German sticky buns (Schnecken)
These incredibly sweet more-ish buns have a sticky pecan topping and are filled with cinnamon and dried fruit. ‘Schnecken’ means snails in German, a reference the spiral shape of the buns.
Equipment and preparation: you will need a free-standing mixer fitted with a dough hook.
For the dough
- 50g/2oz unsalted butter
- 250ml/9fl oz milk
- 4 heaped tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp dried fast acting yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 large free-range egg, plus 1 yolk, beaten lightly
- 450g/1lb plain flour
- oil, for greasing
For the sticky topping
For the fruit filling
For the dough, melt the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat, then add the milk and sugar and heat until tepid.
Pour the mixture into a jug and add the yeast. Leave to rest for 8-10 minutes.
Stir the salt and the eggs into the yeast mixture.
Place the flour in a free-standing food mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Add the yeast mixture and mix on a low speed working through the initial wet stage until the dough begins to pull away cleanly from the sides of the bowl and is smooth.
Place in a large greased bowl, cover with an oiled cling film, and prove for two hours or more, or until tripled in volume.
Grease a 23 x 33 x 3cm/9 x 13 x 1½in baking tray with oil - if the tin is too shallow, it will ooze over the side.
For the sticky topping, melt the butter, brown sugar and golden syrup together in a pan.
Spread over the base of the greased baking tray and sprinkle over the pecans. Set aside.
For the fruit filling, mix together the cherries, raisins, cinnamon and sugar in a bowl. Set aside.
When the dough has risen, knock back and roll out on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle of 30 x 38cm/12 x 15in.
Brush with the dough with melted butter, then evenly spread over the fruit. Roll up, starting with the long side, into a sausage shape.
Place the sausage, seam-side down, and cut into 12 equal pieces using a very sharp knife. Place cut-side up into the prepared pecan pan.
Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise for about 40 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200C/fan oven 180C/400F/Gas 6.
Bake the buns for about 35-40 minutes. If browning too quickly, cover with some foil.
Turn out of the tray while still warm onto a plate or baking tray.