Franzbrötchen – German Cinnamon Rolls

Franzbrötchen - German Cinnamon RollsIn the world of cinnamon rolls, Franzbrötchen – German Cinnamon Rolls are pretty low key. Word has it that French occupation in Hamburg inspired this recipe for Franzbrötchen dating back to the early 19th Century. Have you heard of German Cinnamon Rolls friends? Or tried them for yourself? Let me know in the comments below!

German baking is incredibly varied from Cheesecake to fried cakes and then we have pastries like this that haven’t become as popular overseas as they should have.

franzbrotchen rezeptcinnamon roll recipe

Somehow, most great foreign dishes don’t become a thing like they should and for reasons I’ll never understand, but I’m here to show you how to create these flaky cinnamon rolls in your own kitchen for a different take on the traditional cinnamon roll.

Why you’ll love these

Croissant and cinnamon roll combined

These are like a half way mix between a buttery and flaky croissant and a cinnamon roll making for a real delight that is too underrated for how good they are!

Cinnamon sugar high

The light cinnamon sugar coating between the light layers makes for a great compliment to a your favorite hot drink.

Less time than a croissant

These can be made in a day and though they aren’t fast to make with several chillings required, they come together the same day you make the dough.

Ingredients and substitutions for Franzbrötchen – German Cinnamon Rolls

  • Plain flour: All purpose or plain flour work here to create a soft dough that is both easy to work with as you layer in the butter.
  • Yeast: Yeast doesn’t just help give our cinnamon rolls that rise during the proofing and baking process.
  • Sugar: Superfine or caster sugar in the dough helps to sweeten without flavoring the dough, you could substitute in equal measure with light brown sugar if you prefer. I do not recommend substituting with a darker sugar as that would lend an overpowering flavor to your rolls.
  • Milk: This helps give our rolls that nice soft crumb and the golden crust alongside our butter. You could substitute with water in equal measure if you prefer.
  • Eggs: Adding moisture and binding the dough together, the eggs help with rising as they act as a leavening agent as well as giving our rolls that nice light crumb thanks to the fat from the yolks.
  • Butter: We add room temperature butter to our dough once the gluten has begun to form to help create a smooth and luscious dough with the chilled dough adding the layers like a croissant. You could substitute non dairy butter in equal measure, however, I have not tried this and do not recommend substituting in oil.
  • Ground cinnamon: The flavor punch for our entire rolls, you’ll want good ground cinnamon for this, and if your ground spices are over 3 years old, you might want to buy some new stuff for this. It’s worth it, trust me!

Equipment needed to make this

Mixing bowl: You’ll need a medium bowl for the pastry and a small bowl for that sugar.

Greaseproof paper: The butter is easiest to roll to shape between two sheets of greaseproof paper.

Rolling pin: A rolling pin will help you achieve a nice consistent pastry and rolled out butter, however, you could substitute a wine bottle for similar results.

Wooden spoon: The handle of a wooden spoon is needed to create the authentic shape of these rolls.

Baking tray: A flat baking tray for the rolls to bake on is perfect for these.

FAQ’s for the best Franzbrötchen – German Cinnamon Rolls

Can I make these Cinnamon Rolls ahead?

Absolutely, though these are best served the day they are made, you can reheat in the oven for 5 minutes up to 2 days set at 180C/350F.

Do I need a wooden spoon to make the mark in my rolls?

Not necessarily, a wooden stick approximately 1/3 inch thick such as a small rolling pin or even a round heavy bread and butter knife handle would work here, just make sure flour will stick so that your mark is left in the dough to hold it firmly as it bakes and puffs up.

Can I freeze Franzbrötchen?

You can, just pop them into a resealable bag and consume within 2 months.

More roll recipes you’ll enjoy

Cinnamon Rolls

Gemberbolus – Dutch Ginger Rolls

Buchteln – Jam Filled Rolls

german bakingFranzbrötchen – German Cinnamon Rolls
Adapted from Food52
Makes 12

Ingredients:
Laminated dough
580 grams / 4 2/3 cups plain flour
3.1 grams / 1 teaspoon instant yeast
40 grams / 3 tablespoons superfine/caster sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
200 milliliters / 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons milk, lukewarm
2 eggs, room temperature
65 grams / 2.29 butter, room temperature and evenly cubed
250 grams / 8.18 ounces butter, cold
Cinnamon filling
150 grams/ 3/4 cup superfine/caster sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions:
Place the flour, instant yeast, sugar and salt into a large bowl and stir to combine with a well in the center.

IMG 0389(pp w768 h512)Pour the lukewarm milk and eggs into the well and stir the mixture until the eggs are completely broken up and the mixture is a shaggy dough.

IMG 0393(pp w768 h512)Add the room temperature butter and combine until the dough comes together.

Knead by hand in the bowl until the dough feels smooth and the butter has ben fully incorporated into the dough.

Return the dough to the bowl and cover with a wet tea towel, setting the dough aside in a warm place to double in size for at least 2 hours.

IMG 0412(pp w768 h512)Meanwhile, place the large portion of butter which should be in one large chunk or pressed into one large piece between two pieces of greaseproof paper and tap lightly with a rolling pin to flatten until you can roll it out to a 23 cm / 9 inch square. Even out any rough edges of the butter with a bench scraper to help create that square.

The butter it will be approximately 1/4 inch thick. Return to the fridge to ensure it is well chilled.

Once the dough has doubled in size, punch to deflate and upturn onto a very lightly floured surface.

