Stollen, the very tasty and dense holiday bread, has a unique history.
In the 1400’s the people of Dresden, Germany created the loaf to represent baby Jesus with royal icing to represent the baby’s diaper. The original stollen was very dry and dense, seeing that it had no butter and milk because both were outlawed during Advent leading up to Christmas. To overcome this culinary mishap, the locals lobbied with the Papal powers to allow blessed butter and milk during Advent.
Stollen ingredients at some point were a religious secret, but over time the simple items have been leaked to the baking novice. Avalon International Breads has tweaked the recipe to add organic flour, dried cherries and pineapples soaked in brandy, a hint of nutmeg, sliced almonds, all covered in a lemon zest-infused glaze. Its simply a delightful, light treat that has all the tastes of the holiday.
This year, Detroit favorite Avalon Breads decided to perform the time old tradition of baking a stollen loaf to deliver to the leader of the land… in our case, that would be Mayor Dave Bing. The bakers there created a 20 pound Stollen in the shape of a wreath to give to the Mayor of Detroit as an offering just like the tradition. With the help of some supportive regulars, the meeting with the mayor was set for 9am on Dec. 15 where the head baker, Curtis Wooten, presented the mayor with the princely loaf. Rumor has it, he’s already trying to figure out ways to make next year’s Stollen bigger. So the tradition continues in the D.
Avalon suggests you try the All Fruit Jam as an accompaniment to the Stollen, but its just as good by itself. This sounds like a new Detroit tradition in the works.
Stop by Avalon Bakery at 422 W. Willis in Detroit’s Midtown area. The Stollen is only for the holidays, so get yours now. They have full loaves to share or small 5oz loaves for when you don’t want to.
422 W. Willis