Next, we come to another European great, the wonderful Deutschland!!
Germany is another place I’ve been in my travels, once to Heidelberg and Münster-Sarmsheim, and the other time to Hamburg, with a brief stop in Lüneburg. I remember being boggled at the sheer length of some German words which, in my brother’s words “defy the laws of physics.” Sometimes I think it might be fun to try learn German, but then I see words like “Freundschaftsbezeigungen,” “Rechtsschutzversicherungsgesellschaften” and “Siebentausendzweihundertvierundfünfzig” and just decide to go watch Netflix instead. But don’t worry Germany, I still have lovely memories of castles, the Rhein river, fantastical food, friendly hosts, and this delicious stuff called Quark. In all honesty, I would love to go back to Germany, it was a beautiful place, and lots of interesting history.
When I was making these Franzbrötchen, I even put on some music by a German punk rock band called Shenaniganz to set the mood. I somehow happened upon that band years ago in the days when Myspace was actually a thing people used, and really liked one of their songs where they did this kind of awesome vocal layering effect thing during the verses. I had little hope of finding that song again, since I only remembered seeing it on their music player on their myspace page, and it wasn’t on Youtube anywhere, and I sort of assumed that poor little band was probably not still around anymore. But alas! I was happily wrong! Well…I dont know if they are still active, but they have a website (that wasn’t myspace), and I found a place where you can buy their music. So I promptly bought that one song and immediately listened to it about 10 times.
So what’s happening in Germany these days?? I was a little sad looking at the headlines, everything seems quite bleak 😦
-There was a bomb threat on a plane heading into Hamburg, which caused all the planes heading to or from Hamburg were grounded. The police got a message from a group calling itself the “Islamic Caliphate in Europe” saying there was a bomb planted on one of the planes heading to Hamburg. The plane landed and everyone’s luggage was searched…don’t think they found one? Scary nonetheless.
-The first female Euro commentator, Claudia Neumann, has been receiving lots of sexist backlash, since she is providing commentary for men’s games. ….I just….UGH. REALLY?? Lets be real, this woman has more experience and expertise than most of the spectators complaining about her, as she said “Most of those people weren’t even born when I was already sinking bicycle kicks.” Sooo…It literally doesn’t matter that she’s a woman okay ITS 2016, WORLD, CAN WE MOVE PAST THIS???
-The whole “Brexit”issue is showing up in Germany’s headlines too (Brexit= British+Exit; the vote on whether or not Britain will remain part of the EU). It seems Germany believes it would be negatively effected by the split for a variety of reasons, so naturally, they generally don’t seem too exited for this vote. The vote is coming up this week though, so we’ll see what happens!
Ok so…there’s a bit of German current events for you. Let’s move on to talking about these delicious Franzbrötchen! When I visited Hamburg with my friend, we were shown around by a Hamburg native that my friend knew, and she is actually the one who recommended Franzbrötchen to me. The bakery I work at is a German style bakery, which makes all the typical German/European things like Black Forest cakes, Sachertortes, Dobosh tortes, Baumkuchen…etc. so I wanted to try make something that I don’t see at work a lot. And Franzbrötchen was a yeast-dough so…yay!
These things are deliciousness, to me its like a mix between a cinnamon roll and a croissant. Its rolled up yeast-puff pastry, filled with cinnamon sugar. There are no down sides to this. And of course, I’m always down with making puff pastry!
I think they turned out pretty well, with the exception of them not all turning out super uniform. Since I recently blasted through The Great British Baking show on Netflix, I’ve been giving myself critiques as I think Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry would. I like to think they would appreciate how well and evenly I rolled the pastry, but they wouldn’t be pleased with how the Franzbrötchens all rose and baked unevenly. 😦 I’d probably be eliminated. But oh well, I’m not on The Great British Baking show so…I shall proceed to the next challenge!
The method of making the shape of a Franzbrötchen is thus: Roll out the dough, sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the top, roll it up tightly, cut the roll into 1-1.5″ pieces (i tried using a knife, and gave up and resorted to the string method my mom always used for cinnamon rolls), then use a long narrow tool like a wooden spoon (I used a chop stick) and press down in the center of the roll. Let it proof once more then bake them until they look tempting enough to burn your hands trying to eat one immediately (usually that means golden brown.)
Side note- I did not burn my hands trying to eat one immediately. I wanted to, but I had self control that day.
As usual, I recommend checking out the original source of this recipe >HERE< to get that blogger’s insight and advice on the recipe, and a bit more background. Also there is a GIF demonstrating how to press down the rolls.
Note: I added the extra sugar to make it sweeter because I like sweet!
17½ ounces (4 cups minus 2 tablespoons) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out dough
1 tablespoon instant yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk, at room temperature
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, cold
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Add the milk and melted butter. Using the dough hook, mix at low speed for 1 to 2 minutes, or until just combined. Without removing the dough hook, cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
2. Uncover the bowl. Turn the speed to medium-low, and knead for about 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl and be slightly shiny but not sticky.
3. Transfer the dough into a large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and press to deflate. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to a rectangle about 12 x 20 inches in size, lifting and stretching at the corners to keep it square.
5. Using a sharp knife, cut the chilled butter into thin slices (see note 1 below), and place evenly over 2/3 of the dough.
Fold the uncovered dough over 1/3 of the butter.
Then fold the remaining 1/3 over the top, making a tri-fold, like folding a letter.
Pinch the edges to seal.
6. Roll the dough out again to 12 x 20 inches, or as big as it will allow, dusting with flour as needed to prevent sticking, lifting and stretching the corners to keep it square.
Tri-fold the dough again.
Wrap the folded dough in plastic wrap loosely but completely, and refrigerate for at least 15 and up to 25 minutes. Lightly grease a large baking sheet or two smaller ones, or line with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 400º F.
7. Unwrap the dough. Roll out the dough to a rectangle 15 x 30 inches in size, dusting with flour as needed to prevent sticking, lifting and stretching the corners to keep it square. If the dough resists, cover with plastic wrap and let rest 5 to 10 minutes.
8. Brush or spray the dough lightly with water. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together, and sprinkle evenly over the surface of the dough.
Starting with one long edge, roll the dough up tightly, jelly-roll style, into a log.
Pinch the seam to seal the edge.
Turn the log so the seam-side is down.
9. Cut the log into 1 inch wide pieces.
Press the floured handle of a wooden spoon firmly into the top of each piece, all the way down to the counter, so that the spiralled sides flare out on either side of the handle.
Transfer each piece to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pieces.
10. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes, or until puffy and slightly risen.
11. Bake at 400º F, in the middle of the oven, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until well-browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool thoroughly