In America, we might associate the holidays with decadent, buttery sweets, but in many cultures around the world, Christmas and other winter holidays are the time to break out the specialty breads.
Throughout Europe and the U.S., you’ll find families serving slices of fruitcake, German stollen or Italian panettone dotted with candied fruit all month long. In Sweden, where St. Lucia Day (Dec. 13) is one of the most beloved days of the season, saffron buns and vörtbröd are found around every table.
Where can you buy these baked goods in Austin?
Upper Crust Bakery, 4508 Burnet Road, is well-known for the challah it sells only on Fridays, but during the holiday months, you can also buy stollen and gift-wrapped stollen.
Sweetish Hill Bakery, 1120 W. Sixth St., sells stollen this time of the year, and it’s also one of the few places that will make the Swedish holiday bread limpa, which you have to call (512-472-1347) in to order ahead of time.
At Easy Tiger, David Norman is selling stollen through Christmas Eve, and he’s also making Swedish saffron buns until Dec. 13. In the following weeks (Dec. 15-17 and Dec. 22-24), the baker and author of a forthcoming book on European breads will be making vörtbröd, another Swedish holiday rye bread with cloves, ginger, the peel of Seville oranges and “wort,” the malt and hop mixture that would be brewed into a strong porter ale. To order, you’ll have to order them 48 hours ahead of time by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-614-4972.