You know Samichlaus (St. Nicholas Day) is on its way when there’s Grittibänz (bow-legged bread men) baking in the oven. Together with nuts and chocolate, Grittibänz give both well-behaved and cheeky kids something sweet to savour on St. Nickolas Day.
These delicious pastry men are made from flour, salt, yeast, milk, butter and some sugar. Mmmmh!
And they’re fun for all the family to make. With a little imagination and a handful of ingredients, you can easily turn your Grittibänz into Schoggibänz (chocolate men), fruit bread men, or even add bacon or vanilla to the mix!
All you need to do is to prepare your favourite base mix then knead in all the ingredients before the dough is left to rise. Bread dough made from 500g of flour needs 75g of chocolate pieces for Schoggibänz. Alternatively, for a fruity version, chop up 5 dried apricots into small cubes and mix them into the dough with some ground cardamom and coriander seeds. These spices enhance the fine flavour of the fruit. Dad wants a savoury Bänz? Then add one teaspoon of finely chopped rosemary and two tablespoons of fried, cooled bacon cubes to the dough before baking. And as fruit jam and honey for breakfast tastes delicious with a vanilla, add the pulp of two crushed vanilla pods to the dough.
You’re free to try out anything you want. The only thing you have to remember is that Bänz also need to keep warm in winter, so don’t forget to give it a scarf: roll out some dough into a thin strip, wrap it around the neck and cross it over itself at the front like a plait, then fold it underneath at the hips. This way, your Bänz is prepared for even the coldest of winter days!

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