Wow ! This was my expression when I first saw this bread in one of my favourite bakeries here and it tasted absolutely delicious. Actually it was my husband who suggested me to try it as this used to be his favourite breakfast to whichever city he travels in Germany. The very next moment I knew I was going to bake it for the World Bread Day event. The idea of participating in this event had been lingering in my mind all the time and it could not have been any more better than this one. I couldn't wait to get back home to search for the recipe in the internet. After some good searches, bookmarked one and couldnt rest until I tried my hands on it !
A Franzbrötchen is a small, sweet pastry, baked with butter and cinnamon. Sometimes other ingredients are used as well, such as chocolate or raisins. It is a type of pastry commonly found in northern Germany, especially Hamburg, and it is usually served for breakfast, but is also enjoyed along with coffee and cake. The Franzbrötchen was probably named in the style of the French (German 'französisch') model, the croissant, which is made of pastry and became popular in Germany after Napoleon's troops had occupied Hamburg between 1806 and 1814. According to a different historical tradition, they produced a longish Franzbrot (German for 'French bread') which resembled the baguette. Legend has it, that a baker in Hamburg had once seared such a Franzbrot in a pan of fat, which is considered the origin of the contemporary Franzbrötchen. -Source Wikipedia.
Like puff-pastry, the butter is incorporated into the dough through rolling and folding, creating layers that separate out during baking. The peculiarity of the Franzbrötchen consists in its being pasted with a sugar-cinnamon mix before going into the oven !
Ingredients for 16 brötchen
For the dough
All purpose flour(sifted) - 500 gms + extra for dusting the working space
Dry yeast - 1 pkt
Butter (unsalted) - 70 gms
Sugar - 70 gms
Salt - a pinch
Lemon zest - 1 tsp
Lukewarm milk - 250 ml
For the filling
Chilled unsalted butter - 125 gms
Sugar - 100 gms
Cinnamon - 1 tsp
Water - 2 tbsp
A large working space to roll out the dough !
1. In a bowl, add the flour, sugar, salt, lemon zest together.
2. Dissolve the dry yeast in lukewarm milk with 1 tbsp sugar in a separate bowl. Set aside and allow the yeast to activate for 15 minutes(until you see a froth on the surface).
3. Mix this yeast to the flour mixture and knead well to form a smooth dough.
4. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and keep it in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
5. After 30 minutes, take out the dough, punch the air back and knead again for 2 minutes until smooth.
6. Dust the working space with the flour generously. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into 30x25 dimension.
7. Cut the chilled butter in small pieces and place it on one half side of the rolled dough.
8. Cover the other half over this and press the ends tightly so that the butter does not come out. I could have pressed even more better !
10. Take out the dough, dust the working space with four and roll it again to 50x30 rectangle.
11. Now fold the rectangle from the end (about 1/3 part of it) inwards and then fold the other end over it, so that there is a three layered dough.
12. Cover it with a plastic foil and refrigerate it again for 15-20 minutes.
13. In a small bowl, mix together cinnamon and sugar and set aside.
14. Take out the dough, dust the surface with flour again, roll it out to 80x40 rectangle. I could not roll it any further for the lack of big space. So please roll it out thin.
21. Alternatively, you could also use the back of your knife for pressing down the rolls.
24. Preheat the oven to 200 °C and bake the brötchen for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
Note : Though the dough is leavened with yeast, it does not rise like bread due to artery-clogging additions of butter !
Verdict of my husband (read a very good food critic!) : Having tasted this Franzbrötchen in different bakeries here in Germany, he said the ones I baked had the exact taste but the only thing i would need to work on the next time is to roll out the dough even more thinner in step 14.
1. I have heard that you could use brown sugar instead of normal sugar to mix with cinnamon. It seems it caramelises even more beautifully.
2. You could as well use Wholemeal flour instead. Got to try it the next time !
3. You could deep freeze the extra bread for your unexpected guests. It stays good for a month !
Its my pleasure to submit this recipe to the World Bread Day- 2010, an annual event started by Zorra of 1x umrühren bitte. The recipe has to be posted on the 16th October (World bread day) from all over the world. Even if you do not have the time to bake the bread, you could still participate by buying a bread at your favourite bakery, write about it and send it to the event. Isn't it cool ?