Shanghai Christstollen

Shanghai is probably not yet famous for its traditional Christmas. But we’ll gonna help that reputation bit 😉 My family has been baking Christstollen for decades. My mother took up the tradition from her mother. And I, otherwise not a big home baker, have been once so crazy to gather some friends back in Frankfurt to try it ourselves. The result was overwhelmingly good. And so the idea to try it again here in Shanghai was probably quite straight-forward.

Well…the idea is over a year old. There are ingredients like Bitter Almonds, which are not so easy to get hold of. Thus, we had to fly in a couple of ingredients from Germany. And that had happened one year ago already. But some stuff was missing, and we didn’t exactly find the time to do it either. But this year we brought the last missing parts from Germany and, although not perfectly fitting, found some time.

And here is the process of my first Shanghai Christstollen, according to the ever same recipe:


The first day is reserved for preparing the dough:

16:04 – Double-checking all the ingredients: Rafael and me before the work really starts.

16:22 – Preparation of the almods: The almonds, placed for some time in hot water, need to be stripped off their skin.

17:07 – Grinding the almonds: The almond mill was one of the last missing parts I brought from Germany, but essential for the success of Christstollen: Stollen takes a major part of its taste from freshly grinding bitter and normal almonds.

17:09 – Melted Margarine, will become part of the dough…

18:07 – …when all things get put together. Here a helping hand is highly appreciated! The order is not particularly important except for obviously starting with the flour. We should have mixed the sugar with the dry flour…later we had trouble mixing it well into the dough.

18:14 – Then comes the fun part: Kneading…

18:03 – Or tedious part: Kneading…

18:27 – Kneading…in a very big plastic bowl. Back in Germany we actually use a baby bathtub.

18:29, just 2½ hours later – the result: Lots of…

…dough, with a lot of green raisins (which looks funny to us [or ‘alien’ like my sister put it] as raisins in Germany are between dark-red and black).

The dough is to rest over night to let the yeast to its job. Was a bit disappointing: It didn’t really grow far.


Only on the second day it comes to actual baking:

12:11 – Preheat the oven with a bowl of water at the bottom, which will make the oven’s air less dry.

12:18 – 1900 grams is the weight of one big Stollen, and each piece is

12:23 – hand-formed like a big bread.

14:27 – Baking for quite some time… (10 min. at 200°C, then another 55-60 min. at 175°C)

13:55 – results in baked Stollen! Now even green Chinese raisins turned black 😉 Be sure to spread/smear melted butter on the still hot Stollen, about one package per pair.

14:05 – The last deed: Coating with lots of icing sugar.

Getting them off the baking pan is not easy as you don’t want to break them. Best strategy: Have enough baking trays ready so that the Stollen can stay on them until entirely cooled down. Cooled down they are quite hard and stable. But I had only one baking tray and no support on Sunday, so I had to somehow take them off the tray alone. I used thin kitchen trays, but weren’t entirely successful in the first attempt. So the first pair of Stollen is a bit broken. (One of them I believe I could fix, the other unfortunately not, the tip is broken off.) The second pair worked quite well. And the last pair could finally cool down while staying on the baking tray:

21:29 – Et voilá: Shanghai Christstollen!

Ready to be eaten in about one month…that long they need to lie down calm, ready for first Advent on November 26.!

Categories: Shanghai

Originally Created: 11/05/2006 09:53:18 AM

Last Edited: 11/05/2006