How to make Christstollen: German Christmas bread
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The Christstollen is a wonderful German dried bread that is traditionally made for Christmas. Do you want to find out? We explain how to do it.
The Christstollen is the most typical Christmas treat in Germany. Its origin dates back to the 14th century in the city of Dresden, where a bread was prepared as a vigil during Christmas. Its appearance resembles that of a baby wrapped in diapers, in relation to the baby Jesus.
In its beginnings, the ingredients of this bread were the following: flour, mother yeast, water and oil. The dough consisted of water, oats and turnip oil. Butter was banned at the time and spices were not available to ordinary citizens.
It was not until the end of the 15th century that the Pope permitted the use of butter for its elaboration; in return, they had to contribute a certain amount of money to build the cathedral of Freiburg. Later, a baker from Saxony began to fill the Christstollen with nuts.
Recipe of Christstollen typical of Dresden
- 1 kilo of wheat flour
- 75 grams of compressed fresh yeast
- 375 milliliters of milk
- 200 grams of butter
- 200 grams of raisins
- 100 grams of peeled almonds
- 100 grams of lemon peel
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 200 grams of sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 pinch of powdered sugar
Recipe step by step:
- The first step is to place the flour in a large glass bowl. Next, add the yeast on top and a pinch of sugar along with the teaspoon of warm milk. Cover with clear paper and let stand at room temperature for one hour.
- 370 milliliters of milk are heated along with the 250 grams of butter until it melts. Then, add the mixture in the bowl with the flour and the yeast.
- Add the almonds, the lemon peel, the salt, the sugar and the egg yolks. Mix all the ingredients with your hand until a smooth and homogeneous dough forms, without lumps. Then the grapes are added. The glass bowl is again covered with transparent paper and allowed to stand at room temperature for one hour; during that time, the dough will double its volume.
- The dough is given the shape that each one desires; Ideally, it should be like a sponge cake. To make it easier, it can be placed in a baking dish.
- Baked in a preheated oven at 190ºC between 45 and 60 minutes.
- Once the time has passed, the Christstollen is removed from the oven and painted the surface with two tablespoons of melted butter. Sprinkle with icing sugar while it is still hot and serve it.
A dessert whose preparation is laborious and also takes time because you have to let the dough sit a couple of times for an hour. However, the reality is that it is very worthwhile serving Christstollen during a Christmas lunch or dinner as a dessert. The guests will be invited to taste the most typical German dessert of this time. In addition, it is a very pleasant dessert for the palate and nothing heavy, which is a great point in favor to facilitate digestion.
A good idea is to create a Christmas lunch or dinner 100% German with other typical dishes like goose , roasted with cabbage, potato dumplings or sausages.
Over time, the recipe for Christstollen has gradually improved in Saxony. Christmas bread has gained great popularity thanks in part to the Striezelmarkt, the Christmas market in Dresden.
Well, currently it is already a registered trademark. Since last year 2010, the names "Dresdner Stollen", "Dresdner Christstollen" and "Dresdner Weihnachtsstollen" are registered as a protected geographical indication according to the regulations set by the European Union. Thus, the "Dresdner Stollen" can only and exclusively be produced in the German region of Dresden.
Currently there is a wide range of different Christstollen: almonds, poppy seeds, marzipan … The recipe that has been explained above is the original of the German city of Dresden.