Every year, when the cold season slowly breaks in the Mostviertel, the kitchen traditionally produces a typical Christmas specialty: the Kletzenbrot. Depending on the family tradition, the spicy-fruity bread is baked in a variety of different ways and is a fixed component in the run-up to Christmas.

The variety of preparation makes the tasting of friends and family during the Christmas holidays to a culinary varied enjoyment. Every family has its own recipe. There are varieties with or without nuts, with various dried fruits such as apples, plums, figs or raisins. Sometimes candied fruits are also included in the recipe. The specialty is refined with different spices, such as cinnamon or cloves. The ingredient that gives the Kletzenbrot name, but all recipes have in common: the Kletzen. These are understood to be dried pear pieces, which are harvested in the autumn with much love from the Mostviertel meadow orchards and then dried. Particularly suitable and, thanks to its sweetness, very popular for the Kletzenbrot in the Mostviertel is the red pichl pear. For this reason, the pear variety is also synonymously called “Kletzenbirne“.

We are completely in keeping with the tradition and have also baked well. Our grandmother often told us that the family was sitting in the living room in the winter. It was drunk Schnapstee and Kletzenbrot was heavily dunked in the high-percentage tea.

Granted, my mom did not reveal her Dumpling Recipe right away. She has been baking it regularly for over three decades four weeks before Christmas, so it can be nice and tender. While in some areas fruit bread without dough wrapping gets along, the typical thing about the Mostviertel Kletzenbrot is a bread dough wrap made of rye and wheat flour.

Kletzenbrot recipe according to Mama Gertraud Hausberger

Fruit mass:     

  • 2.1 kg Kletzen     
  • 0.5 kg of figs     
  • 0.5 kg raisins     
  • 0.5 kg of dried plum     
  • 0.5 kg walnut kernels     
  • about 8 tbsp rum or liqueur (eg O • rum or plum liqueur)     
  • about 2 large (370 g) jars of plum jam

Soak the mixture with 12 dag sugar or 20 dag honey for about ¾ hour. Bread dough base:     

  • 1 kg of rye flour     
  • 1 kg of wheat flour

To the flours salt, cinnamon, cloves ground, 3 tablespoons gingerbread spice and 4 packs of tartar baking powder with the hand under mix. Knead with warm water to a dough, this should not be too dry.

Make small strands with wet hands, cover with rolled-up bread dough. Place on a baking tray, which is lined with baking paper and bake at 180 degrees hot air for about 45 minutes. This mass is sufficient for about 30 small striezel.

We wish you good luck baking and a delicious Christmas!

Kletzenbrot is not a new invention, but has been around for decades, especially in the Austrian, Bavarian and Swabian regions. Even the Celts mixed bread with fruit. One of the reasons for producing Kletzen- or fruit bread was of course the preservation. Kletzenbrot is very durable. Depending on how well-off the family was, formerly more or less expensive ingredients were added to the Kletzenbrot.