Recipe for Mannele (or Mannala, Saint Nicholas brioche)

Mannele Saint Nicholas brioche cookie cutter

Mannele (or Mannala, it depends on the region) is an Alsatian specialty that is enjoyed on Saint-Nicolas which takes place in December. This slightly sweet, but incredibly soft brioche is ideal for a snack. You can find the Mannele cookie cutter in my shop to form your figures. Then, let your imagination run wild to form a face, buttons on a jacket with chocolate chips, sugar balls, candied fruit, etc. You can also melt chocolate and dip the little guy's feet and hands! Deliciousness guaranteed!

Ingredients :

  • 600 g flour
  • 1 sachet of dry baker's yeast
  • 330 ml lukewarm milk
  • 55 g of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 60 g of softened butter
  • 1 pinch of salt

For the gilding: 

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon of milk

Preparation of Mannele:

1. Warm the milk for a few seconds in the microwave. Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm milk.

2. In a salad bowl, put the flour, salt, sugar and egg. Start kneading. Add the softened butter and continue to knead.

3. Gradually add the yeast mixed into the milk. Continue to knead until you obtain a smooth, supple and non-sticky dough. (You need at least 20 minutes of kneading by hand, otherwise use a stand mixer.)

4. Cover the Mannele dough with a cloth and let the dough rise for about 1 hour 30 minutes until it has doubled in volume.

5. Once the dough has risen, degas it.

6. Flour the work surface and form Saint Nicholas Day figures using a snowman cookie cutter ( which you can find here ) while adding flour on top to prevent the dough from sticking and that your men become deformed. Place the Manneles on a baking tray covered with parchment paper.

7. Leave the Mannele to rise in a warm place away from drafts for 1 hour.

8. Preheat the oven to 180°C (Th 6).

9. Beat the egg yolk with the tablespoon of milk. Using a brush, coat the Mannele with gilding and place chocolate chips to form the face and buttons (or other decoration of your choice!)

10. Bake the Mannele for 15 minutes at 180°C (Th 6).

Let the Mannele cool on a rack before eating them! It smells like Christmas at home! 🎄🎅❤️

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