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
- Makes 20
sheet of frozen puff pastry
- 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!