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Christmas in Germany. The German version of Italian Panettone: Stollen

The Christstollen, or more commonly known as Stollen, is the traditional German Christmas cake. It was first made in Dresden, in the XIV century, but today it has become a tradition throughout Germany, although some local variations have been introduced. As the Milanese Panettone, this is a cake based on sweet yeast dough, containing lots of butter, dried fruit (especially almonds), candied fruit, raisins, and candied citron and orange peels.


The history of Christstollen comes from far away: the first news date back to 1300, and regard an early recipe created in Naumburg, Hesse, but only in late 1400 it was codified in Dresden, and since then it has become the city’s official Christmas cake.

Stollen is a bread-like cake similar to Panettone, but with greater consistency, and declined in several versions depending on the city or Land it comes from, including the addition of marzipan, wine, apples, plums, etc.

You can find Stollen recipes anywhere on the Internet, but the original one is prepared with the following ingredients:

Flour: 750 g
Salt
Yeast: 50 g
Milk: 1/8 of a liter
Butter: 200-250 g plus a small quantity to grease the baking tray
sugar: 150 g
Egg Yolks: 2
Candied citrus and orange peel: 100 g
Bitter almonds: 4
Almonds 50 g
Lemon peel
Cinnamon
Currants: 100 g
Grapes: 50 g (berries)
Rum: 3 tablespoons
icing sugar

Preparation Method: Make the dough and then add the eggs, sugar, milk and melted butter. Beat well and knead in the citrus and orange peel, the almonds and currants – previously softened in warm water.
Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, and then deflate it and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface inside a greased baking tray. The rise ends directly into the pan. Baked in a preheated oven to medium heat for about 90 minutes.

The finest German housewives prepare the dough the night before and make it stand all night. Moreover, Stollen is not to be eaten immediately: after cooking, it should “rest” at room temperature for 10-15 days.

Photo von Josef Türk Reit im Winkl Chiemgau

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