It’s rare when we get an accessible German baking book here in the U.S., so we were thrilled to see Süss by Audrey Leonard arrive recently. It’s full of such charming and delectable ideas not commonly found in American shops that you’ll want to make and taste everything she offers. The perfect example is this recipe! This is what the author has to say about it:
Named “snails” because of their shape, these poppyseed pastries are hard to beat with the subtle, nutty flavor of poppyseeds—and a touch of lemon, because what are poppyseeds without lemon, especially when they’re all wrapped up in flaky, buttery pastry dough? These make the perfect addition to any weekend brunch.
If you’re new to the actual flavor of poppyseed and not just a few mixed into a lemon poppyseed muffin, these are another great recipe to get to know what poppyseeds really taste like. They’re a little nutty and earthy in flavor and add so much depth to any sweet! If you can, I recommend buying poppy seeds in bulk rather than in spice containers, as it tends to be much more cost-effective.
Makes 11 to 12
- 1 batch of Laminated Dough
- 1 cup + 1 tablespoon (150 grams) poppy seeds
- ⅓ cup + 2 teaspoons (75 grams) granulated sugar
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons (150 milliliters) milk
- 1 lemon, zested
- 3 tablespoons (45 grams) butter
- 200 grams (1 ⅔ cups) powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons (45 milliliters) lemon juice, more as needed
Make the Snails:
- During the second to last chilling of the laminated dough, prepare the poppyseed filling. In a medium-sized sauce pot, add in the poppy- seeds, sugar and milk. Stir to combine. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently for 10 minutes, until the mixture has thickened and most of the milk has evaporated. Cooking the poppy seeds first enhances the flavor; if you prefer, you can also grind the poppy seeds in a spice grinder before cooking them.
- Once cooked, remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and butter until melted. Transfer to a shallow dish and set it aside to cool to room temperature. This should take 30 minutes if stirred occasionally.
- Once the laminated dough has chilled fully for the last time, it is time to assemble. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll the dough out to 12 x 24 inches (30 x 60 cm). Spread the poppyseed filling over the dough leaving a 3⁄4-inch (2-cm) border on one short side.
- Roll the dough up from the short side with no border to the opposite side with the 3⁄4-inch (2-cm) border. With the roll seam side down, mark the roll every inch (2.5 cm). Use a thin, sharp knife to cut the roll into 11 to 12 slices. Place six slices on each lined baking sheet, laying the end slices with the pretty cut side facing up. Tuck about 3⁄4 inch (2 cm) of the end from each roll underneath the roll. Drape a piece of plastic wrap over each baking sheet. Leave them to proof until they are puffy and a little jiggly, about an hour or two. Preheat the oven in the meantime.
- Arrange two racks in the oven so they split the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C). Once proofed, bake the pastries for 8 minutes. After 8 minutes, swap and rotate the baking sheets 180 degrees. Bake for another 7 to 12 minutes, until they are deep golden brown.
- While baking, whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice to make the glaze.
- Once baked, take the pastries out of the oven and place the baking sheets on wire racks to cool. Brush or drizzle with the lemon glaze until they are fully coated. Leave them to cool until they are just warm.
These can be assembled the night before, stored in the refrigerator overnight and baked in the morning. Just be sure to give them enough time outside of the refrigerator to come to room temperature and become puffy.
Reprinted with permission from Süss by Audrey Leonard. Page Street Publishing Co. 2023.
Photo credit: Audrey Leonard.