When one of the finite series of required steps requires that an earlier step in the series be performed first, the result is what Wikipedia calls a deadlock:
a deadlock is a situation in which two or more competing actions are each waiting for the other to finish, and thus neither ever does.
The idea is that you're faced not with an infinite number of turtles to climb, but with the same finite set of turtles over and over. So even though the number of specified steps isn't infinite, you'll never reach your goal.
Although a deadlock situation is especially familiar to computer users—and that is what the Wikipedia article focuses on—it can occur in bureaucracies (corporate or governmental) and other settings, too.
One classic presentation of a multistep deadlock is in the children's folk song "There's a Hole in My Bucket." In the song, Henry complains that his bucket has a hole in it, and his dear Liza explains what he should do to fix it—but each action she suggests raises another obstacle that needs to be overcome, until eventually she advises him to use a bucket to carry the water to wet the whetstone to sharpen the axe to cut the straw to mend the hole in the bucket. But...
There's a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza...
Of such circular series of interlocking would-be actions are recursive deadlocks made.