“Zelten” di Natale

Courtesy of Suedtirol.info

Christmas “Zelten”

The traditional fruit bread is a mix of oriental spices, southern fruits, and South Tyrolean goodness.

Basic information

Preparation time: 02:00 h.
Persons: 4


    20 g of yeast
    2 C sugar
    150 g of flour
    100 g of rye flour
    15 g of salt
    1 tbsp oil
    1 tsp aniseed
    1 tsp cumin
    500 g dried figs, cut into cubes or strips
    250 g raisins
    120 g raisins
    120 g mixed nuts (hazelnuts, walnuts, peanuts), chopped
    120 g pine nuts
    50 g of candied lemon peel
    50 g of candied orange peel
    50 ml of white wine
    3 C of rum
    70 g of honey
    1/2 c of grated lemon rind
    1/2 c of grated orange rind
    1/2 c of cinnamon
    1 pinch of powdered cloves
    1 pinch of allspice
    1 pinch of nutmeg
    walnuts, hazelnuts or peeled almonds and candied cherries for decoration
    honey or sugar syrup for brushing

How to make “Zelten” di Natale – Christmas “Zelten”

Mix yeast and sugar with warm water and let rise for 10 minutes.
Add the flour, rye flour, salt, oil, anise, and cumin, and knead the dough with a dough mixer.
Let rise at 35 degrees (covered) for 30 minutes.
Marinate the figs raisins, raisins, walnuts, pine nuts, almonds, citron, candied orange peel in the white wine for at least 1 hour in the rum and honey so that the zelten acquires a pleasing aroma.
Add the lemon and orange zest, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg.
Mix the bread dough with the marinated fruits and nuts well with the mixer.
Form round or elongated zelten and decorate with walnuts and almonds.
Place them on a baking sheet and let them rest for another 20 minutes.
Bake in the preheated oven, frequently brushing with honey or sugar in the syrup until deep brown.
Let cool, decorate with candied cherries, then -wrap them in cling film.

Baking temperature is 170 degrees, baking time: about 40 minutes.

Special tip:
The ingredients can also be marinated the day before.

From the recipe book Dolci Dolomiti
Heinrich Gasteiger, Gerhard Wieser, Helmut Bachmann

Regional recipe from Südtirol

Enrico Massetti was born in Milan, Italy.
Now he lives in Washington, DC, USA.
Still, he regularly visits his hometown
and enjoys going around all the places in his home country
especially those he can reach by public transportation.

Enrico loves writing guide books on travel in Italy
to help his friends that go to Italy to visit
and enjoy his old home country.
He also publishes books on the Argentine tango dance.

You can reach Enrico at enricomassetti@msn.com.