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The weather has been so hot lately that I find when I meditate, that I try to focus on cooler (and simpler) times.
I grew up in a traditional German American household and a lot of things that came from my grandmother’s kitchen had recipes that are hundreds of years old. I know it’s a little early for Yule, but this was our Yule bread which the Germans call Stollen. It takes a bit of doing, so it’s best to plan ahead.
Stollen dates to the 15th century when it was simply made of flour, yeast, water, and oil, as per church restrictions. In 1430, the Saxons petitioned Pope Niklaus V to be able to add butter to the Stollen recipe.
Today’s Stollen recipes, however, reflect generations of adjustments and enhancements. The candied fruit and nuts were added to show the family’s bounty during the Yule season. The once simple bread recipe has evolved to a light, flavorful loaf that represents the harmony and joy felt at the Yule hearth and the powdered sugar that tops the loaf, while originally meant to represent the swaddling of the Christ child, is now more used to represent the snow-capped peaks of Bavaria.
Folks, this is not your average fruitcake, so gather the family and share the joy with this family favorite. Remember, cooking with love and intention can help bring peace and joy to your home during the Yule season.
My family’s recipe for Stollen: