Hamburg-Style Wholewheat Cinnamon Rolls (Franzbrötchen)

I just love “Franzbrötchen” which is a hamburg speciality and is a style of cinnamon roll. Sometimes we go to the bakery on Sundays as a treat to buy them. I decided to save the trip to the bakery and see if I could adapt this recipe from the Kochmeister Website (which I’ve translated). This will yield 16 small franzbrötchen, or 8 if you freeze half the dough for another time :)


Ingredients for the yeast dough:

  • 500g flour (I’m using half wholewheat and half white flour)
  • 40g yeast (1 pack dry yeast)
  • 70g soft butter
  • 70g sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • a quarter of a litre of lukewarm milk (I’m using UHT)

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 125g chilled butter
  • 100g sugar
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Flour for the board
  • Baking paperMETHOD
  1. Measure out the flour and put into a bowl
  2. Scoop out a hole in the middle of the flour.
  3. Around the flour sprinkle the yeast, the softened butter, sugar, salt and lemon rind.
  4. Then put the lukewarm milk into the hole and mix a little.
  5. Use the dough hooks on your mixer (if you have them) and mix for as long as it takes until the dough comes away from the edge of the bowl.
  6. Cover the bowl with the dough in it and leave 30mins to rise.
  7. Then put the dough onto a floured board and roll out to a rectangular shape approximately 30cm x25cm. (At this point i cut off half the rectangle to freeze)
  8. Cover one half of what’s left with slices of butter
  9. Fold in half over the butter and press the edges in well.
  10. Now roll out the dough again into a rectangle and mark into thirds
  11. Then fold the dough using the markings as a guide so as you have three layers.
  12. At this point leave the dough in the fridge for 15mins.
  13. Mix the 100g sugar and heaped teaspoon cinnamon
  14. Roll out the dough again, “paint” with water and cover with the cinnamon sugar
  15. Then, starting at the long edge, roll up into a sausage shape
  16. Taking some thread, sit the thread underneath the rolled up pastry and by crossing the threads, cut the pastry into 8 pieces.
  17. squash the bottom of a wooden spoon into the middle of each of the 8 rolls
  18. Place on baking paper and put into a preheated oven at around 160 degrees for 15 minutes. I followed the german directions and my fan assisted oven was WAY too hot for the little guys. It’s probably better just to check them after 15minutes and see if they need some more time.

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