Tuesday, December 5, 2017

De Samichlaus chunnt...

Tomorrow is Samichlaus. December 6th is a very important date in my personal calendar. It brings back fond memories of my early childhood. Growing up in Zürich it is the day St.Nicolas (Samichlaus) comes to town bringing mandarines, nuts and chocolate to all the good girls and boys.

At school we used to receive a Grittibänz (St.Nicolas bread). In exchange children were asked to recite a poem about Samichlaus. Here is a sample of a Samichlaus poem:

De Wald isch wiis und voller Schnee,
ich glaub, ich han de Chlaus grad gseh.
Mis Herzli chlopft ganz fescht und gschwind,
gaht er no zu andere Chind?
Chum ine, liebe Samichlaus,
und lär Diin Sack grad us,
chumm, bliib doch no es Wiili i öisem warme Huus

Tonight I am baking my Grittibänz to surprise my kids at breakfast tomorrow morning. Feel like joining me?

Samichlaus Grittibänz recipe / Pupazzo di San Nicolao

500gr plain flour or Zopf flour
1,5 tsp salt
3 tbsps sugar
1/2 cube of fresh yeast (approx. 20 grams)
60gr butter
2,5dl milk
1 egg
1 tbsp cream
hazelnuts, almonds, raisins and decorating sugar for decorating

1.) In a large bowl mix flour, salt and sugar.
2.) Add the fresh yeast (crumbled up), and mix again.
3.) Melt the butter. Add the milk and heat the butter milk mixture until it’s lukewarm. Add half the beaten egg.
4.) Pour the milk, butter, egg mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix. Knead the dough for 10 minutes by hand or 5 minutes using a machine.
5.) Cover the dough with clingfilm and let it rise at a warm place for one hour.
6.) Knock the air out and form little bread men decorating them with nuts and raisins forming eyes, nose, mouth and buttons (similar to a snowman)
7.) Put them onto a baking tray and let them rise again for approx 45 minutes on baking tray at room temperature.
8.) Using a brush, apply the egg wash (half egg & cream) onto the bread men.
9.) Sprinkle with coarse sugar and let your imagination flow.
10.) Bake at 200 C for 25-30 minutes. The breads should look nicely browned and sound hollow when you knock the base with your finger.

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