By Jon McDonald, Weaver Street Market Bread Bakery Manager
Our favorite time of year at the bread bakery begins right after Thanksgiving, when we gather around the bread-shaping table to sample the holiday season’s first batch of stollen. In 2018, it was particularly exciting because we’d been sampling stollen for a few months, working hard to improve and update our Weaver Street Market stollen. We introduced a more traditional version of our take on the German classic Christmas bread.
Now, there was nothing wrong with our previous version. It boasted a light texture, tons of fruit, and a bright, citrusy flavor. But every year we would hear from our German-heritage patrons that, while the Weaver-made stollen was fine, it wasn’t a true stollen. While we understand that not every bread will please everyone, it seemed to us that a bread with the amount of tradition and pride that stollen has deserved a little extra care and attention.
Additionally, we had a weapon in our back pocket: a certified master baker from Germany in our own ranks at the Weaver Street Bakery! Stephan Wittwer, a second generation baker from Stuttgart, went to task at redeveloping our stollen in a way that kept the general profile of our previous version but also hemmed more closely to German traditions and standards.
The result is a complex, buttery bread full of fruit, spice, and rum. Because of the high proportion of butter, it keeps well—in fact, it is common for German bakers to save a loaf for an entire year! And we’ve shaped the new stollen in the traditional manner, mimicking the infant Christ in swaddling clothes.
So please try our delicious new stollen! We will produce it through the end of December.