dried fruits, raisins and currants, lemon and orange zest, water, milk, butter, sugar, vanilla, brandy and cinamon....

  • Christmas worldwide
    Christmas worldwide
    The Christmas season is celebrated in different ways around the world, varying by country and region. Elements common to many areas of the world include the lighting of Christmas trees, the hanging of wreaths, Christmas stockings, candy canes, and/or the creation of Nativity scenes depicting the...

  • Striezelmarkt
    Striezelmarkt
    The Striezelmarkt in Dresden is one of Germany's oldest documented Christmas markets. It was first mentioned in 1434, under Friedrich II, an Elector of Saxony, when it was held the Monday before Christmas on the Altmarkt square...

  • Christkindlmarkt
  • Cuisine of Germany
  • Pan de pascua
    Pan de Pascua
    Pan de Pascua is a typical Chilean cake that is traditionally eaten around Christmas time. It is similar to a sweet sponge cake flavored with ginger and honey. It usually contains candied fruits, raisins, walnuts and almonds. Pan de Pascua was originally introduced to Chile by German immigrants....


External links