My husband and I spent some time in Denmark recently, with the very serious mission of researching pastries and sampling them at every opportunity. On our very first foray into a bakery in Copenhagen, I spotted these poppy and sesame encrusted twists. We bought two treats--I don't even remember what the second one was--and scooted out to find a place to sit and examine and taste. Under some trees in a little square, we discovered what was to be the go-to pastry during our stay in Denmark.
The Frosnapper we had was made with what we know as danish pastry in the U.S.--a rich, buttery, yeasted dough, rolled and folded to create tender, flaky layers--but in Denmark is referred to as "weinerbrod", in reference to its Viennese origin. Within the pastry was a very light vanilla-sugar filling (probably butter and vanilla sugar). The outside was rolled in LOTS of seeds--which is what made it so special--then twisted and baked. Frosnapper varies from region to region: some are filled with an almond paste filling, and I have heard there are even savory varieties, filled with cheese. Clearly, more experimentation is in order... I have also seen the name "tebirkes" for these.
You can make this with your favorite danish dough, but this version uses store-bought puff-pastry sheets, making it a snap to make when your days are busy. Look for a good, all-butter brand. —bonbonmarie
sheet of frozen puff pastry
In This Recipe
Pull puff out of freezer and let soften a bit. Unroll gently, pressing creases back together if necessary. Lay a towel over puff while it continues to soften. Do not let it get too warm or dry out.
Meanwhile, put almond paste and sugar into the bowl of a food processor. Process until paste chunks are broken up and mixture is a fine meal. Add butter and process until a smooth paste. Place in a bowl.
Lay thawed, softened puff on a work surface so the long edge is in front of you. Roll out into a rectangle about 15" tall and 22" long. With a dull tool, mark (but do not cut) the mid-line, length-wise.
Spread a thin layer of the almond paste mixture on the bottom section of the puff dough, below the mid-line. Leave about 1/2" space at all edges.
Carefully fold the un-buttered half of the puff over the buttered half of the dough, smoothing it out and squaring the edges manually.
Whisk the egg with the salt and about 1t water. Brush a thin coat of egg wash over the dough. Use only enough so that the seeds adhere.
Mix the seeds together by hand in a bowl, and spread over the egg-washed puff. Gently press to make sure they really stick!
Cut the dough into 1" strips. Stretch the strips a bit as you give them a full twist to keep poppy-side up at each end.
Place on a sheet pan and bake at high heat (400F - 450F). Bake until you start seeing a nice dark caramel color.
These are best the day baked, but they're still pretty darn good the next day!