St Martin bread with quark is the alternative to the regular ones with yeast. In some part of Germany we call them "Weckmänner" what would mean in English "bun men". You can make the St. Martin's bread as Weckmänner or as buns only. You can make them for the Nikolaus Day (Dec 6) or at St. Martin's Day (Nov 11, Rhineland). The children get a bag with goodies after the traditional St. Martins parade with lanterns, and a Weckmann is always in this bag.
Usually a sweet yeast dough is used to make the little Nikolaus figures, and in fact that is what it is representing: St. Nikolaus. The ones you can buy at every German bakery always come with a clay pipe. In the USA I was not able to locate a seller for the clay pipes, so we have to make them without unfortunately.
Ingredients (makes 4-6 Weckmänner)
250 g Quark (or 125 g sour cream and 125 g cream cheese)
125 g sugar
1 package vanilla sugar
1 package baking powder
400 g flour
raisins, egg yolk
- Mix flour with baking powder.
- Mix quark, egg, vanilla sugar and sugar, then add the flour. Knead it until you have a smooth dough. If the dough should be too firm add some tbsp milk.
- Make 4 Weckmen: Roll dough (thick as a finger) size 20cm x 10cm
Cut in on both sides for the arms, cut a triangle for the legs.
With remaining dough make the head.
Press raisins for the eyes into the dough. You also can make a nose and buttons. If you have the ceramic pipe place it into the part of the head where the mouth is.
- Beat an egg yolk and with a baking brush spread it all over the bread.
- Lightly oil a baking tray and bake them for 30 min on 350 F. Watch out that they will not get brown, cover with foil if it is the case.
If you want to fill 2 baking trays reduce temperature to 340 F, the baking time is also shorter.