March 5, 2019

I first encountered this funny, sweet snack when I was in Hamburg applying for a job. I can still remember thinking ‘What happened to this poor Croissant’. The locals were very proud of their traditional Hamburg delicacy and tried to reassure me that they are meant to look like somebody sat on them. So my friends – this is what it looks like when Germans try to bake croissants – and fail. :D But they still taste good – buttery and cinnamony!

  • 500g flour [type 550]
  • 250ml milk
  • 20g fresh yeast
  • 70g butter
  • 50g sugar
  • 10g vanilla sugar
  • lemon zest [¼ lemon]
  • pinch salt
  • 200g butter
  • 50g flour
  • 100g sugar
  • 4-5 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 egg yolk

_ dissolve yeast in cold milk [takes longer to rise but makes a better texture in the end]
_ combine flour, sugar, vanilla sugar, lemon zest and salt on a clean work surface
_ rub cold butter into the flour mixture [until nice and crumbly]
_ add milk-yeast mixture and form a smooth dough [needs a good 5-10 minutes of kneading – but don’t overdo it]
_ cover and leave to rise at room temperature for 2 to 2.5 hours
_ for the butter plate mix butter and flour until you have a very smooth texture
_ form a rectangular shape between two sheets of non-stick paper [e.g. baking paper]
_ place in the fridge to firm up

_ roll out risen dough about 3mm thick [should be big enough so it easily folds around the butter plate]
_ place butter plate in the center and fold dough closed around it [try to trap as little air inside as possible]

_ roll into an elongated rectangle [about 30×70 cm]
_ fold in thirds
_ cover with cling foil and place in the fridge for 15 to 30 minutes
_ roll out dough into an elongated rectangle and fold in thirds again

_ cover and place back in fridge for another 30 minutes
_ finally roll out dough into a large rectangle about 3mm thick
_ brush with water and sprinkle with sugar-cinnamon mixture

_ roll into a tight roll
_ place back in the fridge for 10 more minutes

_ cut roll into 5cm wide pieces

_ take a wooden spoon [or chopsticks] to press down the center of each roll [don’t be timid here – press so the sides fan up]

_ place on a baking sheet lined baking tray [they rise quite a bit – so no more than 5 pieces per baking tray]
_ cover with a kitchen cloth and leave to rise at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes
_ preheat oven to 220°C and place a metal baking tray in the bottom of the oven
_ brush dough with the egg yolk [egg yolk mixed with about 2 tablespoons water]
_ place Franzbrötchen in the oven and pour about 100ml water in the tray in the bottom
_ briefly open oven door after 10 minutes to leave out the steam
_ bake for another 10 to 15 minutes [until nicely golden]

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