Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Baking our Traditional Christmas bread: “Kerststol”

Every year the day before Christmas my youngest daughter M. and me are baking a Christmas bread. I’ve baked it myself for about 25 years now and as soon as she  was able to assist me she has done so until she could bake it herself. We still do it together though as a tradition.

After the final shopping has been done we weigh the ingredients and mix them all together.  

  It is a very rich bread with raisins, walnuts and almonds. At the moment it is rising in the oven (about 35˚C) for about an hour and a halve.

Originally this bread is a pagan midwinter sacrifice for the Germanic Gods to ensure the people of the returning sun and the fertility of the land and the animals. It used to be only made of white flour since that was more difficult to get than whole wheat flour.  Nowadays it is just yummy but I like to  be aware of what it once really was meant for.

As always something went wrong. The bread baking machine didn’t do what is was expected to do and we had to switch to another mixer. So everything lasted longer
And now at a quarter past four our “Kerststol” is finally where it’s supposed to be: in the oven!

After an a lot of excitement we finally have our Christmas bread ready for tomorrow. It smells delicious!
Merry Christmas!


  1. Yummy! I'm a nut about nuts, and love bread with raisins and nuts in it. We have pecans here where I live, so that is normally what gets put in things. I've been cooking myself today - a cheesy apple casserole and a squash casserole in preparation for tomorrow's meal. Hope you and your loved ones have a peaceful, lovely holiday!

    1. Your dishes sound delicious too. For me the cooking starts tomorrow afternoon. Lets hope everything tastes as good as it smells and looks. :D

  2. That does look yummy! Hope you enjoy the eating part, too ;)
    When I was a kid, I loved spending Christmas at my grandma's. She was the only other person I knew who got up as early as me, and so we would bake Christmas biscuits together. I loved the smells, and the warmth of the kitchen, and the togetherness! Didn't bake any of my own biscuits this year :( Ah well, maybe next year...

    1. Thanks Kerry it was delicious. That is the same reason I started this Christmas baking tradition. And I am so glad my daughters have followed me in this
      I think you have reason enough to take it slow this time around

  3. Happy holidays Ellen. Your bread looks delicious. And how fun to have help making it. Wish I could try it. Can smell it from here .... xxxxoooo

    1. Thanks Carol! The making is just as fun as eating it :)
      Happy holidays for you too