A foodie post that I wrote a while back now for the lovely Cat over at Yellow Days. I thought it deserved a mention over here too, so here you go…
When it comes to bread, we are a little spoilt down in this part of the world. My favourite local kind of bread has to be, without a doubt the humble pretzel (or brezn depending on who you are talking to!).
A little like the song about the coconuts, they come in all shapes and sizes too – big ones, small ones and indeed, some as big as your head (or bigger than!).
My brezen boy…
And boy are they good… They should have a crunchy outside sprinkled liberally with salt (unless you ask for a kinder brezn at the bakers, then they come without), and a beautifully soft and comforting inside. They are of course sold in countless bakeries and bier halls throughout Bavaria, and are the one thing food-wise that I know we will all miss when the day comes for us to pack up and move on from here…
And no doubt one day I will try to recreate them too, for I have realised something recently – as you move from country to country, you not only miss things from home, but once you can’t get something any more, you begin to miss things from other people’s homes too!
A prime example for me would have to be cinnamon rolls. Scandinavian in origin I guess, but adopted by countless other countries, cinnamon rolls are something that I have sprinted through US airports for in the hope of procuring one (or three) from a well known shop, before jumping onto an interconnecting flight… During our trip to Japan last year, we found one of these well known shops, and a big sticky cinnamon bun was a welcome intermission in amongst all that beautiful but often unfamiliar Japanese food.
Having thought to myself in the past how much their texture reminded me of an English Chelsea bun, I had to wonder how easy it might be to adapt them slightly. And adapt them slightly I have – managing to indulge my complete addiction of all things cinnamon too (it’s very good for you you know!)…
You could try to reproduce the original icing should you wish (I think it contains cream cheese in the US), but I don’t think these actually need it (what you see in the picture below is icing sugar with a couple of tablespoons of water, mixed to the desired consistency, and a couple of drops of rum for extra flavour!).
Just make sure you eat them slightly warm and fresh. As a bit like the best Bavarian Brezn, they are most definitely at their best within a few hours of production!… Enjoy!
Cinnamon Rolls: –
Ingredients: (Makes 12-15)
450g Strong white flour;
3tbsp. Caster sugar;
21g Fresh Yeast (or 7g dried if you are using it!)
1 Medium egg.
60g Muscovado Sugar;
60g Unsalted Butter;
1.5 tbsp ground cinnamon
50g Icing Sugar;
Water to desired consistency, couple of drops of rum of your choice…
Heat the milk and butter in a pan over a low heat, until the butter has melted. Leave to cool until lukewarm. Add the fresh yeast and stir until dissolved (if using dried yeast add this to the dry ingredients in a second)… Tip the flour, sugar and salt (and dried yeast!) into a food mixer, then tip the milk, butter and fresh yeast on top of it. Add the egg, and then mix together to a dough. Knead for five minutes (by machine, or ten minutes by hand). Leave covered with a damp clean tea towel in a warm place for one hour. In the meantime make the paste for the filling. Knock the dough back, cut into two equal halves, then roll each piece into a large rectangle shape (roughly 40 x 15cm)… Spread the filling paste across the dough, and roll each rectangle up (by the shorter side), before slicing. Place each future cinnamon bun onto a lined baking tray and leave covered to rise again for another 45 minutes (they need to join up whilst baking, so don’t place them too far apart!). Whilst they are “resting” again, preheat the oven to 200°C, then bake for 20 minutes (possibly a few minutes more depending on your oven). Remove from the oven, leave to cool for ten minutes before pulling apart. Leave to cool for a little longer still, ice, and then at last you can stuff your face!
Sarah Scott says
Oh crikey, these look fantastic. I can almost smell them! Love the pretzel pic :)
Thank you! Yes, he can eat one in a sitting! :D
They look divine, Emma! My girl friend tried recreating the German Brezen, it was more difficult than expected. She had to order lye from the internet–who knew…
Lye can be tricky to deal with too! I will wait until we move to attempt these I think, there’s just no need here is there? Thanks B! :) xx
Oh, these look heavenly! When you talk about strong white flour, are you talking about German 550? I will never, ever get to grips with the huge varieties of flour here.
I usually use 550 as I can’t seem to find 650 a lot of the time. 550 works perfectly well! :D Thank you!
Mmmmm they look delicious – just what the Dr ordered but I need someone to make this comfort food for me at the moment! I read Frau Dietz comment above and just wanted to say that although I feel fairly confident using yeast, after watching The Bake Off (that has just finished on English TV) this has made me super confident in chucking the dough around and kneading it. Do not be afraid, you can’t over knead it and a great feeling when you successfully present your family with something you have made yourself. Apparently Hugh Fernly-Whittingstall’s latest book just out, uses gluten free flour for all his recipes! x
Thanks Mum. Will pass on your advice just in case she doesn’t see this! :D xx
Frau Dietz (Eating Wiesbaden) says
Oh wow those are great tips! I shall go and look up the HFW book immediately. Thank you very much, Emma’s mum :D
She is the queen of baking Christie, you should see her harvest sheaf! :D
Sally Sellwood (@Recipejunkie27) says
Well, you know how much I love a cinammon bun, Emma. In fact, I may now go and have to make a batch. We do have visitors coming at the weekend…
You must Sally, they are truly lovely! :) x
I have often seen Cinnamon Rolls mentioned in books that I’ve read and have really wanted to try them! I am definitely bookmarking this recipe…… xx
Thank you J xx
Frau Dietz (Eating Wiesbaden) says
Ahhh! Cinnamon rolls! Love love love love love them. *cries* The best ones I ever ate were made for me on holiday in Cyprus by the hot Swedish ex-girlfriend of my ex-boyfriend’s brother (heh). Glorious.
For some reason I always freak out when I see yeast mentioned in a recipe – I automatically assume I can’t do it. But I’m going to go and find out what sort of gluten-free flour I can replace strong white normal flour with, because I think you’ve inspired me to finally give these a go. I’m actually dribbling a bit thinking about it.
Oh you must must must try to find the right flour! The yeast here is pretty decent and so cheap and easy to use! We will get you over your phobia yet! Thank you! :D