Hamburg’s Franzbrötchen with marzipan

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The bread rolls from Hamburg are my all-time favorites. You used to find them only in Hamburg, but now it seems they are becoming popular all over the country and slowly make their way down south. I have seen Franzbrötchen in Berlin, but the original authentic sweet Franzbrötchen will only be found in Hamburg. The “franz” inside is basically caramelized sugar, but makes for a great soft roll. According to the legend there was a baker, who was actually baking some kind of croissant, but got so angry that he hit the rolls flat with his cooking spoon. This is how he baked the very first Franzbrötchen. Legend or not if you’d like to try the marzipan Franzbrötchen, here is the easy recipe:

Easy authentic German recipe for 10 rolls Franzbrötchen from Hamburg

You need:

  • About 1:15h of your time, (plus time for the dough to rise)
  • 25g / 1/2 a cube or just 1 oz fresh yeast
  • 200ml / 3/4 cup warm milk
  • 500g / 1lb flour (type 405)
  • 250g / 0.5 lbs. soft butter
  • 1 egg
  • 180g / 6oz. sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 100g / 3.5oz. marzipan
  • 1.5 tbsp cinnamon
  1. Dilute the yeast in the warm milk and stir well. Add the mix to the flour, 75g butter, the egg, the first half of the sugar and a pinch of salt. Mix it well with the dough hooks of your mixers and let the dough rise for 1 hour at a warm spot.
  2. Beat the rest of the soft butter (175g / about 6 oz.), the remaining sugar, marzipan, and the cinnamon with the mixer until you have a creamy texture.Franzbroetchen
  3. After one hour roll the dough out on a flour covered work surface to about a size of 45x45cm (17.5×17.5inches). Distribute the marzipan-cinnamon-mass equally on the dough. Then roll the dough as tightly as possible. Cut off the ends. Cut the roll into pieces of 4cm (1.6inch) and pinch it in the middle with a floured cooking spoon, to have a flattened roll.
  4. Put the rolls on baking paper on two baking trays and let the dough rise for another 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 190°C ( 374°F); recirculating mode 170°C (338°F)
  6. Dust the remaining sugar over the Franzbrötchen and bake them in the oven one tray after another for about 20-25 minutes. Make sure you don’t leave them in the oven too long. At least mine, dried out easily.

Those Franzbrötchen are also great to freeze. After you put them in a plastic bag in the freezer, take them out the night before you want to eat them and heat them up on the toaster or in the oven. Amazingly delicious!!!

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