Anyone who grew up in Hohenlohe, Germany knows them – the Flachswickel. For me, they were one of the first things I baked in my life. I can’t remember everything we did in third grade at school camp at Kloster Schöntal, but I remember very well how we baked flax wraps in a small hut with a wood-burning oven.
What are Flachswickel?
Flachswickel are a Hohenlohe and Swabian specialty, which unfortunately is increasingly being forgotten. They consist of a yeast dough, which is formed into an “ose” and sprinkled with decorating sugar. At the beginning of the 20th century, flax was grown almost everywhere in this country. Today, only the shape of the ‘flax wraps’ reminds us of the yarn spun from it. The yeast wraps are served with coffee or tea and, unlike most other yeast pastries, are not fluffy but rather crumbly.
How do you make Flachswickel?
Flachswickel are not complicated at all, after all I have baked them already at 9 years old! For this you prepare a yeast dough with a comparatively high butter content and let it rest for 30-40 minutes in a warm place. Then divide the dough into even pieces. Roll the dough into a snake that is about as wide as both hands. Then fold them into a “U” and intertwine both ends. The formed wraps are pressed into a little hail sugar and placed on a baking tray. Once they are all formed, they can go directly into the oven, they do not need a second rising time. If you like, you can roll them in a cinnamon-sugar mixture instead of decorating sugar or brush them with some egg yolk before baking.
Not all yeast dough is the same
Of course, I tried different recipe variations for this recipe too, so you don’t have to! According to one of the recipes I have prepared a dough that resembles that of a brioche braid. You can see the result in the picture below. Fresh out of the oven they tasted very good, unfortunately just not like real Flachswickel! And the day after they were already dry. There must be enough butter in the flax wraps, so that they become crumbly and not too fluffy! In the end, I decided to use my mother’s recipe. So you can bake the wraps as I know and love them from my childhood! 😉
So here’s the recipe for buttery crumbly Flachswickel, the kind I’ve loved since childhood:
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