Dresdner Stollen® – How it is made
Selecting ingredients, preparing and developing recipes, testing new packaging options and - of course - starting promotion measures. After all the preparations have been completed, the actual baking of the sweet specialties is undertaken with eagerness and enthusiasm. In the following, the process of baking stollen is described in somewhat more detail.
After the ingredients have been selected with the aim of ensuring optimum quality, they are sorted and weighed precisely. Flour, yeast, handpicked sultana raisins with rum and finally the remaining ingredients such as sugar, butter, almonds, salt, candied lemon peel, candied orange peel, milk and – of course – the secret spice mixture.
Quite a lot of preliminary work is needed in order to produce a beautiful, flavourful stollen. The main preparatory steps include soaking the sultana raisins in rum, preparing the yeast dough (flour, milk, yeast, sugar) and warming the remaining ingredients to a uniform temperature. Then finally everything that belongs together is combined: all of the ingredients are slowly and gently kneaded together in a precisely defined order.
After the dough has been allowed to rise for a while, the dough for each individual stollen loaf is weighed and shaped into rounded pieces by hand. The individual round pieces (balls of dough) are quickly rolled into a longish shape and placed on the stollen sheets (baking sheets). After that a shallow, lengthwise cut is slashed on the unbaked stollen loaves and they are shoved into the oven, which has been preheated to approx. 200°C.
There are two different types of stollen loaves, one made by folding over the dough and the other by scoring it. The shallow cut on the surface of the dough opens up later in the oven, thus giving that type of “stollen” its name: “Gerissener" i.e. cracked.
The delectable Dresden specialties (Dresdner Stollen®) are removed from the oven after about one hour when the crust has turned a nice golden brown. A deliciously fragrant smell spreads through the surrounding area. As of that point at the latest, the bakery is filled with the seasonal mood of Christmas.
After a brief cooling off phase, the raisins that are a bit darker are picked off the baked “stollen” by hand. Nothing is allowed to detract from the taste. Finally, while it is still slightly warm, the “stollen” loaf is generously spread with butter. One day later the Dresdner Stollen® is also dusted with a coating of icing sugar. And the baked creation is finished.
Now the only thing left to do is wish everyone “bon appétit and a very Merry Christmas”
Yours truly, Master Baker Ralf Ullrich