A popular sweet treat eaten on and around St. Martin's Day (November 11th) the traditional Weckmann, a sweet bread roll shaped into a gingerbread man form with raisin eyes and a white clay pipe in his mouth. The Weckmann can be purchased in the majority of German bakeries in regions where St. Martin's Day is celebrated or can be made at home.
- 1 cup milk
- 1/3 cup sweet butter
- 3 tablespoons shortening
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons real vanilla extract
- 1 grated lemon peel
- 1 packet rapid yeast 1/4 ounce
- 3 tablespoons warm water
- 4 whole eggs
- 6-2/3 cups flour
- 1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water for glazing
Recipe and photos courtesy of Iris Richardson Photography
- Mix yeast with warm water and 1 tablespoon of sugar.
- Place flour in a large bowl, make a well in the middle of the flour and pour yeast mixture into the well, cover and let rise for 20 minutes.
- Combine milk, butter, shortening, and sugar in a saucepan and heat gently then set aside to cool.
- Mix 4 eggs with vanilla extract and lemon peel and beat until smooth. Add to milk mixture once cooled down.
- Add milk mixture to flour and mix all the ingredients together. Knead into a ball, dust with flour and let rise for 45 minutes
- Roll dough and divide into 10 pieces to form into gingerbread men shaped Weckmänner. Place the Weckmänner on a large baking sheet covered with baking or wax paper, making sure to leave enough room between each shape. Let rise for a further 20 to 45 minutes.
- Beat 1 eggs and mix with water
- Brush Weckmänner with egg/water mixture, decorate with raisins and dried cranberries for the eyes and buttons.
- Bake at 325 to 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes.
Note: A traditional Weckmann in Germany would have a clay pipe in his mouth. You'll find clay pipes in the US at this retailer...