A steep staircase leads down a few meters to the cellar – the smell of vanilla immediately takes you. It comes from pallets standing in a corner with stored columns. Here they were left to mature for five weeks, allowing the aroma to fully develop.
The master’s favorite pastries
Baking stollen is his passion, says baker Wolfgang Süpke, and he tries to improve the recipe every year. But keeping the stolen goods in the Ore Mountains as possible with the stolen Dresdens was only a distant fantasy. The castle administrator of Runneburg himself approached him with the idea of storing the stolen goods in the wine cellar, which is not being used.
The master baker couldn’t say no, because he had a recipe for stollen made with spelled flour in his mind for a long time. So he and his son Paul, also a baker, tried a few steals until they were satisfied.
The ingredients themselves are no secret, says Wolfgang Süpke: “For Stollen there are five kilos of butter for every ten kilos of flour, then there are 15 kilos of raisins, almonds, orange peel, then rum, lemon peel and vanilla.” Lots of raisins are especially important, adds son Paul: “Raisins have to be able to greet each other in the stollen.”
Raisins must be able to greet each other in the tunnel.
When the offer to save the tunnel under Runneburg arrived, the baker started reading about the castle and discovered that Saint Elizabeth of Thuringia had also been to Runneburg as a child. So he thought of naming the lastollen after himself: “Elisabeth made butterspelt”.
And following the example of St. Elisabeth, a part of the profits of the tunnel should go to a good cause: a part to the castle for storage, another part to the Sömma table.
The bakers are amazed at the result
Father and son are very happy with the stollen after five weeks of storage. In between, Wolfgang Süpke carried out a quality control and checked whether there were any foreign aromas in the cellar that could have spread to the stollen. But the conditions were perfect, he says.
In the meantime, the stollen has really come of age: “The moisture of the fruit, especially of rum raisins, really penetrates the dough due to the long storage time and that creates that wonderful, moist and pleasant vanilla flavor.”
Amateur chef’s taste test
Food blogger Petra Hermann Weimar was there when they tasted the stollen. He thinks it’s brave to bake a spelled stollen.
“Spelt is a diva. It’s hard to work and they dry out quickly in the oven. But the spelled stollen I tasted here was a big hit. Juicy, buttery, enough raisins, candied almonds and lemon zest. Wonderful Stollen. One likes ‘my to say ‘like grandma’ is a sign of quality. But that’s not the case here, it’s much, much better.”
Advice for the Christmas season
Bäcker Süpke has another tip for slicing Stollen: Cut the Stollen in half and slice from there. Then you can push the stollen halves together again and the stollen stays fresh longer.
The total number of Elisabeth spelled butter stollen is limited to 500, they cost 28 euros. If things go well, the Süpkes want to bake even more in the Elisabethstoll next year – before that, of course, aging in the Runneburg cellar.