Sourdough Krampus directly from heaven!

It's the first day of December.

Looking back to the childhood, December always ment expectations. Expectations of warmth, kindness, visits, feeling good, having fun, but most of all, the arrival of St. Nicholas. He brought presents - oranges, dry fruits, walnuts and sometimes also some toys.

St. Nicholas day is celebrated in many European countries on December 6th and it's a special day of gift-giving for children.

In Slovenia, St. Nicholas is called Miklavž, and he is accompanied by angels and devils which are called parklji corresponding to the Austrian Krampus.

Boy, I was afraid of Krampuses! As I lived in a village, local boys dressed up into Krampuses, yell as loudly as they could and went knocking from doors to doors. Sometimes they would sneak into the house and search for the kids who "misbehaved". I was always hiding under the bed and closing my ears until the screaming passed.

Nowadays, I don't expect anything from December. But I just can't wait for the days to be longer again, starting on the winter solstice. It's when my New Year starts.

Let's sneak into what St. Nicholas brought this year for you - it's the recipe for corn Sourdough Krampus  - so delicious, coming directly from heaven!

Sourdough krampus

Sourdough corn  Krampus
Yields: 4 big Krampus breads or 6-8 smaller ones

Baking schedule:
Sourdough starter for these sourdough Krampus breads was mixed in the evening, left to rise overnight and mixed into the dough in the morning. The dough was left to rise untile doubled in volume, then shaped, left to rise again until proofed and baked.

TIP: you can also prepare the dough in the evening, leave it to rise until doubled in volume overnight (make sure, you don't overproove it!) and bake the breads in the morning.

Ingredients:

Starter*
50 g water
50 g whole grain rye flour (or any other flour)
1 tablespoon of your active sourdough starter (I used rye starter)
* add more starter to the dough if you want it to ferment faster

Dough
100 g finely ground corn flour
100 g boiling water
220 g slightly warm milk
400 g white wheat flour (or bread flour)
9 g salt

Other
ground anise
pumpkin seeds
raisins
ice cubes for creating steam in the first minutes of baking

Instructions:

1. In the evening, prepare your starter. Mix 50 g of whole grain rye flour, 50 g water and 1 tablespoon of your active starter. Cover and leave to ferment overnight until nicely puffed bubbly, and active.

2. In the morning, first prepare the corn flour - pour the boiling water over it, mix well and leave to cool. Once cooled, prepare the dough. Dissolve all of your starter in milk, add wheat and steamed corn flour, and salt. Mix well and then knead the dough for 5 minutes so it becomes elastic, soft and workable (left photo below).

3. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl and cover the bowl with cloth or wrap to prevent the dough from drying out. Leave it to rise until doubled in volume. It took my dough 5 hours, yours might take more or less, depending on the temperature of your kitchen.

Sourdough krampus

Left: Mixed and kneaded dough. Right: proofed dough ready to be shaped.

4. Once the dough is ready, transfer it to unfloured working surface, lightly dust some flour over the top of the dough and shape it into ball. Cover the dough with a cloth or wrap and leave to rest for 10 minutes, so the gluten relaxes. In this way, the shaping will be easier.

Sourdough krampus

5. After 10 minutes, divide the dough into 4 parts. Take each part (one at a time) and first elongate it to a rectangular shape. Use your scissors or bench knife to cut into the bottom part of the dough to shape the legs. You can leave them as they are or you can roll each leg with your hands a little bit.

Sourdough krampus

6. Cut into the upper part to make the horns. Finish the horns by rolling and thinning each part with your hand. Next, turn them on the inside on outside. If the dough feels sticky, wet your hands with little water and then try again. You can use your imagination to shape the Krampus bread in any shape you like.

Sourdough krampus

7. Brush your Krampus breads with water and decorate them with raisins (make eyes), pumpkin seeds or ground anise to give them an extra sweet taste - it goes well with corn flour.

8. Transfer the breads to a lightly floured parchment paper and cover them with a plastic wrap to prevent them from drying out. Let them rise for about 90 minutes or until they pass the poking test. Make an indent with your finger and observe the reaction. If the indent comes back quickly, leave them to rise more. If the indent comes back slowly, your breads are ready to be put in the oven.

9. At least 30 minutes before the dough is ready to be put in the oven, preheat your baking stone (or a tray, if you don't have a baking stone) and a separate baking tray that you put on the lower rack to the highest temperature of your oven.

10. When ready, load the Krampus breads with a parchment paper on a pizza peel and slide it on a baking stone. Throw 10 ice cubes on a baking tray, close the oven door and lower the temperature to 230°C (446°F). Bake for 20 minutes or until nicely baked golden crust. If you can't put all the breads into the oven at once, transfer the rest of them into fridge to prevent overproofing.

11. When baked, let them cool on a cooling rack and then enjoy with a cup of warm milk and jam.

Sourdough krampus

What are your childhood memories of December? Let me know in a comment below.

Happy December!

8 thoughts on “Sourdough Krampus directly from heaven!

  1. Wow!!! I’m totaly in! I think I’ll prepare them for my kids,but cannot bake secretly,as a gift. These days I’m back in my childhood memories when I prepared advent calendar for my small kids,’mikuláš’ /in Slovakia/presents and watching christmas trees in town. Christmas with children are miraculous,) can’t wait for Krampuses!!

    1. :) Thank you Hana, hope they turn out great! They are usually made from the sweet dough, I used corn flour for a little sweetness in this recipe.
      I think these are perfect for kids, what I have experienced, they always have more imagination when it comes to shaping :) and it is also a valuable time spent together.
      Mikulaš :) It’s almost the same as in Slovene :)

      Have a nice weekend,
      Natasa

  2. Hello Nastasa :)
    I haven’t heard of Krampuses before. Here in Germany we have Knecht Ruprecht instead to take on the bad kids. We can, however not eat him. So I prefer ypur version. The ears remind me of bunnies though ;)

    1. Uuu, Knecht Ruprecht seems to be nice man compared to Krampuses, hihi :) I think Krampuses are more common in Austria.
      I love it how I learn from everybody about their traditions, thank you for sharing!

      Natasa

      PS: making your crackers again this weekend ;)

      1. Good Morning Natasa :)

        I have just made your Krampuses and everything turned out well! I have subed a bit more corn flour for normal wheat flour as I loved the idea of corn flour here and it worked well.
        They have a lovely subtle taste that I can immagine almost everything with, but still warm with just a bit of butter was sooo good I don’t really need anything else with them :)

        To be honest, the shape didn’t turn out as lovely as yours, but I can work on that, so next year they will turn out even better ;)

        Thanks for sharing!

  3. Those Krampus look delicious ! not terrifying at all :)
    In Portugal we don’t celebrate St. Nicolas, so all the expectation only ends on the 24th.
    Have a lovely December! And yes please days getting longer!

  4. You just read my mind: I was thinking for the past weeks how to do a fermented bread with cornmeal and suddenly this recipe showed up (and I wasnt searching that!) I will use cornmeal that my father sent me from the caribbean, cant wait to try krampus!! ;)

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