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Franzbrötchen

Hamburg's crunchy hometown pastry

From: Hamburg, Germany

Holsten Bakery Franzbroetchen sack

Franzbroetchen

ABOVE: A Franzbrötchen baker's bag and the treasure within.

One of Hamburg's culinary treats is the Franzbrötchen, a sweet roll made with Hamburg's version of Danish pastry dough.

According to legend, Napoleon's troops introduced croissants to Hamburg during the French occupation of the city from 1806 to 1814. The local bakers and their German customers preferred a sweeter product, so the bakers doused their heavier version of croissant dough with a mixture of butter and sugar, added cinnamon (and occasionally raisins), and let the ersatz croissants carmelize in the oven.

Nearly 200 years later, the rolls which became known as Franzbrötchen are still a staple of Hamburg bakeries, although they're virtually unknown in other parts of Germany. Be sure to try at least one during your visit to Hamburg--preferably on an empty stomach, and with a cup of coffee close at hand.

Related links:

The Franzbrötchen Site
Manfred Beseler's site is packed with historical information, a page about the Franzbrötchen diaspora, an anthem by the Hamburg composer Sebastian Sprenger, the results of several Franzbrötchen competitions, and more. (Translated by Google, which insists on using the name "Franz buns."

Hamburg and the Franzbrötchen: Real Classy
This article from the Young Germany blog is nicely written and contains several appetizing photos of the Hamburg pastry.




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