I never truly get viennoiserie until I lived in Scandinavia the summer of 2014. Back then I was still an architecture student on a study abroad experience in Copenhagen. A daily walk to school from the dorms involved resisting the beckoning of beautiful loaves and cakes behind the display window of Lagkaghuset, a local chain famous for their danish breads and pastries.
One of the pastries I enjoyed the most is the frøsnapper, an enriched danish dough filled with marzipan remonce, and twisted to expose sesame seeds and poppy seeds on either side of the dough. They're so heavily ladened in butter, sugar and guilt, but so worth it. Frøsnapper and its untwisted cousin tebirke, is as ubiquitous as bagels in New York. Although this kind of pastry is more commonly known as "danish" in the rest of the world, they are actually called wienerbrød in Denmark, literally translates into "Viennese bread".
A quick way to make this is to use store bought puff pastry. Although the end product won't have the yeasty chewiness of a classic danish dough, I'm sure no one would complain if this is served on the breakfast table.
I am still working on a danish dough recipe for my kitchen basics series, so feel free to use your own version for now. No matter what dough you choose to use, craft matters when making viennoiserie. Take your time to roll, shape and chill the dough well, especially if you had already put in the effort to make the laborious laminated dough.
I favour almond cream over remonce for the lower sugar ratio and chewiness from the addition of some eggs.
For the pastry:
one 12"x18" sheet puff pastry or danish dough
½ cup poppy seeds, plus more if needed
½ cup sesame seeds, plus more if needed
For the remonce:
100g almond paste or marzipan
40g butter, room temperature
15g egg whites
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, work the almond paste for a few minutes until softened. Add the softened butter and mix to combine. With the mixer running at low speed, slowly pour in the egg whites, sea salt and vanilla until incorporated. Set aside.
- Roll the dough into a 12"x22" rectangle, ensuring the corners are as straight as possible. Chill for 10-15 minutes. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- With one of the short sides facing you, spread the remonce over the bottom half of the dough. Fold over the top half of the rectangle, gently pressing down the filling.
- Lightly brush the top of the dough with cold water, then sprinkle the surface with poppy seeds. Use your hands to smooth to spread it evenly over the dough, all the way to the edges. Flip the dough over and repeat on the opposite side with sesame seeds.
- Cut the the dough into 1" strips, perpendicular to the folded edge. You should get 12 strips.
- Holding either ends, twist twice, and place them on a the baking sheet and place them at least 2" apart.
- Cover lightly with plastic wrap and leave to rise in draftless warm spot, 1 to 1-½ hours. The twists are ready when they are poofy and slightly jiggle when you shake the baking sheet.
- Bake the frøsnappers for 15-20 minutes at 375℉, rotating the sheet once, until golden browned and crisp.
You may choose to freeze the frøsnappers and store them in a box or bag. For fresh morning pastries, thaw frøsnappers in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours, or overnight. Continue with step 7, allow to proof and bake.