Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Saint Martin

In Germany Christmas time begins today, Saint Martin's day. But, who was he? He was born in 316 and died in 398. Since he was a child, his biggest dream was to be a soldier. During a cold winter day, when he was a young man and streets were empty and covered with snow, he went out for a ride on his horse. Suddenly, he saw a poor man on the floor, freezing. Without a doubt, he cut his cape in half with his sword and gave it to the poor man. That night he dreamed about Jesus. The following day he left the army and dedicated the rest of his life to serve the poor and church.

On this day german children make paper lantern and march out on the streets with them singing songs. Then they eat this sweet breads shaped like little men or like gooses.

My girl had to present a topic for her english class last week. She chose "Celebrating Christmas in Germany". Of course, we had to make some little Saint Martin's men to ilustrate the topic. So that everybody can enjoy them, here is the recipe. They are made with dry yeast, so they don't keep fresh for very long, you have to eat them right away.

From Backen macht Freude

  • 200 ml milk plus 2 tablesoons separated
  • 100 gr. butter
  • 500 gr. flour
  • 1 sachet dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 sachet vanille sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg, separated
  • raisins
  1. Warm the milk and melt the butter in it. Reserve at 36º C.
  2. In a bowl, sieve flour and mix it well with the dry yeast. Add sugars, milk, salt, egg and the egg white. Beat vigorously until you have an smooth dough. Let rest covered in a warm place until it has doubled in size.
  3. Knead dough and divede in six pieces.
  4. Make your little men and put them on a lined baking sheet.
  5. Beat egg yolk with the reserved two milk tablespoons and bush the men with it.
  6. Use the raisin to make the eyes and buttons.
  7. Let rest for about 20 min. more in a warm place.
  8. Turn oven on at 200º C .
  9. Bake them for about 15 to 20 min. until they are golden.