Tuesday, 6 December 2011

St Nicholas day

Today is Saint Nicholas's saint day - who amongst other things is the patron saint of Children and is otherwise known as Santa Claus. Via google, I came across this great website with more than you need to know about the Saint: http://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/who-is-st-nicholas/

I read a story about him to the girls for bedtime and they made a German traditional bread.

1 kg strong bread flour
1 packet dried active yeast
500 ml  milk
150 g butter
120 g  sugar
Grated rind of 1 orange
2 eggs
egg yolks(for glue)

Sift the flour into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and sprinkle in the yeast. Warm the milk to blood temperture, pour it in, and dissolve the yeast. Watch and discuss why the children can see bubbles rising to the surface!

Meanwhile, melt the butter, add the sugar, orange rind, and whole eggs, and stir to combine.

Add this mixture to the yeast-milk solution and beat to form a light, smooth dough. It must be neither too soft nor too firm and must be easy to shape. Let it rise in a wam place for 15–20 minutes.

The figures are each shaped from a smoothly rounded ball of dough which is first rolled out into a slightly elongated shape. Next the head is shaped. The arms, legs, and hat are attached with egg yolk beaten with a little water. The remaining decorations, such as the beard, nose, eyes, and so forth are shaped or cut out separately and likewise attached with egg yolk. This is not easy and lots of bits fell off in the moving to the baking tray!

Preheat the oven to 170oC (fan oven).

Lay the figures on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and let rise completely (at least 20–25 minutes). Bake on the center shelf of the preheated oven for 20–35 minutes, depending on size (or even longer if you forget about them and like them burnt - whoops!!!).


  1. I didn't realise it was St. Nicholas' day. How lovely for you all to mark it in this way. Love the pictures!

  2. We have this great book which i bought ages ago which has all sorts of informstion about what happens on what dates!

    Custard and Crayons: With Polly and Jago (Polly & Jago) [Paperback]
    Sarah Rowden (Author), Joanna Vestey (Author), Mark Beech (Illustrator)