Sonntag, 13. Mai 2012

Hefeschnecken (yeast pastry)

This week it was typical capricious weather for April although it is already May. I decided to create some cozyness and bake yeast pastry. These are great because they're so easy to make, cost next to nothing and you can freeze the leftovers for the next coffee visit.

Here is how it goes:

ingredients for the dough (room temperature):
1kg flour (type 405)
40g fresh yeast (in Germany that is one cube)
150g butter
7 tablespoons sugar
~ 200ml milk (proper - no low fat)
"Zimtzucker": take an empty jar and fill it with sugar, add cinnamon (start with a teaspoon), close the lid and shake the jar. The result should be a medium light brown shade. If not add a small amount of cinnamon until the result is satisfying.

ingredients for the frosting:
150g powdered sugar
juice of half a lemon
100g butter

Note: Yeast works best if you heat up your kitchen to be really cozy (>24°C).

Choose the largest bowl you own, place the flour in it and create a fist-sized hole in the middle. Heat one coffee mug of milk (~200ml) until it is lukewarm. It must not be too warm, otherwise the yeast will die. Crumble the yeast into the milk and add a spoonfull of sugar. Mix it gently and pour it into the hole you created in the flour. Now gently dust the liquid with flour from the rim.
Wait at least for 20min. There have to be cracks in the flour.
Add the butter and the leftover sugar. Knead the dough with your hands (remove rings). At first it will all be squishy and dry parts but with time, muscles and the heat of your hand you will soon have a smooth dough as soft as a baby's bottom. Make a ball out of it, place it in the bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen cloth and let it rest for at least 30min. The volume should be triple the original size.
Start to heat up your oven to ~170°C. Divide your dough up into two equal parts and roll the first part out into rectangle shape about the size of your baking tray. Sprinkle the dough with "Zimtzucker" (and raisins if you like) and roll it up tight along the longer side. Slice the roll into 1-1.5cm thick slices and place them with spacing on your baking tray (on baking paper). Do the same with the second part of dough.

Place your baking trays in the oven for about 13min. Start checking on them after 10min. The pastries should be golden with only a slight hint of brown. Get them out early before they start to get dry.

Meanwhile prepare the frosting: Put all the ingredients into a pot and slowly heat them up. Stir well.

Place your furnace grate over your sink and place the still hot pastry on it. Apply the frosting. (Be careful when kids are around, hot sugar involved).

Hefeschnecken taste best when still warm (not hot!). Be careful if you are not used to yeast pastry not to overeat for the dough will still grow a bit when eaten.
Freeze the leftovers immediately. Yeast pastry dries out fast but tastes very well defrosted and heaten up.

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