Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Schnecken Time Is Here Again

Photo: Cincinnati Enquirer

Anyone who has lived in Cincinnati long enough to remember the late and still lamented Virginia Bakery on Ludlow Avenue in Clifton, will appreciate the news that Busken Bakery is now offering schnecken, the German cinnamon rolls made from the original Virginia Bakery secret recipe. Instead of only being available around Easter time, the new schnecken will be for sale year round, according to Something sticky like this comes from ... Busken:
The Busken version isn't just an approximation. These are the same buns that people used to line up for in Clifton, rolled three to a bread pan, loaded with butter and studded with raisins. They will even come in the same packaging, double-wrapped in wax paper and a Virginia Bakery box.

...The rich dough begins with a 14-hour proof, a rest period that develops flavor. After more flour is added, it rests another 24 hours.

Then it's rolled by hand into 10-foot ropes and flattened into sheets.

"We would normally use a sheeter (machine) to roll out the dough, because we're a larger shop," Busken said. "But they rolled it out by hand, and we're going to continue doing it that way."

There's only one difference in the Busken version: The loaf pans are slightly bigger, so this schnecken is 5 ounces more than the 1-pound original. "I hope that's not going to be a problem for anyone," Busken said.

This schnecken will be available year-round and will cost $9.95 a loaf.

"This is a fabulous opportunity for us to bring attention to independent bakeries," Busken said. "Cincinnati's lucky to still have several local full-line bakeries, but our big competition is convenience.

"We need to get people to make that extra stop, and these kind of special products are what will do it."

Almost as Good as Virginia Bakery's Schnecken

1 c lukewarm milk
2 scant T active dry yeast
2 t sugar
7 T sugar
7 T room temperature butter
3 beaten eggs
1 t salt
4 1/2 cups sifted all purpose flour
Egg wash (1 egg white beaten with 1 T water)
Melted butter
1 c sugar
1 T ground cinnamon or to taste
1 c chopped pecans
1/2 c raisins
Brown sugar and more chopped pecans (optional)

One day ahead: Mix warm milk with yeast and 2 t sugar and allow to sit 5-10 minutes. until yeast begins to foam at top. Meanwhile in another bowl beat together 7 T butter; 7 T sugar; beaten eggs and salt. Add yeast mixture to beaten mixture and gradually add flour. Beat dough about 5 mins. Add dough to greased bowl cover and refrigerate over night.

The next day roll dough out on a floured table into a large rectangle (or divide and roll into two rectangles) about 1/4 inch thick Brush egg wash lightly around the edge of rectangle nearest you. Brush top of dough generously with melted butter. Sprinkle top of dough, to taste with sugar, ground cinnamon, chopped pecans and/or raisins. Beginning at the edge farthest from you; roll dough up jelly-dough fashion. Prepare loaf pans by covering bottom of each with 1 tsp melted butter and 1 tsp warm honey. Cut rolled schnecken crosswise into 1 1/2" slices. Place 3 of the pieces on their sides, in the prepared pans (so you're looking at the spiral dough/cinnamon/sugar part, not just the dough standing up on end). Cover pan with towels and place in warm oven for about 45 mins. to rise. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, until brown on top. Once removed from the oven, place each loaf pan on a rack and allow them to cool for 5 minutes. (This lets the caramel glaze form). After 5 minutes, turn each pan over onto a sheet of wax paper (use a big sheet so you can just wrap them up like they did at the bakery) and you're finished! Makes about 30 schnecken.


Blogger bobinmsp said...

So, as a Cincinnati expat, my enquiring mind wants to know: Is it as good as Virginia Bakery? Has anyone tried the recipe and compared it to the real thing?

Also, does it really make 30 Virginia Bakery-sized schnecken? I recken that's 10 pans of schnecken.

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so excited to try this! In Seattle now and always wondering how to make this!!!
Long time Virginia Bakery Fan!

5:02 PM  
Blogger Kelly Leigh said...

Thanks so much for posting this! I am a Cincinnatian who had schnecken every christmas morning first from Virginia bakery, then Buskens, but I moved to England now and this is my first christmas away from home. I'm off to the kitchen now to get baking!

10:57 AM  

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