Roll the dough out to a 35 centimeter / 14 inch square and place the butter diagonally on top of the dough so you have the square dough with a diamond butter square in the center.

IMG 0415(pp w768 h512)Fold the corners of the dough over like you would if you create a square envelope to fully cover the butter, ensure you cannot see any of it once the dough is pinched closed.

IMG 0418(pp w768 h512)Roll the dough out to a 20×30 cm / 8×12 inch rectangle and then fold the rectangle in 3, to a wide rectangle.

Place the dough in the fridge for 20 minutes to chill. Remove from the fridge and roll the dough out once again to a 20×30 cm / 8×12 inch rectangle before repeating a 3 way rectangle fold.

Repeat the process for a third time and return the dough to the fridge.

Preheat your oven to 200C/400F and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Prepare the filling by placing the sugar and ground cinnamon in a bowl, stirring to combine fully. Set aside.

IMG 0421(pp w768 h512)Remove the chilled dough from the fridge and cut in half.

Setting one half aside in the fridge and rolling the second into a 33 cm / 13 inch square that is approximately 1/4 inch thick.

Evenly sprinkle over half the sugar mixture which will resemble a dry sand topping.

IMG 0480(pp w768 h512)Carefully roll the dough into a tight scroll and measure out to 6 equal portions.

IMG 0485(pp w768 h512)Cut carefully and place onto your lined baking tray.

Lightly flour the handle of a wooden spoon and press into the center of one roll firmly parallel to the cut edges and hold in place for 30 seconds.

IMG 0487(pp w768 h512)Remove the wooden spoon and the edges of your dough should be slightly fanned.

Repeat with your remaining dough.

Place into the oven and bake until golden and flakey in appearance, approximately 20 minutes.

Remove and set aside to cool completely.

Repeat the process with the remaining dough.

Serve em up with your favorite hot beverage on the side.

Enjoy.

franzbrotchencinnamon rolls

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Franzbrotchen German Cinnamon Rolls

Franzbrötchen – German Cinnamon Rolls

  • Author: Sylvie Taylor
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 12 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Cuisine: German

Description

Layers of flaky dough wrapped in a cinnamon sugar to create a memorable mix between a croissant and cinnamon roll for a very underrated German dish!


Ingredients

Scale

Laminated dough
580 grams / 4 2/3 cups plain flour
3.1 grams / 1 teaspoon instant yeast
40 grams / 3 tablespoons superfine/caster sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
200 milliliters / 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons milk, lukewarm
2 eggs, room temperature
65 grams / 2.29 butter, room temperature and evenly cubed
250 grams / 8.18 ounces butter, cold
Cinnamon filling
150 grams/ 3/4 cup superfine/caster sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


Instructions

  • Place the flour, instant yeast, sugar and salt into a large bowl and stir to combine with a well in the center.
  • Pour the lukewarm milk and eggs into the well and stir the mixture until the eggs are completely broken up and the mixture is a shaggy dough.
  • Add the room temperature butter and combine until the dough comes together.
  • Knead by hand in the bowl until the dough feels smooth and the butter has ben fully incorporated into the dough.
  • Return the dough to the bowl and cover with a wet tea towel, setting the dough aside in a warm place to double in size for at least 2 hours.
  • Meanwhile, place the large portion of butter which should be in one large chunk or pressed into one large piece between two pieces of greaseproof paper and tap lightly with a rolling pin to flatten until you can roll it out to a 23 cm / 9 inch square. Even out any rough edges of the butter with a bench scraper to help create that square.
  • The butter it will be approximately 1/4 inch thick. Return to the fridge to ensure it is well chilled.
  • Once the dough has doubled in size, punch to deflate and upturn onto a very lightly floured surface.
  • Roll the dough out to a 35 centimeter / 14 inch square and place the butter diagonally on top of the dough so you have the square dough with a diamond butter square in the center.
  • Fold the corners of the dough over like you would if you create a square envelope to fully cover the butter, ensure you cannot see any of it once the dough is pinched closed.
  • Roll the dough out to a 20×30 cm / 8×12 inch rectangle and then fold the rectangle in 3, to a wide rectangle.
  • Place the dough in the fridge for 20 minutes to chill. Remove from the fridge and roll the dough out once again to a 20×30 cm / 8×12 inch rectangle before repeating a 3 way rectangle fold.
  • Repeat the process for a third time and return the dough to the fridge.
  • Preheat your oven to 200C/400F and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  • Prepare the filling by placing the sugar and ground cinnamon in a bowl, stirring to combine fully. Set aside.
  • Remove the chilled dough from the fridge and cut in half.
  • Setting one half aside in the fridge and rolling the second into a 33 cm / 13 inch square that is approximately 1/4 inch thick.
  • Evenly sprinkle over half the sugar mixture which will resemble a dry sand topping.
  • Carefully roll the dough into a tight scroll and measure out to 6 equal portions.
  • Cut carefully and place onto your lines baking tray.
  • Lightly flour the handle of a wooden spoon and press into the center of one roll firmly parallel to the cut edges and hold in place for 30 seconds.
  • Remove the wooden spoon and the edges of your dough should be slightly fanned.
  • Repeat with your remaining dough.
  • Place into the oven and bake until golden and flakey in appearance, approximately 20 minutes.
  • Remove and set aside to cool completely.
  • Repeat the process with the remaining dough.
  • Serve em up with your favorite hot beverage on the side.
  • Enjoy.

Notes

Adapted from Food52


Nutrition

  • Calories: 447 calories per serve
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