Monday, August 2, 2010

Schnecken



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From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite..."Snails" or schnecken were a delight of my childhood. Our German and Swedish neighbors, Hannie and Mrs. P, both made them on regular basis. One made them in crescent form, the other shaped them as snails. While they look like sticky buns to the untrained eye, they are really more like a rugelach or crisp Danish. Yes, they're a bother to make, but I promise you'll find them to be worth every second you'll spend on them. I've just finished making a squirrel's stash of them for breakfasts while my family is here. I have two recipes for schnecken and both of them are delicious. Over time, I've settled on a dough that can be used for both types. It simplifies things a bit. I am going to provide two types of filling and two types of topping and let you select which you would prefer to use. One filling is made with almond paste, the other with cinnamon and sugar. I use a streusel topping for the almond filled buns and a nut topping for the others. Lest any of you think Bob and I always walk in lockstep, I love the almond-streusel buns while he prefers the more traditional cinnamon and nut topping. These rolls are not meant for folks new to yeast doughs, even old hands will need a goodly measure of patience to handle the wait times involved in this recipe. I shape my schnecken in snail form because I find that shape the easiest to work with. If you try these, I know you'll love them. It's like visiting a Viennese pastry shop in the comfort of your own kitchen. Here's the recipe.

Schnecken
...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by a recipe in the New York Times

Ingredients:
Dough
1/2 cup whole milk
1-1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
2-3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 teaspoon salt
Almond Filling
2 ounces almond paste
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
Cinnamon Sugar Filling
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Streusel Topping
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and lukewarm
Glaze for Streusel Topping
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
Pecan Topping
Topping:
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) coarsely chopped pecans

Directions:
1) To make the dough: Heat milk in a small saucepan until bubbles form around edges. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm. Pour milk into a large mixing bowl, sprinkle yeast over milk, stir and let stand 5 minutes. Crack eggs into mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Stir in sugar and flour with a wooden spoon. Knead ingredients together in bowl until scrappy dough forms. Turn dough onto counter and knead briefly. Turn mixing bowl over dough and rest 20 minutes.
2) While dough rests, place 12 tablespoons butter and salt in a mixer bowl with a paddle attachment and beat until fluffy, pausing once to scrape down bowl, 30 seconds. Set aside.
3) Knead dough until smooth, 5 minutes. Pull into sections and add to mixer bowl with butter. Mix on medium speed until butter is mostly incorporated, scraping down bowl as necessary, about 3 minutes. Transfer dough with a plastic scraper or a spatula to counter. Work by hand, using short, pulling motions, until dough is smooth but still very soft, about 20 minutes. Shape dough into a round and place in a clean mixing bowl and tightly cover with plastic wrap. Rise at cool room temperature until spongy, 4 to 5 hours.
4) Sprinkle counter lightly with flour. Press fist into center of dough and deflate gently. Gather dough up and place on floured counter. Sprinkle top of dough lightly with flour and press into rectangle 10 inches wide by 14 inches long. Fold top third of dough down to center and bottom third up to cover it. Pinch edges to seal. Rotate dough on countertop one-quarter turn to the right so that it resembles a closed book. Press and stretch dough into rectangle 6 inches wide by 10 inches long. Repeat stretching and folding until dough resembles closed book 4 inches wide by 6 inches long. Press edges to seal. Sprinkle lightly on both sides with flour, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
5) To make almond filling: Combine almond paste, butter, powdered sugar, cornstarch, salt and extracts in a food processor bowl and process until smooth, pausing once to scrape down bowl, about 1 minute. Add egg yolk and process until smooth. Transfer filling to a small bowl, cover well and refrigerate until 30 minutes before using.
6) To make cinnamon and sugar filling: Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Melt butter but do not mix with sugar.
7) To make streusel topping: Combine ingredients in a small bowl and fluff with fork until combined. Squeeze streusel between fingers to create pieces of varying size. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
8) To make pecan topping: In a 1-quart saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter, honey and corn syrup over low heat; stir until sugar and butter are melted. Set aside.
9) To shape dough: Remove almond filling and dough from refrigerator. Sprinkle counter and top of dough lightly with flour, and whack dough with a rolling pin to flatten it. Roll dough evenly into a 20-inch square. Continue to loosen from counter and roll until dough relaxes, using as little flour as possible.
10) To fill with almond filling: Spread almond filling evenly over dough. Trim edges with a bench scraper or a chef's knife. Roll dough tightly and evenly from bottom, jellyroll-style. You should have a cylinder 18 inches long and about 4 inches in diameter. Transfer jellyroll to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and refrigerate 20 minutes.
11) To fill with cinnamon-sugar: Brush dough with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon- sugar mixture. Roll dough tightly and evenly from bottom, jellyroll-style. You should have a cylinder 18 inches long and about 4 inches in diameter. Transfer jellyroll to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and refrigerate 20 minutes.
12) To apply streusel topping: Remove jellyroll from refrigerator and slice into 20 1/2-inch rounds with an electric knife or a sharp serrated knife. Transfer 10 rounds each to 2 11 -1/2 x 17-inch parchment-lined sheet pans. Spray surface lightly with water. Sprinkle generously with streusel, pressing streusel into surface. Cover schnecken lightly with plastic wrap and let rise until light and spongy, about 90 minutes.
13) To apply pecan topping: Pour pecan topping into a greased 11-1/2 x 17-inch pan and sprinkle with pecans. Remove jellyroll from refrigerator and slice into 20 1/2-inch rounds with an electric knife or a sharp serrated knife. Transfer to pan. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let rise until light and spongy, about 90 minutes.
14) Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 400 degrees F. Place a shallow pan on bottom of oven and pour boiling water into pan. Bake schnecken one sheet pan at a time. After 5 minutes, lower oven to 350 and bake until nicely risen and deep golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes more. Pecan rolls may need more baking time.
15) If you are using streusel topping, whisk powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons hot water in a small bowl to make glaze while rolls are baking. Remove sheet pan from oven and brush schnecken lightly with glaze. Transfer schnecken to a cooling rack. Bake second sheet pan as you did the first.
16) If you are using the pecan topping, remove sheet pan from oven and immediately invert onto a serving plate.
17) Regardless of topping, this recipe makes 20 4-inch schnecken.

