Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Stollen a rich fruit bread/cake from C. Germany, especially the city of Dresden. According to Ayto (1993) the name is derived from an Old High German word, stollo, meaning a support or post. The characteristic shape of Stollen—oblong, tapered at each end with a ridge down the centre—is said to represent the Christ Child in swaddling clothes, whence the name Christstollen sometimes given to it.

The Dresden Stollen, now known internationally as a Christmas speciality, is made from a rich, sweet yeast dough, mixed with milk, eggs, sugar, and butter, sometimes flavoured with lemon. Raisins, sultanas, currants, rum or brandy, candied peel, and almonds are worked into the dough. After baking, the Stollen is painted with melted butter and dusted with sugar. It may then be further decorated with candied fruits. There is some affinity between the Stollen and Scottish black bun.