What is a stollen
A stollen is a loaf based fruitcake. Its outside is powdered with marzepan (icing sugar). It is a traditional German cake with chapped candied en dried fruit, nuts and spices. It has a long history in Europe, related to the Chrismas season. Also in the Netherlands there is a variant, called 'Kersstol'. Other countries have cakes that show likeness.
Why related to Christmas
In the 15th century in Dresden in Saxony, Germany, there was a Christmas Market, called 'Striezel'. Striezel of "Strüzel" refers to the early baked loaf of bread. The shape of the stollen was originally explained to represent the baby Jesus, wrapped in swaddling clothes.
Why so tasty
The stollen was made in the advent season, a time of fasting when bakers were not allowed to use butter but oil instead. The cakes baked had little taste and were pretty hard. The tasty and spicy stollen was then developed as a tasteful alternative. During the centuries the cake became sweeter and with richer ingredients.
Fresh for many months
When freshly baked, traditional stollen are shortly immersed into dairy butter. Next, sugar is scattered above it. The stollen now is a kind of sealed. All flavours, taste and ingredients stay within the stollen. For at least half a year the stollen is as tasteful as newly baked.
What's in a name
The stollen is known with many names. The best known are 'Christmas stollen' (or 'Weihnachtstollen' in German). Also 'Dresdner Stollen' is vey well known, specifically in Germany. This name, however, was reserved exclusively for the cakes of the bakers within Dresden. This lasted until the end of the monarchy in 1918. In 1994 the exclusive right to use the name 'Dresdner Stollen' was regranted and an old tradition was restored. Nowadays, 150 Dresdner bakers are allowed to use the name 'Dresdner Stollen'.
What is the regular size
August II, Elector of Saxion, king of Poland, Grand Duke of Lithuania loved to impress his subjects. He ordered to bake a giant 1.7 tonne Stollen, big enough for everyone of his 24.000 guests to eat a portion of it. Every year an oversized Stollen is made for the feast in the day before the 2nd Advent. It usually weighs between 3 and 4 tonnes. And every year it is cut into pieces and distributed among the participants.
How to bake a stollen
Stollen is a bread-like fruitcake. It is made with yeast, water and flour added with candied orange peel and candied citrus peel, raisins, almonds, cardamom and cinnamon. Also milk, sugar, butter, salt, rum, eggs, vanilla,other dried fruits and nuts and marzipan may be added to the Stollen dough. The dough is quite low in sugar. As finishing touch it is sprinkled with icing sugar (marzipan).
Baker Bors: Made in Germany
Baker Bors is a traditional baker in Bocholt, in the west of Germany. Although the baker is famous because of his stollen, he is a regular baker providing all kinds of bread as well as a rich assortment of pastry. The firm was grounded in 1911 by the grandfather of the current baker. During the last 20 years the company grew up to 13 bakery stores. However, Baker Bors still is a family business. Baker Bors himself is proud that he is able to keep up traditional baking. Of course all stollen are: Made in Germany