In addition to the Nuremberg gingerbread, the biscuits and the fruit bread, the Christmas stollen is certainly a very popular Christmas cake. But what exactly is a stollen and how did the world-famous Dresden Christstollen come about, which you can both order cheaply from us?
Today, a Stollen is a cake-like pastry made from yeast dough that is very fatty and sweet. Depending on the recipe, dried fruits and various spices are also added to the dough, which can also be filled with poppy seeds or marzipan. After baking, the stollen is usually smeared with warm butter and covered with white powdered sugar. If the stollen is made for Christmas, it is called a Christ Stollen or Christmas Stollen, but nothing is changed in the recipe itself. The shape of the stollen is reminiscent of the Christ Child, with the white sugar coating representing the diaper. The Christ-Stollen probably has its origin already in pre-Christian times, when a similar pastry was used to nourish the souls of the deceased during the “rough nights”. The twelve nights between Christmas and January 6th are referred to as “rough nights”. The trace of the “today's” tunnel can be traced back to the 14th century, when it was first mentioned in 1329 in a guild privilege of Bishop Heinrich I in Naumburg an der Saale. About 150 years later, the world-famous Dresden Christstollen is mentioned in a document on the bill of the Bartolomai Hospital.
In the 15th century the stollen was still a purely church fasting pastry and was often referred to as “Striezel” or “Strutzel”. Due to a church dogma, the stollen was only allowed to consist of water, flour, yeast and a little beet oil, which is why it was very dry and relatively tasteless.
Since the wealthy Dresdeners already knew how to appreciate good food at that time, the electors Ernst I and Albrecht III asked. in 1450 the repeal of the butter ban at the Vatican. Pope Innocent VIII responded to this request in 1491 with the so-called “Dresden Butterbrief”, but demanded an annual fine for the building of the church in return. In the decades that followed, the stollen was refined more and more and today typically consists of flour, water, yeast, sugar and various spices. In addition, almonds, sultanas and orange peel are added to the classic stollen. In addition to the classic raisin stollen, the grocery book also distinguishes six other stollen; Almond stollen, marzipan stollen, poppy seed stollen, nut stollen, butter stollen and quark stollen. These are characterized by a particularly high proportion of the respective ingredients.
Since the Middle Ages there have been bizarre events that are connected with the Christstollen. For example, since the 16th century there was a “tunnel compulsory” in Dresden. This obliged the bakers to bake two stollen each year, each 1.50 m in length and 18 kg in weight, and to hand them over to the king on Boxing Day. This demand only ended in 1918 with the collapse of the monarchy.
For those who do not want to buy a delicious Stollen online, but would rather bake it themselves, we have prepared the following delicious recipe.
The preparation is very easy: