German fried twisted pastries (Geschnittene Hasen) (VIDEO)

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Fried twisted pastries or pastry cookies also known as Geschnittene Hasen, Gschnidna Hosn, Schneebälle, Storchennester, Schmalzringe, Kameruner or Dörre Küchla (so many different names!) is one of the specialities from Franconian region, Bavaria. Just like German doughnuts (Ausgezogene Krapfen), twisted pastries are normally made for very special occasions such as baptism, wedding, confirmation or Easter. Nowadays you’ll find them in almost every bakery in Franconian region at any time of the year.

My mum in law, Beate has been making fried pastries for as long as she can remember. As a kid, Beate used to make them with her mother and grandmother, every Easter . And after she got married more than 30 years ago, she carried on making them once a year with the help of her husband. Beate always makes around 74 fried twisted pastries and they don’t last very long, since she gives some to her in laws, neighbors, mother, brother and kids.

Geschnittene Hasen are made from a yeast – free dough flavored with arrack (or rum). The dough packed with lots of butter, flour, sour cream, eggs and baking powder is rolled out very thinly after resting, cut, twisted and deep fried. The pastries/ fried thin doughs are then coated with cinnamon sugar.
The fried twisted pastries are crunchy, airy, taste darn good (not too sweet) and super addictive. Once you start eating them, you wouldn’t want to stop! They’re perfect for a grab-and-go breakfast, brunch, afternoon tea or as a snack. They also make a perfect present for the loved ones.
Due to their high fat content, the fried twisted pastries can be stored in an airtight container a cool, dry place for up to 14 days. Of course freshly baked fried pastries taste over the top!

The video of this recipe is made using a kitchen machine and the step by step photo recipe using a hand mixer. So don’t get confused. By the way, Beate always says that using lard (Butterschmalz) would yield the best results, but you could also use sunflower oil or margarine.

Tips for making fried twisted pastries:

  • Since making twisted pastries is time -consuming, I recommend you to ask your family or friends to join you make them.
  • It’s also very important that you follow all the steps for the great results.
  • This recipe is not only time consuming, but it requires patience, therefore try to make half of the recipe first, and as you get better, then you can make the complete recipe.

I’m sure you’ll love these recipes as well: German fried apple doughnuts, Jelly filled doughnuts and Namibian fat cakes (fried dough).
Now get the whole family together and let’s start making some German pastry cookies 😉


German Fried twisted pastry (Geschnittene Hasen)

Yield: 74 pastry cookies
Prep Time: 90 min
Bake Time: 90 min
Total Time: 3 h 00 min

You’ll need:

For the dough:

– 1.8 kg (about 4 lbs) plain flour
– 6 medium eggs
– 125 g ( about 4.4 oz) sugar
– 750 g (1.5 lbs) cold butter, unsalted
– 20 ml (4 teaspoons) arrack or rum
– 6 teaspoons baking powder (30 g/ 1 oz)
– 600 g (21.2 oz) sour cream

For the topping:

200 g (7 oz) sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

You’ll also need:

– 2 kg (4.4 lbs) clarified butter for frying
– pastry wheel cutter
– lots of cutting boards/ baking sheets
– cooling rack/paper towels
– large pot
– electric mixer with beaters and dough hooks (You could also make the whole dough process by hand)
– rolling pin/ empty glass bottle
– barbecue fork and wooden spoon/ long wooden stick

German Bow Tie Cookies Step by step photo instructions

First of all mix cinnamon and sugar and set aside.

Make the dough

Crack the eggs in a bowl, add sugar and whisk. Cut butter into small cubes and add it to the bowl with eggs mixture and beat until smooth and creamy.

Stir in liquor and sour cream.

Then baking powder and half of the flour (part by part).

Remove the beaters and put the dough hooks on the electric mixer and knead the dough.


Using the remaining flour, generously flour the working surface and kip the dough on it. Cover the dough with flour and knead.

Keep kneading the dough while adding the remaining flour, until you have used up all the flour. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes on a working surface.

Roll out and cut the dough

Cut the dough in half. Put one half aside and work with the other half. Divide the remaining dough into thirds and each third in another thirds.


Roll each dough ball very thinly in a rectangle or square shape (until you’ll be able to see through the dough) (about 30 x 35 cm or 35 x 35 cm). (always roll out the dough in all directions). Cut the thinly rolled out dough into quarters. Using a pastry wheel cutter (I’m sure a bread knife could work as well), score four to six, 2 cm (0.8-inch) wide strips, top to bottom, lengthwise, leaving about 2 cm (0.8-inch) border.


TIP: In between keep turning the dough balls, also the half that you kept aside so that they won’t dry out.
Using both hands, gently pull and lift up the rolled out and cut pastry and put it on a cutting board.

Let rest while rolling out the half of the dough that you divided into 9 doughs. This takes around 30 minutes.
In the meanwhile put half of the oil in the pot and heat at medium – low heat.

Shape and deep fry

Test the oil with a tiny bit of dough to check if it’s ready. If bubbles start forming around the dough, then the oil is ready. If it does nothing, then turn up the heat and check again in one to two minutes.

Using both hands lift up the rested cut pastry, put it on one hand and gently pull each strip. Pulling the pastry after cutting it and before frying is very important, so that pastries/ cookies will be bubbly/ airy when deep frying.

Now using the free hand lift every second strip and make them pass through the loops of hanging strips and twist. (as if you were knitting, see photos below and video). If you don’t understand what I mean, just make something looking like a twisted ribbon shape.

Drop the twisted pastry into hot oil and deep fry, until lightly browned.

Remove the twisted pastries from the fat, put them on the cooling rack or on paper towels to remove the excess fat.

Once you’re able to touch the deep fried twisted pastries with your hands (but still warm), coat with cinnamon sugar that you’ve previously prepared.


Repeat the process until you have used up half of the rolled out dough.

NOTE:

  • We always roll out half of the dough and start frying it while rolling out the remaining dough.
  • If you would like to speed up the deep frying process, you could use two pots.
  • If a strip fall apart, while pulling just glue it together with the other strips. This won’t affect the taste.
  • Always deep fry the pastries first that you rolled out first.

While deep frying the pastries of the first half of the rolled out dough, you should roll out and cut the remaining dough half.
Once you’re done deep frying the first half of the dough, remove the used oil and add the remaining oil. This is very important, because the used oil becomes foamy. This will cause the pastry cookies: (1) to suck up more oil, (2) not to become airy and (3) to become darker, since they take long to deep fry.
Deep fry the second half and coat with cinnamon sugar.

Enjoy!

Did you make this recipe? I’d love to see! Snap a pic and share it on Ester kocht Facebook Page or @ester.kocht on Instagram.

German fried twisted pastries (Geshnittene Hasen) (VIDEO)

The fried twisted pastries are crunchy, airy, taste darn good (not too sweet) and super addictive. They're perfect for a grab-and-go breakfast, brunch, afternoon tea or as a snack. They also make a perfect present for the loved ones.
Prep Time2 hrs
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time3 hrs
Course: Beignets, Breakfast, Brunch, Snack
Cuisine: European, German
Keyword: Bow Tie Cookies, fried dough, how to, pastries, sweet bows, sweet fritters, sweet knots
Servings: 74 Pastry cookies

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 1.8 kg (about 4 lbs)  plain flour
  • 6  medium eggs
  • 125 g (about 4.4 oz) sugar
  • 750 g (1.5 lbs)  cold butter, unsalted
  • 20 ml (4 teaspoons) arrack or rum
  • 6 teaspoons baking powder  (30 g/ 1 oz)
  • 600  g (21.2 oz)  sour cream 
  • 2 kg (4.4 lbs)  clarified butter for frying

For topping

  • 200 g (7 oz)   sugar
  • 2  teaspoons  ground cinnamon

Instructions

Make the dough

  • First of all mix cinnamon and sugar and set aside. Then Crack the eggs in a bowl, add sugar and whisk. Cut butter into small cubes and add it to the bowl with eggs mixture and beat until smooth and creamy. Stir in liquor and sour cream. Then baking powder and half of the flour (part by part). Remove the beaters and put the dough hooks on the electric mixer and knead the dough.
  • Using the remaining flour, generously flour the working surface and kip the dough on it. Cover the dough with flour and knead. Keep kneading the dough while adding the remaining flour, until you have used up all the flour.
    Let the dough rest for 10 minutes on a working surface.

Roll out and cut the dough

  • Cut the dough in half. Put one half aside and work with the other half. Divide the remaining dough into thirds and each third in another thirds.
    Roll each dough ball very thinly in a rectangle or square shape (until you'll be able to see through the dough) (about 30 x 35 cm or 35 x 35 cm). (always roll out the dough in all directions). Cut the thinly rolled out dough into quarters. Using a pastry wheel cutter (I'm sure a bread knife could work as well), score four to six, 2 cm (0.8-inch) wide strips, top to bottom, lengthwise, leaving about 2 cm (0.8-inch) border.
    Using both hands, gently pull and lift up the rolled out and cut pastry and put it on a cutting board. Let rest while rolling out the half of the dough that you divided into 9 doughs. This takes around 30 minutes.
    In the meanwhile put half of the oil in the pot and heat at medium - low heat.

Shape and deep fry

  • Test the oil with a tiny bit of dough to check if it's ready. If bubbles start forming around the dough, then the oil is ready. If it does nothing, then turn up the heat and check again in one to two minutes.
  • Using both hands lift up the rested cut pastry, put it on one hand and gently pull each strip.Now using the free hand lift every second strip and make them pass through the loops of hanging strips and twist. (as if you were knitting, see photos below and video). If you don't understand what I mean, just make something looking like a twisted ribbon shape. Drop the twisted pastry into hot oil and deep fry, until lightly browned.
    Remove the twisted pastries from the fat, put them on the cooling rack or on paper towels to remove the excess fat. Once you're able to touch the deep fried twisted pastries with your hands (but still warm), coat with cinnamon sugar that you've previously prepared.
    Repeat the process until you have used up half of the rolled out dough.
  • While deep frying the pastries of the first half of the rolled out dough, you should roll out and cut the remaining dough half.
    Once you're done deep frying the first half of the dough, remove the used oil and add the remaining oil. This is very important, because the used oil becomes foamy. This will cause the pastry cookies: (1) to suck up more oil, (2) not to become airy and (3) to become darker, since they take long to deep fry.
    Deep fry the second half and coat with cinnamon sugar. 

Notes

  1. In between keep turning the dough balls, also the half that you kept aside so that they won't dry out.
  2. We always roll out half of the dough and start frying it while rolling out the remaining dough.
  3. If you would like to speed up the deep frying process, you could use two pots.
  4. If a strip fall apart, while pulling just glue it together with the other strips. This won't affect the taste
  5. Last but not least, always deep fry the pastries first that you rolled out first.

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