Christkindlmarkt Brixen Zelten
Christkindlmarkt Brixen Zelten

Zelten

This fruit bread is a typical bakery prepared in Christmas time.

This fruit bread is also called "Christmas bread". The Zelten is a typical pastry of the time around Christmas Eve and used to be baked on the 21st of December. The loafs had to rest until January 6 and was cut on this day. The Zelten was usually provided by the farmers as a gift for maids and farmhands.

Those who still prepare it today do so during the Advent period. Because on Christmas Eve and also before, the fruit bread is eaten with pleasure.

Below you can find one of the many recipes that have been carefully preserved by several bakers families.

8 loafs each 250 g:
600 g dried figs
250 g sultanas
100 g candied fruit
per loaf 100 g hazelnuts, walnuts and peeled almonds
50 g pine nuts
1/8 l dry South Tyrolean red wine
70 g South Tyrolean honey
2 tbsp rum
1 natural oranges
1 level teaspoon cinnamon
each 1/8 teaspoon clove (powder) and nutmeg

For the bread dough:
each 1/8 teaspoon anise and fennel
125 g wholemeal rye flour
75 g wheat flour
1 dash of salt
20 g fresh yeast
1 teaspoon South Tyrolean honey
Frosting:
70 g sugar

Almonds, walnuts and candies fruit (cherries)
Cut dried figs, sultanas and candied fruits. Hackle nuts and pine nuts, shuffle with fruits in a bowl.
Heat wine with honey until honey become liquid. Add rum and fruits, cover with a plate and simmer overnight.

The day after toast anise and fennel and pond it. Add the flour and salt and put all the dough in a bowl. Mask the yeast and add 140 ml warm water and honey. Add it to the flour dough and knead together this mass to a dough. Cover the dough with a stuff for one hour in a rather warm place.

Wash and dry the oranges, grate the skin and add it, together with the spices and the fruit-nut-dough and knead it together in order to form a homogeneous dough.
Preheat the oven on 160° C (top and bottom heat, no air circulation). Put a baking paper on baking plate and split the dough into 8 loafs. Form a ball and flatten it to 2 cm.
Put the loafs on the paper and decorate them with almonds, nuts and candied fruit. Of course you can also form square loafs...

Stir sugar and 4 tablespoons of hot water. Dab the loafs with this frosting and bake them in the oven for about 45 minute. Repeatedly dab the loafs. Afterwards let them cool down and wind it in clear film. Before cutting the loafs, leave them for about 2 weeks.

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