Hamburg Cinnamon Rolls (Franzbrötchen)

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Franzbrötchen pastry

Hamburg Cinnamon Rolls (Franzbrötchen)

Franzbrötchen (Franz’s rolls) are an exclusive specialty of Hamburg, although their reputation as a breakfast treat has spread across Germany. Whether it was a drunken bakery apprentice named Franz who accidentally sat on a baking sheet with dough at night, or whether the cinnamon rolls developed from a buttery baguette-style bread named Franzbrot (Franz’s bread), the origin of this pastry lies in the dark.
Servings 15 pieces

Ingredients
  

For the Dough:

  • 2 1/4 ounce envelopes active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup lukewarm milk plus 2-3 tbsp
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus 1/3 cup
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp ¾ unsalted butter softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp tsp ground cinnamon

For the Filling:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter chilled
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon

Instructions
 

For the Dough:

  • Combine yeast with the milk in a small bowl and let stand for 10 minutes until frothy.
  • Mix the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Gradually add the yeast mixture. Stir in the butter and sugar. Knead into a smooth dough using the kneading attachment of an electric mixer. Cover and let rise for 20 minutes.
  • Work the cinnamon into the dough and roll with a heavy rolling pin into a rectangle, approximately 11 x 27 inches.

For the Filling:

  • Cut the butter into small chunks and distribute them evenly onto the dough. Sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon. Roll up the dough from the long side to a flat roll and let rest for 20 minutes.

Then:

  • Cut the dough into 2-inch-thick slices with a sharp knife. To give the franzbrötchen their typical compressed, dimpled shape, use the handle of a wooden spoon or the blade of a dinner knife to make a deep dent parallel to the cut side in the middle of each piece. Grease a 17½ x 14-inch baking sheet. Place the rolls at least 2 inches apart on the sheet and let them rest for 20 more minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Bake rolls for 15 to 20 minutes, or until well risen and golden. Serve fresh from the oven.
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Hamburg
Keyword: Bread rolls, Franzbrötchen
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