Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Mohnhörnchen (German poppyseed crescent rolls)

Fresh, homemade bread is my favourite pairing alongside a pot of soup. This crescent roll recipe from the cookbook, Classic German Baking, is a little more involved than the usual Rosemary and Thyme Focaccia I make with chicken and rice soup, but easier than other bread recipes.

Anna *loved* the mohnhörnchen. I made them yesterday and I think there is only one left! If you have never baked bread from scratch before, be prepared for them to get stale very quickly. Prepackaged bread seems to last weeks in a plastic bag, but homemade bread is stale the second day. I recommend putting any bread left by the end of the day they were baked in a freezer bag and freezing them, even if you plan to eat it the next day.

Makes 10 crescent rolls


4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp instant yeast
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup minus 1 tbsp whole milk
1 large egg (at room temperature)

For topping:
1 egg yolk
1 tsp whole milk
1 tbsp poppyseeds


Combine flour, sugar, salt and instant yeast in a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer. Set aside.

In a small pot, melt butter and add whole milk. Heat until lukewarm. Remove from heat, then whisk in egg.

Immediately pour the butter mixture into the flour mixture. Begin kneading, or use the bread hook attachment on your stand mixer for 5 to 7 minutes on low. The dough should look flakey. Knead by hand until the dough forms a ball.

Place the ball of dough in a clean, medium sized bowl and cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel. Place in a warm spot for 1 hour to proof.

After 1 hour, punch down the dough and press into a circle. Use a rolling pin to achieve uniform thickness. When the dough is rolled into a 15 inch diameter circle, the correct thickness has been achieved.

Use a dough cutter to cut circle in half, then each half into five triangles, for a total of ten dough triangles.

Roll the dough, starting with the flat side (not the tip of the triangle). Tuck the tip under, to the bottom of the roll. Curl the sides slightly, into a crescent. Place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or aluminum foil sprayed with canola oil spray). Repeat with remaining triangles.

Place kitchen towel back over rolls, allow to proof for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400°F for convection ovens, 425°F for regular.

In a small bowl, combine egg yolk and milk to brush on top of crescent rolls. After brushing with yolk, sprinkle poppyseeds on top evenly.

Bake for 12-13 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from pan and place on cooling rack carefully. The rolls will be quite soft to the touch immediately out of the oven. Allow to cool.



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