This week, it was my turn to bring something sweet to our orchestra rehearsal – what a great reason to browse through recipe books, food blogs and other recipe sources! Since I like both baking and eating them more than cake, the decision boiled quickly down to two recipes for sweet buns or cinnamon roll variations: the North-German classic Franzbrötchen vs the slightly more American hybrid carrot cake cinnamon rolls. As you can guess by the title of this post, I went with the classic using a recipe I found here.
The recipe turned out very well, but this is a recipe you should bake when you have other things to do in between. There is a lot of waiting for 15 minutes going on, which means you never really get to start something else while the dough proves. Yet the outcome is definitely worth all the waiting because the dough is simply so smooth and fluffy thanks to the slow rise. I changed and removed some of the measurements from the original recipe, as they seemed imprecise to me. For example, I started with cutting the dough in 4 cm slices as suggested in the original recipe. But then the Franzbrötchen just turned out bery gigantic and some of them could not even get their unique shape! So I experimented a bit and 2 cm seems to be a better measure 😉
Ingredients (yields about 14):
500 g flour
200 g sugar
1 pinch of salt
1 cube of fresh yeast (50 g)
250 ml lukewarm milk
230 g butter
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp cocoa powder
Mix flour, 70 g of the sugar and a pinch of salt in a bowl and make a hole in the middle. Dissolve the yeast in the milk and pour into the hole, mix with a bit of the flour from around. Let rest under a cover for about 15 minutes. Transfer 160 g of butter to the freezer. Add the remaining butter and the lemon zest to the dough and knead well for at least 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and starts to rise. Let prove for another 30 minutes.
Sprinkle the countertop with a bit of flour and roll the dough to a large rectangle, until it is about 4 mm thin. Turn the dough such that the longer edge is in front of you and parallel to your body. Take the butter out of the freezer and grate it onto the surface, leaving the left third of the dough empty. Fold the empty third into the middle and then fold in the buttery third from the right. Roll the dough again to a large rectangle, fold again twice like you did before. Let the dough cool down in the fridge for about 10 minutes then give it a final roll until the dough is a 4 mm thin rectangle. Turn the dough such that the long edge is parallel to your body. Mix the remaining sugar with cinnamon and cocoa powder. Brush the dough with a bit of water and sprinkle the cinnamon-cocoa mixture on top.
Carefully roll up the dough such that you get a long roll. Spread 3 baking sheets with baking parchment. Cut the roll into 2 cm thick slices. Take one slice aside at a time and dent it (parallel to the cutting edge) with the handle of a cooking spoon. Transfer them to the baking sheets leaving a lot of space in between. Let prove for another 15 minutes while you preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan). Bake the Franzbrötchen (one sheet at a time, if your time allows) for 15 minutes until golden brown.