Monday, December 28, 2015

German Lucky Pig Bread with Plum Jam Filling

Over in our part of Europe, after Christmas edible lucky pigs are everywhere. Pig shaped bread, chocolates, cakes, and marzipan clutter the markets and bakery windows. Pigs in non-edible forms such as statues, piggy banks, paper napkins and decorative table accessories are also on display.

For centuries in Germany and Austria and other parts of Europe, possessing large amounts of pigs was a sign of wealth.

Last year I was not in Germany for New Year's. Marzipan pigs are hard to find in the USA so I made my own

If you are planning your New Year's holiday menu, consider adding traditional lucky pigs to the list. 

This year I'm continuing the tradition by creating these pig shaped bread, a fun addition to any new year's party or dinner. Kids will love them as well.

I filled each of these with plum jam, however, use any flavor you wish. Now might be a good time to use up that odd jar of jam or marmalade that's been hanging out in your pantry. 

I used the following sized round cookie cutters to create the shapes to make the pigs: 4 inch round, 1+1/2 inch round and a 1/2 inch round. The triangle ears I cut free hand with a small sharp knife.

German Lucky Pig Bread with 
Plum Jam Filling

Prep Time: 45 minutes 
Bake Time: 25 minutes 
Rise Time: 60 minutes 
Yield: 6 pieces
  • 3+1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm whole milk
  • 1/3 cup white granulated sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 6 tablespoons jam, preserve or jelly flavor of your choice (I used plum) 
  • Raisins or dried currants for eyes and nostrils 
  • Beat the egg and pure vanilla extract together in a small bowl.
  • Whisk together the all-purpose flour and white granulated sugar in a bowl. 
  • Make an impression in the middle of the dry ingredients mixture and add the lukewarm milk. 
  • Add the yeast to the milk. when the yeast dissolves, add the egg and vanilla mixture and the soft unsalted butter. 
  • Knead everything together into a dough. 
  • Cover the bowl with a dishcloth and let stand in a warm place for 30 minutes. 
  • Uncover the dough and knead for a few minutes in the bowl. 
  • Cover the bowl once more and let the dough rest in the warm place for another 30 minutes. 
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Roll out the dough and cut twelve 4 inch circles out of the dough. 
  • Then cut six 1+1/2 inch in diameter circles, t welve 3/4 inch half moons and twelve 1/2 inch triangles. 
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • Lay 6 of the four inch in diameter circles on the baking paper.
  • Lightly beat the egg yolks together in a small bowl.
  • Brush the 6 circles with egg yolk. 
  • Affix the triangles to the top for the ears. 
  • Place 1 tablespoon of the jam flavor of your choice in the middles of each circle and spread it around, leaving a small frame with no jam. 
  • Place large circles on top of the jam and gently press the sides together until the seams disappear. 
  • Place the smaller circles on for the snouts and the half moons above the snouts for the eyes. 
  • On each pig, press two raisins into the small circle for nostrils and two into the half moon eyes for pupils. 
  • For the egg wash, brush the remaining beaten egg yolks over the bread. 
  • Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. 
  • Remove from oven, let cool for 10 minutes before serving. 

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