On the first day of our 12 Days of Christmas Desserts,
we are featuring the Traditional Christmas Stollen!
Stollen from Rocket Baby Bakery
Stollen is a fruit bread containing candied or dried fruit, nuts and spices and is often covered with powdered sugar or icing sugar.
Stollen (or Christstollen) is a tradition dating all the way back to 14th century Germany! Germans baked stollen loaves during advent, a holy season of the Christian church to honor princes and church dignitaries, and to sell at fairs and festivals for holiday celebration.
Stollen from Linda's Bakery
Some believe the Stollen was designed to symbolize baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes. Another legend is that the hump on the loaves represents the humps of the camels that carried gifts to the baby Jesus on the first Christmas; the candied fruits and raisins represent the precious jewels and gifts in the camel’s packs.
Stollen from Neato's Bake Shoppe
Advent time was also a season of fasting and according to church doctrine a stollen was to be made only from flour, yeast and water and oil. Butter and spices were banned from the bakery, so the resulting cake was tasteless and hard. In 1450, in medieval Saxony, the Prince Elector Ernst and his brother decided to petition the Pope in Rome to remedy this problem. Five popes died before Pope Innocent VIII, in 1490, sent a letter to the Prince, known as the "Butter-Letter" which granted the use of butter, but only for the Prince and his household. Others were also permitted to use butter, but on the condition of having to pay a tax. The ban on butter was fully removed when Saxony became Protestant. Over the centuries, the bread changed from being a simple, fairly tasteless "bread" to a sweeter bread with richer ingredients.
Stollen from Manderfield's Home Bakery
The stollen has a very rich history in the city of Dresden, where every year Stollenfest takes place. The tradition of baking Christmas Stollen in Dresden dates back to the 15th century; in 1560, the bakers of Dresden offered the rulers of Saxony stollens weighing 36 pounds each as gifts!
Stollen from O&H Danish Bakery
Fun fact: The largest Stollen was baked in Dresden in 2010; it was 72.1 meters long!
This year, enjoy a taste of this Old World tradition with a delicious, powdered or iced Stollen!
Find an Old World Stollen at one of these WBA member bakeries:
Clasen's European Bakery
Hill Top Bakery
Manderfield's Home Bakery
Neat-O's Bake Shoppe
Nino's Italian Bakery
O&H Danish Bakery
Rocket Baby Bakery
Sweet Perfections Bake Shoppe
To find a WBA Member bakery near you, click here.
Day 2 - Chocolate Truffles