Cook's Note: Pecan schnecken can be also be baked in large-size muffin pans.

You might also enjoy these recipes:
Lemon Cheese Buns - One Perfect Bite
St. Lucia Buns - One Pefect Bite
Cinnamon Rolls - One Perfect Bite
Blueberry Cream Cheese Rolls - Inspired2Cook
Pumpkin Five Spice Sweet Rolls -Coconut and Lime
Pan de Mallorca Mallorcan Sweet Rolls - Always Order Dessert

73 comments:

My Little Space said...

My goodness, Mary! I am so in love with this gorgeous looking bread. Will definite give it a try soon. Thanks so much for sharing. Hope you'll have a fun day!
Love, kristy

Angie's Recipes said...

I have seen similar sweets in the local bakeries...with poppy filling though. Delicious with some coffee!

Debinhawaii said...

How perfect--so full of nuts and cinnamon--it's making me drool. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I am always looking for a new baking challenge, and it seems like I've found it! I loved hearing your personal connection to this pastry. Thank you for sharing another great recipe. I'm going to give these a try as soon as I get settled in my new home!

Monet said...

Mary..that anonymous comment was from me...so sorry!

FireintheBreeze (Brittany) said...

Looks amazing Mary! Making childhood treats is so much fun and yours looks like it would definitley win the heart of the people in my family too

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

this is perfect to have it with a cup of black coffee, yum yum!

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I am not sure I would have the patience to make this but it certainly makes my mouth water. Have a good day. Diane

Ana Powell said...

Gosh, I haven`t had them for so long.
Really delicious and so perfect.
Thanks for sharing another awesome recipe ♥

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Wow, this looks like a labor of love and I'm sure they are great-enjoy!

Big Dude said...

You post such great recipes, but I really read your blog for all of the new words I learn :-). Thanks for the education and recipes.

Martha said...

I'm intrigued by the almond ones -- I love anything almond. These look yummy but oh, so time consuming!

From the Kitchen said...

I love a kitchen challenge. This one will be placed in the category "snowy day baking"--if we can wait that long. Thanks for the delicious anticipation.

Best,
Bonnie

penny aka jeroxie said...

Can you please send some over? That looks so awesome. I wish I am a baker.

Jess-Sugar High said...

Mary, those look amazing!!

12th Man Training Table said...

