Holiday Stollen Newsletter
SHARE THE TRADITION - HOLIDAY STOLLEN
Stroll along the streets of German cities and villages these days and you are likely to see the bakery windows piled high with colorful, fanciful and beautifully packaged Christmas cakes and cookies. Look closer and you will see one of Germany's most famous holiday coffee cakes - the Holiday Stollen. A rich colorful loaf shaped to resemble the swaddled Christ Child, Holiday Stollen is a colorful collection of nuts, raisins, currants, candied orange and lemon peel, traditional spices of Christmas such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, mace or cloves, brandy or rum and lots of butter.
Holiday Stollen is thought to have originated in Dresden in the 1400s. However, at that time the Catholic Church, as part of the fasting rules in preparation for Christmas, forbade the use of butter during Advent. Thus, the stollen at that time was a somewhat tasteless pastry. In 1650 Prince Ernst von Sachsen at the request of bakers in Dresden, successfully petitioned Pope Urban VIII to lift the restrictions on the use of butter during Advent and a holiday baking tradition began. German housewives baked stollen for their families at home and friends and relatives in other parts of the country. Professional bakers, especially in Dresden, shipped stollen all over Europe and this Christmas coffee cake became well know for its ability to withstand long journeys and months of storage and still remain tasty. The tradition continues today.
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