29th november 2021

In the Christmas bakery...

Advent wouldn’t be Advent without the wonderful aroma of homemade biscuits.And no self-respecting South Tyrolean biscuit platter should be without this special treat: a thin slice of South Tyrolean ‘Zelten’ bread – a bread traditionally made from mostly dried fruits, nuts and spices.

The actual recipe our senior chef Annemarie still uses is the one handed down by her grandmother. The original ‘Zelten’ didn’t quite have the rich mixture of ingredients we have nowadays and mainly consisted of figs and nuts.

Today’s traditional South Tyrolean ‘Zelten’ is made using the following recipe:

Ingredients for approx. 10 ‘Zelten’:
600 g bread dough (from the baker)
900 g raisins
900 g sultanas
250 g dates
500 g figs
120 g candied orange peel
120 g candied lemon peel
120 g hazelnuts
120 g pine nuts
450 g almonds
2 oranges
2 star anise, ground
3 tbsp sugar
250 ml rum
Cinnamon, ground cloves, allspice
Candied fruit and nuts for decoration

Grate the zest from the oranges and squeeze out the juice. Wash the raisins and sultanas well, remove the seeds from the dates and carefully weigh everything. Thinly slice the candied orange peel and lemon peel. Chop the unshelled nuts and almonds as finely as possible (do not grind). Put all the fruit in a large bowl, pour in the orange zest, orange juice and brandy. Sprinkle some more sugar over the top and leave covered overnight.
The following day, add the rum, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and star anise. Lastly, mix with the bread dough and knead very well. Preheat the oven to 220 °C.
Shape into long or round ‘Zelten’, about 3–4 cm thick and 20 cm long. Decorate the ‘Zelten’ with shelled, split almonds and halved nuts. Bake on an oil-coated tray for about 60 minutes until nicely browned, brushing several times with honey or sugar water.
Quickly remove from the tray, leave to cool and decorate with candied fruit. Wrap the ‘Zelten’ individually in cling film and leave to rest for a good week (or longer). The longer the tents lie, the more flavoursome they become.

Take special care and be creative when decorating the ‘Zelten’. True works of art are created in the kitchens of South Tyrol, no two ‘Zelten’ are alike.

Give it a shot! At home, or with us at Dolomitenblick***s alps boutique hotel.

Your Lechner Family


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Hotel Dolomitenblick ***s

Family Lechner
Dolomitenblick South Tyrol

Via Walderlaner 6
39030 Terento

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