The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Grättimaa and Samichlaus

Salome's picture

Grättimaa and Samichlaus

The Swiss have the reputation for being very punctual. Well, you might think now, that we're this time to early. But - you're mistaken.

The 6th of december is here Santa Claus' day, or as we say, "the Samichlaus comes". Sadly, the real Samichlaus doesn't come to our house anylonger as my siblings and me are considered to be too old by now. (Well, I understand, we're 22, 20 and 17 ...) But we still keep the rest of the custom up.

So every 6th of december we will gather at home, enjoy the traditional dinner consisting out of a Grättimaa, a small Samichlaus shaped out of a savoury enriched Challah-like dough (basically our normal Zopf recipe) , lot's of cheese, some dried meat, jam, nuts, tangerines, lots of sweets and hot chocolate.


the dinner table...


the Grättimaa before and after baking ...

and my mom had her annually mass-production for all friends and relatives who are fond of her famous Stollen. She sends them to friends who live scattered over Europe. After the butter brush they were to get a light confectioner's sugar shower.  (but first they had all to cool, therefore they are still missing it on the picture)

Happy Samichlaus to all of you, but especially to tssaweber and chouette22, the exil-Swiss here on TFL! =)



CaptainBatard's picture

Santa Claus' day...that is new to me...what nice table...

I am also drooling over the Stollen...I have been looking for a traditional recipe to make...are you going to post it? I did find a non-traditional chocolate one that looks very serious...

Happy Santa Day...



inlovewbread's picture

Thank you Salome for sharing this post! I love learning about the different traditions with bread. What fun to sit down with family to that celebration table!

We have some friends from Holland and they celebrate "Sinta Claus" this week also. 

I'd be interested in your stollen recipe too :-)


chouette22's picture

What a fabulous post Salome! Your dinner table looks oh SO inviting and I am getting a bit nostalgic, I must say. Your Samichlaus turned out wonderful! You won't believe it - I forgot to bake them this year. Two weeks ago I told myself that I'll have to remember the Grittibaenzen, but this past week was so very busy (last week of instruction at the university - finals next week) that I completely forgot. And so did the kids! The boots were outside last night and got filled with treats (we do this every year) and of course the advent calendar had something special for Dec. 6 as well, but the Grittibaenzen never even came to my mind over the last few days. There have been years when I baked one for each of our three neighbors.

I'll just have to postpone this to next weekend...

THANK you for reminding me. And thanks for the special wishes to the exil-Swiss - very nice of you!! :)

tssaweber's picture

My wife is right now in a plane coming back from Switzerland, our older son is working at Goodwill, the younger is texting with his girlfriend, I leave tomorrow at 4:15 am for my 6 o'clock flight to NY for a consulting job. With all this I forgot the Samichlaus.

When I look at your table and the memories come back I miss the Swiss traditions, but of course I'm not homesick.....................

Thanks for sharing




The brown guy is the Schmutzli the helper of Samichlaus. If you did not behave during the year he takes you with him in the Black Forest for "correctional activities".

Paddyscake's picture

Thank you for sharing your holiday fare. Your Mom's stollen looks wonderful and Grattimaa, so special.

The Schmutzli in Thomas's post makes me very happy that I was well behaved this year!

Happy Holidays,