The Butter Letter?


#1

The first stollen consisted of only flour, oats, and water, as required by church doctrine, but without butter and milk, it was quite tasteless. Ernst of Saxony and his brother Albrecht requested of the Pope that the ban on butter and milk during the Advent season be lifted. His Eminence replied in what is known as the famous “butter letter”, that **milk and butter could be used to be bake stollen with a clear conscience and God’s blessing for a small fee. **

foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,FOOD_9936_25333,00.html

I found this on Foodnetwork.com. Does anyone know how I could find out how true this is? Is it just more anti-catholic folklore or could it be true?

Thanks

Ps…the recipe doesn’t sound so good to me :slight_smile:


#2

YEs it is true!

The tradition of baking Dresden Stollen is a very old one and can be traced back to around 1400 A.D. Originally baked without butter and milk, the stollen (striezel) was a rather dull pastry. Elector Lord Ernst of Saxony and his brother Albrecht appealed to the Pope to rescind the so-called “butter ban” in effect at the time. The Holy Father eventually gave in to their entreaties and declared (in what came to be known as the “Bufferbrief”) that milk and butter could indeed be used in baking the stollen - this could be done with a “clear conscience and with God’s blessing”, after making the “appropriate penance” [/font]“Butterbrief”[font=Arial].

[left]Around 1500, “Christbrote uff Weihnachten” were being sold at the Dresden “Striezelmarkt”, the oldest existing German Christmas market. From 1560 onwards, Stollen-bakers delivered one or two Christmas stollen with a total weight of 36 pounds to the king of Saxony for the holy celebration. Eight master bakers and eight apprentices carried it to the castle. In 1730 “August the Strong”, Elector Lord of Saxony, commanded the Bakery Guild of Dresden to make a giant stollen with a weight of 1.8 tons! To commemorate that event, a similar stollen is baked every year on the Saturday before the second Advent at the annual Dresden Stollen Festival.
(source)
** [/left]


#3

Karin,

But what about the small fee? That’s the part that bothers me.


#4

[quote=CatholicChef]Karin,

But what about the small fee? That’s the part that bothers me.

[/quote]

Dresden Stollen bakers had to pay a “fine”. The money was used for building of churches
The taste of the Christmas cake of that time won´t probably meet our today´s sense of taste. Up to 1490 it was prohibited to use butter, because the Advent fasting preceded Christmas. People had to settle with oil. Elector Ernst of Saxony and his brother addressed the Pope in Rome in order to cancel the " butter prohibition". This request was granted, but there was the condition to pay fine. This money was used for building the Freiberg Cathedral."


#5

***Elector Ernst and his brother Duke Albrecht turned to the Pope for lifting this ban. As to how the two sovereigns may have reasoned in their petition can be concluded from the Pope’s reply. It reads, "Since we have taken cognizance of your case that in your domains and realms no oil trees thrive, and that ye have neither sufficient oil, and the little ye have doth stink and doth cost much; or the oil which ye have is made from turnips which is loathsome to people and doth them ill, whereby many have fallen into diverse sicknesses.
***As such we are well-disposed to accept your request and decree by popal authority, by the power of this letter, that ye, your wives, sons, daughters and all your obedient servants may freely and reasonably partake of butter instead of oil without incurring any penalty." Later, in 1691, also others were allowed to prepare their pastry with butter. This permission by the Pope, however, was granted on the condition to pay the twentieth part of a gold gilder towards the construction of the Freiberg Dome every year. When Saxony turned Evangelic, this ban was abandoned .


**Source

**


#6

Thanks so much. That’s what I wanted to know.

God Bless you and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!


#7

[quote=CatholicChef]Thanks so much. That’s what I wanted to know.

God Bless you and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
[/quote]

Your welcome…:slight_smile:
Merry Christmas to you also!!!


#8

Why was there a ban on butter and milk in the first place?


#9

[quote=DianJo]Why was there a ban on butter and milk in the first place?
[/quote]

Did you not read any of the posts?
there was a ban because…Up to 1490 it was prohibited to use butter, because the Advent fasting preceded Christmas.


#10

[quote=DianJo]Why was there a ban on butter and milk in the first place?
[/quote]

Yes, I was wondering the same thing. Maybe because it was seen as a sacrifrice? Baking is not the same without butter and milk :slight_smile:


closed #11

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