Catholic Recipe: December 21, Traditional Feast of St. Thomas: Kletzenbrot
Also Called: Christmas Fruit Bread; Austrian Fruit Bread; Dried Fruit Bread
December 21 was traditionally the feast of St. Thomas the Apostle; his feast is now celebrated on July 3rd.
December 21 is usually the shortest day of the year, yet this day usually commenced the Christmas preparation of cleaning and baking.
St. Thomas day, St. Thomas gray, The longest night and shortest day.
Although we no longer honor St. Thomas on this day, we can still use this day as a reminder to put in exerted efforts and start finishing our external preparations for Christmas. All the weeks before should have been more of spiritual preparation.
Throughout the Alps in Austria, baking Kletzenbrot and other Christmas treats begins on December 21, originally the feast of St. Thomas. Kletzenbrot is named after the Tyrolian word for dried pears, but the Christmas bread contains a variety of nuts and fruits. The bread keeps for weeks, and improves with age. Usually a large loaf is baked for the Christmas breakfast, and individual loaves for each member of the family.
Blend all dry ingredients together. Add buttermilk slowly, stirring to make a smooth dough. Stir in nuts and fruits.
Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan. Spoon batter into pan. Bake at 350° F. for 45 minutes.Recipe Source: Christmas in Austria by World Book