What is a Swiss Christmas without Grittibänz? I wouldn’t know as I have always associated this magical time of year with Grittibänz. These little dough men are a favourite of mine during this period and are a classic. Of course homemade Grittibänz are best so let us make some! I was able to make mine vegan but will keep some substitutes below for you if required.
- 500 g white flour
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 20g dry yeast
- 60 g vegan butter, soft
- 3 dl soya milk + 2 tbsp soya milk
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- raisins to decorate
In a large bowl add the flour, salt, sugar and yeast and mix to combine. Add in the soya milk (less the 2tbsp )and vegan butter and then knead for about 10 minutes until a smooth dough has formed.
Cover the bowl in a moist towel and let sit at room temperature for about two hours until the dough has doubled in size.
Preheart the oven to 180c.
Lightly flour your work surface. Divide the dough into four portions and form each portion into a roll. Remove a 1/5 from each roll and set aside to use as decoration. To form the head, arms and legs cut into the dough and form. To “glue” on the decorations like dough braids etc use a small amount of water. I prefer to keep a small bowl of water near me for this purpose.
Place each Grittibänz onto the baking paper covered baking sheet.
To make the vegan egg wash mix together the leftover soya milk and the maple syrup and brush on to your Grittibänz. Use the raisons as eyes, buttons etc and make sure to press them in well.
Bake the Grittibänz for about 25 minutes and then let cool. These little guys taste best fresh so go ahead and eat!
Note: this recipe was adapted from the Betty Bossi recipe which can be found here in German. If you do not want to use a vegan egg wash then just beat an egg and use that to brush on. You can also use Hagelzucker or coloured sprinkles as decoration. A fun family idea would be to make a Grittibaenz decorating station so everyone can make a personalised one.
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas time.