Grittibänz, Swiss Christmas Bread Recipe

What could be more fun than making a Christmas voodoo doll with your kids?

But jokes aside these dudes are awesome. They are traditional not just in Switzerland, but in other Germanic countries too. Every bakery makes their own version. They can be quite simple or decorated ornately. And that is the beauty of it. You can customize them as you wish. But besides just looking cool, they are delicious too. This recipe will yield two dough boys or girls. Multiply the amount of ingredients to make more.

Watch the video down below for detailed instructions.


For the dough

250g (8.8oz) strong white bread flour

5g (0.2oz) salt

1 egg yolk

30g (1oz) soft butter

30g (1oz) sugar

3g (0.1oz) dry yeast or 3x the amount of fresh yeast

125g (4.4oz) cold milk

To learn more about dough temperature control click here.


For decoration

Raisins or dried blueberries

Sugar nibs

1 egg yolk mixed with one teaspoon of milk for glazing


  1. In a bowl combine the milk, egg yolk, butter, sugar, yeast, salt and mix well to dissolve the sugar and hydrate the yeast.
  2. Add the flour and mix to a dough.
  3. Knead for around 3 minutes, add the butter, and knead for another 3 minutes. Desired dough temperature 25-26C (77-79F).
  4. Cover and ferment for 1 hour.
  5. Fold.
  6. Ferment for 1 hour.
  7. Divide the dough into two 180g (6.5oz) pieces and preshape into cylinders. Shape the remaining smaller piece of dough also. This is for decorating.
  1. Rest for 30 minutes.
  2. Shape the Grittibanz. See video!
  3. Cover and proof for 1 hour. During this time preheat your oven to 160C (320F) fan on.
  4. Brush with the egg yolk & milk glaze twice, sprinkle with the sugar nibs.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes or until puffed up and golden brown all over.

You can brush them with some butter or oil after baking to make them really shine. Sugar syrup would do the job too!

Watch the video here

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