I lived in Germany for a few years, in a town that had a pretty tight market for apartments, so you took what you could get. When a buddy got a place above a bread shop, he had to take it, even though he knew parking would be a pain. But as compensation for his parking woes, he got fresh pastries every morning. I think we both put on 20 pounds that year! Cheers!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Oh Mary - I'm thinking and thinking about when I can get to start baking this. It really looks so sticky and gooey and yummy. Can't wait to try it.

Brenda said...

I wish I had one of these gorgeous buns right now to have with my coffee. I've never heard of them before. They do look time-consuming (but worth it), but I love a challenge! Thanks for sharing and have a great day!

Allie and Pattie said...

Mary, Allie was looking for a project yesterday- this may be it!! These look wonderful!!
xoxo Pattie

Design Wine and Dine said...

Oh, I love almond paste! These look amazing! I am drinking coffee right now and wish one of these little beauties was sitting right beside me! YUM! Thanks Mary for the recipe!

bellini valli said...

Set aside 2 of the cinnamon ones please Mary.

What's next said...

they look heavenly! I'm anxious to try the recipe!

Cathy said...

Pecans are my first choice. I can almost smell them baking right now. (I have a vivid imagination).

CaSaundraLeigh said...

To be honest, I've never heard of these/ate these before! What a shame, because they look like something I'd enjoy. Thanks for the recipe and the variations..I am going to bookmark this and try making them ASAP.

Jenn said...

Mary...I don't suppose you and Bob would let me come live with you huh??? :) These looks so good and I love that that they are something from your childhood. I bet it would go great with my coffee right now! :)

Helene said...

This is such a beautiful pastry. Love the topping.

Pondside said...

This took me back to the many years we lived in Germany. I don't think there's anything tastier with a cup of coffee than a schnecken. We have a good German bakery in town, so I can still get them - almond paste and all - yummy!

Cindy Sue said...

Mary, thanks so much for stopping by, glad you did, now I've found you and very happy about it, you have a great blog, I've put you up on mine so that others may find you. These look delish can they be made the gluten free way, or does the yeast not work as well with gluten free flours? Wondering if it anything you have ever tried?

Susi said...

Mary, I grew up eating Schnecken. In fact, they were my dad's favorite weekend treat! I always eat them when I get to fly home and visit with my mom and the almond with the streusel is the one I prefer! I'm thrilled you posted this recipe. I will definitely make an attempt to bake them once the weather starts cooling down again :o)

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Luscious! I would love to be in a Viennese pastry shop just now! Hope you have a wonderful week!

Don't Make Me Call My Flying Monkeys! said...

These look wonderful and how could I resist them with a name that is so fun to say. Reminds me of kissing my boyfriend in the backseat of the car.

PeggyR said...

Both recipes sound wonderful! I'll be able to make these during the winter. Norm's swallowing is getting better.

Adelina said...

Very elaborate recipe, with a great outcome! It cannot get more perfect than this! Love your creations every single visit- how I wish I could take a bite....

Baking is my Zen...sweet nibbles for the soul said...

Oh my...a must try!! Thank you!

Carmen

Katerina said...

The cinnamon-sugar filling definitely is the winner for me. I am sure they go perfectly with a glass of milk in the morning.

Ginny said...

I have never heard of this, my, you must have been in the kitchen all day! But it does look worth it.

lostpastremembered said...

I have never heard of this, but it sounds like something my german grandmother would have made... she was always getting up to something wonderful in her kitchen. I should love to give these a try!

Annie said...

They are delicious and so perfect !!
Thank you for sharing this recipe .

Mary have a wonderful day.

Valérie said...

How lovely! This does look like a lot of work, but I'm sure the lucky ones who get to eat it feel spoiled and loved!

Pam said...

Mary! They look delicious! My Swedish MIL used to make these and I must give it a try! Have a wonderful day!

Emmalene said...

Oh gosh -they seem like such a time-consuming recipe but they do look delicious!

Claudia said...

Mary, that is a work of art. An scrumptious, very-edible one.

Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

Lovely- I am going to bookmark this for the fall- I don't dare turn my oven on now!

Juliana said...

Oh Mary, this sweet roll looks fabulous...love the topping with lots and lots of almond...must be great with a cup of tea/coffee :-)

RV said...

I would love to have this with a cup of coffee.. Looks delicious. Thanks for stopping by and letting me know about the mixer.

scrambledhenfruit said...

