620g flour (T55)
250ml full-fat milk, lukewarm
1 fresh yeast cube (42g)
100g butter, melted
a pinch of salt
For the filling:
160g ground almonds
50g dark brown sugar
40g candied orange peel, chopped
1 tsp cinnamon
a pinch of salt
1 egg white
75g apricot jam
2 tbsp water
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp milk
24 chocolate chip buttons
Put the flour and sugar into a large mixing bowl with a pinch of salt.
Put the milk in a jug and crumble the yeast into it, stir to dissolve.
Pour the yeasty milk into the flour, add the melted butter and the 2 eggs and knead for 5 minutes to get a smooth dough. Shape the dough into a ball, put back in the bowl and cover the bowl with the tea towel. Leave to rise at room temperature for 45 minutes so the dough doubles in size.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Put the almonds, dark brown sugar, chopped candied orange peel, cinnamon and pinch of salt in a bowl. Separate the egg an only add the egg white to the bowl – reserve the egg yolk for the glaze. Add the apricot jam and 2 tablespoons of water and mix, adding a bit more water if it seems too dry.
After 45 minutes, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knock it back by briefly kneading it. Divide into 8 portions of 150g each. Take off about 30g of dough of each portion and shape it into a walnut-sized ball – this will be the Boxemännchen head.
Roll out one of the remaining dough portions into a square of approximately 15x15cm. Spread the surface with some filling, then roll up the square so that you get a sausage-shaped loaf.
Cut a slit into the top and the bottom of the oval and place it onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Now, spread out the bottom two dough pieces, slightly twisting them to reveal the filling – these will be the legs. Then, do the same with the top dough pieces to shape the arms.
Place the dough ball for the head on the top. Repeat with the remaining dough, so that you get 8 Boxemännecher spread out on 2 baking trays.
Cover the trays with damp tea towels and leave to rise for 30 minutes at room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 200°C fan.
After 30 minutes, beat the egg yolk with the milk and delicately brush the tops of the buns with the beaten egg glaze. Place 2 chocolate chip buttons on the head to form the eyes, and one on the body to form a button.
Bake the buns in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
Put on a wire rack and leave to cool before serving.
The Boxemännecher taste best the day they are baked. They freeze very well too.