Stutenkerl Recipe: German Kids Favorite Pastry At Christmas Time
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If you’re getting tired of baking cookies this Christmas season (I just completed my 5th batch – Spitzbuben – this week!), how about try this simple German sweet yeast bun recipe and shape them into little dough boys (or girls!). They’re easy, delicious and so fun to shape and decorate with kids!
I used raisins for eyes and buttons and made each Stutenkerl hug a clay pipe – that’s how you will traditionally find them in Germany around Christmas time. You can also use rock sugar to sprinkle on as pants (because I suppose otherwise they’re naked? :-D) or chopped nuts or whatever else you feel like using to decorate! Stutenkerle go by many names like Weckmann, Klausenmann, Pumann, Dambedei, Klaaskerl, Grittibänz, Teigmännli, depending on which region in Germany you’re in!
It’s Glühwein Season Once Again!
I am a total Glühwein lover! It’s the German mulled wine that’s spiced and served hot – in my opinion, it’s a must have! In Germany, you will find it served at every Christmas market and local cafes, usually made from local wines (typically both red and white and sometimes even fruit wines) that are slightly sweetened and spiced with the warming flavors of winter like cinnamon, anise star, cardamom, orange peel etc. Right now I am totally favoring white Glühwein, only because it’s harder to find in the United States (and I typically want what I can’t get – it’s the whole reason why this blog exists!).
Nürnberg is home to one of the most famous Christmas markets in Germany, and the Gerstacker winery bottles and sells their amazing Nürnberger Glühwein in the United States, allowing us to share in on a glimpse of the Christkindl Markt magic. It’s absolutely delicious, lightly sweetened with honey from the Nürnberg surrounding forests and spices used to make their famous Nürnberger Lebkuchen aka gingerbread. Gerstacker offers a red, white, blueberry and cherry Glühwein and you can find out where to purchase by clicking here.
Champignonpfanne Up Next: A Christmas Market Fave!
I’ve posted a few Christmas Market specials in the past, such as Dampfnudeln and Gulaschsuppe. A new addition is what’s coming up next: a mushroom skillet with garlic sauce typically just served with some bread or a roll on the side when picked up from the Christmas markets. Just to make sure you’re not missing out on any new recipes being published, subscribe to receive weekly emails with post notifications!
Stutenkerl Recipe (Makes About 16)
- 8 1/3 c (1 kg) flour
- 15.2 oz (450 ml) milk, luke warm
- 3/4 c (150 g) sugar
- 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 2/3 c (150 g) butter (room temperature)
- 2.5 tsp (15 g) salt
- 4 packages (28 g) active dry yeast
- 2 eggs
- peel of one lemon
- 1 egg yolk
- some milk
- raisins for eyes and buttons
- clay pipes (Not so easy to find in the United States. I shaped my own using this air-dry clay)
- rock sugar for decorating (optional)
- parchment paper
- Stir 2 packages yeast into 1 cup (240 ml) of the lukewarm milk and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Then gently stir in 3 cups (360 g) of the flour to create a starter dough. Cover and allow to rest in a warm spot in your house for 2 hours (the longer it’s allowed to rise, the better the flavor development).
- Now add in the remaining milk, flour, eggs, butter, sugar, vanilla and lemon peel, salt and remaining yeast and knead until you end up with a smooth dough. Allow to rest for one more hour and then shape the Stutenkerle. You can either roll out the dough like I did and cut them out with a knife (I made myself a template as well), or shape them by hand. Then place them on a baking sheet prepped with parchment paper.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
- Then allow to rise one final time until doubled in size (about 30 minutes).
- Whisk together egg yolk with equal amounts of milk, then brush onto the Stutenkerle. Use raisins for eyes and buttons, and decorate with a clay pipe if desired (that’s how they were traditionally given to us on St. Nikolaus Day at school).
- Bake in batches on the middle rack for about 18 to 20 minutes.
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