Mary, I may just have to pull some patience out of my hat to make these gorgeous pastries! What a wonderful treat to squirrel away! (And I love the name- schnecken- how fitting.)

Lucie said...

Mary, this is great. I was just wandering around the jewish neighborhood yesterday afternoon and stopped in an Eastern European bakery--they had poppy seed schnecken that lookd amazing. I must say, your almond version sounds perfect!!!

Julie said...

Looks just divine, wish my neighbors would bring me some of these :)

Faith said...

My mom makes a different version of Schnecken -- her recipe has a sour cream-based dough that's rolled out thin, sprinkled with egg white and cinnamon sugar, then rolled back up and baked. As good as her Schnecken is, yours looks even better! I'm printing this out now! :)

The Blonde Duck said...

I have to make these when Ben's parents come down! His dad's German!

Baking Barrister said...

I saw a picture and came a clickin'. I want one for breakfast. And lunch. And dinner. And dessert.

Shug said...

OMG my mouth is watering right now!
Looks so very good! We are in the Pecan growing business and anything with pecans makes our day.
Thanks for sharing.

Shug

Jessica said...

Delicious! I would love to be at your house come breakfast time! I will give these a try. I do hate the waiting, but I believe they will be worth the fuss.

Thanks for sharing with us, and hope you enjoy time with your family.

jessyburke88@gmail.com

See Me Everywhere said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog, your comment brightened my day! :) Love all the recipes you have on here, gosh it's making me hungry now!

x

MaryMoh said...

Oh wow...these look awesome! But they look really challenging to me.....so many ingredients and long process. I need to build up courage and patience first...haha. I wish you can make this for me :P Have a wonderful day.

Create. Snap. Eat. said...

When I first saw this, I immediately though of the line from the Birdcage: "When the Schnecken beckons."

The Words Crafter said...

If I could crawl through my computer, I would steal that right off the plate!!!!

hobby baker said...

Good gracious! I need to bake tribute to my German ancestors, those look so fabulous! Seriously, I'm drooling here...

RamblingTart said...

I love these, Mary!! They remind me of the fabulous baking of my German friends, and I can imagine the crispy pastry and wonderfully sweet topping. Delicious! :-)

Jeannie said...

I can imagine the smell in your kitchen when you bake these! A real challenge indeed to attempt this but bet it's worth the effort.

Gloria said...

Mary, this look absolutely prety and georgeous I love it Mary! huggs, and blessings, gloria

Foodessa said...

Over a decade ago I had something similar to these delicious pastries when in Vienna. Never, did I think to see them again with a recipe no less ;o)
Now, I read that you made a basket full of these...wow...you are a real warrior in that kitchen ;O)

Flavourful wishes,
Claudia

the twins said...

this looks so good!

Joanne said...

I am all for the almond paste! But really, I'm going to have to try both to be sure. That's the only fair way to do it, right?

Olive said...

looks really yummy, I like the one with lots of nuts.. perfect with coffee on lazy weekend mornings :) I wish I can make this but I know I can't I'm not very good with yeast..

Hanaâ said...

These Schnecken look wonderful. Very rich and definitely inviting. I love the 2 different toppings you're offering. I have a bit of yeast phobia so I'll have to talk myself into trying these sometime. When I do, I will definitely let you know.

Thank you so much for dropping by my blog and leaving a comment. Without it, I wouldn't have known about your wonderful blog. I'll definitely be a repeat visitor :o)

Hanaâ

Federica said...

spettacolare!!chissà che buona!!!!complimenti!un abbraccio.ciao!

Andreas said...

Those look really good.
I like the super-extra generous amount of topping.

Couscous & Consciousness said...

Mary, these look divine. Not sure if I'd have either the skills or the patience to make them though - wish I could drop round to your place and eat yours!
Sue

Chele said...

I love how this recipe came to you! Will have to give these a try, for their name alone!

Salsa Verde said...

Delicious!!!!
Love,
Lia.

Jamie said...

WoW! I love them! I would prefer the plainer cinnamon nut ones and would love to try these next time I am in the mood to make cinnamon buns. Beautiful and mouthwatering!

Indrė said...

I've checked this one, be cause I saw you cook almost every day (or share recipe a day). This recipe was in my birthday - and it looks amazing! When I'll have products I'm gonna cook it definitely :)

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