I am sure many readers would have noticed the photo of the family making Schneckennudel published in the Summer Times during the holiday season.
It was a good photograph of the experienced adult teaching the younger not only how to work in a kitchen but how to make a well-respected tradition in the southern part of Germany. As with many of Central European people the German's enjoy "Kaffee und Kuchen" (coffee and cake) on a regular basis - usually served about 3pm.
Schneckennudel is a popular item along with various pastries, small cakes and squares and lots of chitchat. I am scratching the grey matter a bit trying to recall the different fillings I have seen in the amazing patisseries in Germany - lightly spiced chopped nuts come to mind as does a hazelnut spread and chocolate with dried fruits.
My favourite is the traditional filling of cinnamon and sugar-coated raisins sprinkled on top of well-buttered dough which is the version we will make today with the following recipe which will make about 20 swirls, or snails as they sometimes referred to. These can be frozen and reheated if you don't manage to enjoy them all.
For the dough
200ml warm milk
100g melted butter
1 1/2 Tbsp active yeast or 3 tbsp Surebake yeast
500g good quality strong flour
1 tsp salt
For the filling
1 heaped tsp cinnamon
a little dark rum
some melted butter (about 25g)
To glaze the "snails"
2 Tbsp milk
top with chopped nuts of your choice - I used pistachio
Combine the warm milk and butter and dissolve the yeast into that mixture. Add the lightly beaten egg and leave to sit in a warm place for 10-15 minutes or until the yeast starts to bubble on the top.
Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
Once the milk mixture has begun to work pour the mixture into the dry ingredients then mix well together.
Knead the mixture until you have a ball of dough that is soft but not sticky. Add a little extra flour if your mixture is somewhat sticky.
Place in a lightly greased bowl covered with a clean cloth in a warm draft-free place.
Now leave to rise for an hour or until it has doubled in size.
Stretch and fold the dough and leave to stand again for another 30 minutes.
In the meantime, for the filling combine the dry ingredients with the rum and leave to stand at room temperature so the liquid can be absorbed.
Mix the egg and milk for the glaze.
Once the dough has stood for the required time roll it out into the shape of a large rectangle, about 40x50 cm.
Brush with the melted butter then sprinkle the filling on the top and roll up. Cut into pieces about 2-3 cm thick and place on a clean, greased baking sheet leaving to rise for 10-15 minutes.
Brush lightly with the glaze and sprinkle with the chopped nuts (optional).
Pace in a pre-heated oven at 180C and cook until nicely browned, about 20 minutes.
Enjoy with your tea or coffee. Note:
As with most soft doughs it can be handy to place the rolled up dough into the freezer for 10 minutes before slicing.
Graham Hawkes operates Paddington Arms at the Queens Dr/Bainfield Rd roundabout.
- The Southland Times