Schnecken - German Cinnamon Buns
Leave it up to Nigella to conjure up the most intrigueing names for everyday food. Schnecken means snails in German. The rolled up bun sort of resembles them. Making cinnamon buns from scratch makes you feel like the ultimate kitchen princess. Not because they're hard to make, but because it's truly a labor of love: watching your dough rise, rolling it into a tight log, testing your baked good when it's finished. These are so insanely delicious and perfect, I think I could shop them around my neigborhood bakeries. Best. Buns. Ever. I think it's the syrup that does the trick! Rating: 5+ out of 5.
Schnecken: Nigella Lawson - How To Be A Domestic Goddess
Ingredients for dough:
- 3 ⅓ cups bread flour (I used all-purpose flour)
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 package (¼ ounce) rapid-rise yeast or 1 tablespoon freash yeast
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 large eggs
Ingredients for syrup:
- ½ cup + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
- 4 tablespoons maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1 cup walnuts or pecans
Ingredients for glaze:
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons milk
Ingredients for filling:
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- ½ cup turbinado or demerara sugar (or light brown sugar)
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- Combine the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Melt the butter in the milk, use a microwave and measuring cup for ease. Beat in the eggs and stir into the dry ingredients to make a dough. Knead for 10 minutes, or 5 minutes with a dough hook. When it's springy and satiny, form it into a ball, put into an oiled bowl, turn to coat and cover with plastic wrap. Leave it in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- Using an electric mixer, start on the syrup: beat the butter until soft and smooth, and add the sugar, still beating. Beat in the maple syrup and light corn syrup. Divide the mixture among a 12-cup muffin pan (I put in cupcake liners). Top with walnuts or pecans, about a tablespoon for each cup.
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F/180˚C. When the dough is ready, knock it back, knead once or twice and then roll out to a large rectangle, approximately 24 by 12 inches (61 by 30 cm), with the long side nearest you. Beat the egg and the milk in a small glass, glaze the dough, using a pastry brush to paint, or just your fingers.
- Mix the filling ingredients in a little bowl and sprinkle onto the dough. Now, roll up the long side and away from you, carefully but firmly, keeping a firm sausage shape. Cut into 12 even slices, and lie each slice spiral-swirly cut side up, on top of the nuts and syrup in the muffin pan. Leave to rise for 20 minutes. When they're risen and puffy, put into the oven and bake for 20 - 25 minutes, by which time they should be golden and cooked: crisp in parts, voluptuously gooey in others.
- Place a parchement-paper-lined roasting pan or baking sheet on top and turn the whole thing the other way up. You will need oven mitts and a degree of caution to do this. Remove the muffin tray and dislodge any nuts that are still stuck in it, adding them, along with any residual syrup, to the upturned buns.