They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
- Acts 2:42
May I tell a fictional tale, just for the fun of it, and then try to recover with the few facts that I know?
Maybe someone who reads this knows more about it.
The Fictional Tale:
Once upon a time, there was a German baker who was enjoying the autumn festivals across Germany a bit too much. He drank the beer in Bavaria and the wine along the Weinstrasse. By this point, he had few senses left that could talk to his pickled brain. He wandered into the Netherlands, and as all good bakers do, even when drunk, he was attracted to the smell of bread being baked. He stumbled his way to the bakery, and when the baker was not looking, he stole a few bites of bread.
The bread was so magical that he suddenly became stone-cold sober. He asked the baker for the recipe. The baker did not ask how he had gotten into his bakery. At that hour of the night, the bakery was closed. He was a kind man, not wanting to cause a fuss. He showed the German his recipe book. When the German saw the recipe for the bread, he ripped the instructions from the page and ran away.
When the German returned to his own bakery, he started making loaves of bread from the recipe, just in time for sale to Christmas shoppers. Everyone loved the bread, and in time, someone asked him what he called it.
Funny, he never asked the Dutch baker, and when he tore the recipe from the baker’s notebook, he only got the instructions. He realized that he must tell the truth. One sin upon another would be too much.
He said, “I have no idea what the name on the recipe is.” He then paused before he added, “It’s stolen!”
And thus, the name stuck, Stollen.
Now to Try to Recover from my “Lie”:
German Stollen is a wonderful treat at Christmas time. If you think fruit cake to be too rich, try Stollen. It is mostly bread, but usually just during the Christmas season, they add fruit, citrus peels, and/or nuts. The bread has a ribbon of marzipan or almond paste through the center. It was first made in Dresden, Germany in the late 1500s. The word “Stollen” is short for “Christollen,” thus there is no truth to the idea that the recipe was “stolen.” This sweet bread is made year-round but dressed up for the holidays.
The photo above is a purchased loaf. It takes quite some time to prepare and bake it, if you do it right. Since I am limited as to wheat and raisin intake, I may have to experiment with a non-wheat flour and dried cranberries. This is too good to limit myself to one slice per day, suffering for even that much.
While the traditions of the season may vary from one place to another, let us always remember the “Christ” in the “Christollen” and the “reason for the season.”
Merry Christmas, a little early, but it is after 5 December.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.