This was the first Christmas that Wendy and I experienced in our own home; and we felt like celebrating in style. The stockings were up on the mantle, there was a decorated and brightly lit tree in the window, and I baked my very first traditional German Stollen. My mother had given me the recipe a long time ago, but I’d never yet attempted to make it. I made a few minor changes (using whole-grain kamut instead of white wheat flour) and accommodations (e.g. candied citron and orange zest are hard to come by in the US). The dough is quite heavy and it took a full 3 days from start to finish — a slow rise, for sure. I am happy to say that it turned out very nicely. I made it 3 weeks before Christmas so it would have time to develop it’s flavors. We sampled the first slices on Christmas Eve and it tasted just like home.
My sister, the heretic, claims that her Quarkstollen is the equal of or better than the traditional version. She is sending me the recipe and I’ll put it to the test. Regardless of the outcome, I think we should always have at least a small true Stollen to make Christmas complete.