The Easter Kitchen: All About Pinzen and Striezeln
There are certain things that are just typical for the Easter period in the Tyrol: painted eggs, the Easter bunny – and ‘Pinzen’ and ‘Striezel’! These tasty delicacies help to sweeten any Easter snack. And they aren’t too difficult to make – we have dusted off an old traditional recipe for you, so that you can produce perfect Pinzen and Striezel!
A Sweet Taste of Tradition: Pinzen and Striezel
Pinzen and Striezel are pastries made with a yeast dough. They are eaten at Easter and All Saints Day in the Tyrol and other parts of Austria. Pinzen are small buns (looking somewhat like hot cross buns), while Striezel are longer plaited braids. They can be enjoyed at brunch or as a snack, on their own or with various spreads.
A Traditional Tyrolean Recipe
Just in time for Easter here is a simple and proven Tyrolean recipe that our blogger and colleague Bettina inherited from her grandmother – with some special ingredients (secret up until now!) which will ensure that the pastries come out perfectly.
You can also find the full recipe as a download below.
- 230 ml milk
- 30 ml buttermilk
- 1 dash of cherry rum
- 1 dash of mineral water
- Grated lemon peel
- Pith of a vanilla pod
- 1 small packet of vanilla sugar
- 1 small packet of dried yeast
- 60 g sugar (e.g. birch sugar)
- 1 pinch of sea salt
- 1 egg
- 510 g flour (coarse-grained)
- 80 g margarine
- 20 g butter
- To brush: 1 whisked egg
- Flour to work with and dust
Warm the milk with the butter and margarine. Add the dry yeast, salt, sugar vanilla sugar, vanilla pith, rum, lemon peel and the egg to the flour in a bowl. Add the warm milk mixture and knead with a mixer set at a low level. Now add the buttermilk, knead for a short time once more and then add the mineral water. Finally knead the mixture at a higher level.
As soon as the dough starts to firm up, dust with flour and form a ball with your hands. Once it is not sticky any more, put it in a bowl, dust with flour once more, cover and leave to rise for 30 minutes in a warm place.
Once the dough has risen:
Striezel: Dust a workspace with flour and start to work the dough. First make evenly-sized balls out of it and then roll them into cylinders and make braids.
Pinzen: Dust a workspace with flour and start to work the dough. Make evenly-sized balls and lay them on a baking tray. Later, after around 20 minutes of baking time, you can cut a cross into the top of the balls. A quick tip: You can also place a soft-boiled egg in its shell into the cuts of the Pinzen and bake it for the final two or three minutes, making your own pretty Easter basket!
Arrange the small braids (or one larger braid) and/or the Pinzen on a baking tray (don’t forget the baking paper!) and allow to rise again.
Finally brush them with the whisked egg, scatter sugar granules over the dough and place into an oven which has been pre-heated to 180°C. As soon as the braids start to brown turn the heat down to 160°C and bake for a further five minutes.
Now your Striezeln and Pinzen are ready!
Leave to cool down and then dig in: either as they are, with butter or with jam!
Get creative: really cute Easter bunnies
The dough is perfect for getting really creative. This is also really fun with children! We have two ideas for really cute Easter bunnies, which will make a great Easter basket for your loved ones!
Easter bunny: the simple version
What looks complicated is actually really easy. For these cute bunnies, first roll a long braid, beat one on top of the other once, twist it carefully a second time (see picture gallery) and the body is ready. Form a ball as a tail from a little bit of dough, press it on – and that’s it! Then let the rabbits rest for a short time, brush them with an egg as usual and put them in the oven. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius with top and bottom heat until they are golden brown (20 to 30 minutes depending on the size).
Easter bunny: the somewhat more difficult variation
Also this Easter bunny is not at all as difficult as it might look. First, roll out a longer plait from the dough. Then form 3 more balls. For the ears, cut one of the balls with a knife and shape it.
Carefully roll the braid into a snail, place the head, ears and tail on it – and the figure is ready. Then let the rabbits rest for a short time, brush them with egg as usual and put them in the oven. Bake at 180 degrees with top and bottom heat until they are golden brown (20 to 30 minutes depending on the size).
We wish you lots of fun baking, trying out and of course enjoying the sweet Tyrolean delicacies!
Recipe: Bettina Friedrichs
Fotos: Tessa Mellinger, Laura Zobernig