Hefe-Schnecken (“Yeast Snails”)

I got this recipe from a neighbour in March last year. My dad had the pleasure of sampling them when visiting and he thought they were so good, he told us all about it. I got in touch with our neighbour and asked for the recipe. A few days later, it was in my letter box.

Hefe-Schnecken are more or less Chelsea buns, not necessarily with raisins but could have all sorts of fillings. They could even be savoury with ham and cheese, for example. I made one lot with cinnamon…

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… and another one with cinnamon and raisins.

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I haven’t used fresh yeast a lot but it seems to be pretty straightforward and I read somewhere that it’s actually cheaper than the dry stuff. I just think that dry yeast keeps for ages and it’s easy to always have some at home whereas fresh yeast only keeps so long. I don’t know. I used yeast that was a week or two past its best before date, it smelled alright and it worked perfectly. So maybe I’m just being lazy.

  • 500g flour
  • 42g fresh yeast
  • 2 eggs plus 1 for the egg wash
  • 250ml milk, lukewarm
  • 50g sugar
  • 80g butter, softened
  • 2 pots (= 400g) sour cream
  • cream
  • cinnamon, raisins or other things for the filling
    1. Method

    Put the flour into a bowl and make a well in the middle. Tear up the yeast very finely and put into the well. Add a little sugar and fill the well with warm milk. Put the bowl in a warm place and leave for half an hour.

    Add 2 eggs, the remaining warm milk, butter and sugar. Knead until you’ve got a firm dough. Put the dough out onto a floured surface and keep kneading. Put it back into the bowl, cover it, put it back into the warm place and leave for 35-45 minutes.

    In the meantime, put the sour cream into a bowl and add some cream so you can mix it until smooth. Now add cinnamon and sugar to taste. Put it in the fridge until needed. Dust your work surface with flour and put baking parchment on your baking trays.

    Knock the air out of the risen dough and divide it into two. Roll out each half to a rectangle, approximately the size of a baking tray. Spread the sour cream mix on the dough, then add your filling. You might want to add some more cinnamon.

    Now roll your dough up into a sausage shape and cut it into 1.5 cm wide pieces. Put these onto the baking tray. Press them a little bit down with a table spoon. Cover the baking trays with a tea towel and put them back into the warm place for another 30 minutes. Preheat the oven (200°C fan).

    Brush the snails with the beaten egg and bake them in the middle of the oven for 12 minutes, or until they’re golden brown. Let them cool on a wire rack. You might want to brush them with a mix of powdered sugar and water or with warmed up jam.

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