The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

The Elusive German Roll - Wo gibt's bloss ganz normale Broetchen?

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hanseata's picture
hanseata

The Elusive German Roll - Wo gibt's bloss ganz normale Broetchen?


Nobody in Germany thinks of baking regular, plain white rolls at home. You get them freshly baked everywhere, in bakeries, supermarkets, and even in gas stations. Every German region has them, called "Rundstueck" in Hamburg, "Schrippe" in Berlin, "Semmel" in Munich, or simply "Broetchen" (little bread).


The typical Broetchen has a crisp crust and a fluffy, soft, easy to pull out crumb. It has nothing in common with its pale, crustless, chewy US cousin, the dinner roll. And - sorry, guys! - American Kaiser Rolls are just Kaisersemmel wannabes, they share only the pretty star cut with their Bavarian or Austrian ancestors.


One of the greatest woes of German expats is the total lack of this everyday staple in the US. No Broetchen to be found anywhere - perhaps bad imitations, but never the real thing. No cookbook would even list the recipe, no website provides it, the deceptively simple, but oh so elusive good old German Broetchen!


When I finally found and adapted a recipe, and baked my first batch, using regular bread flour, I was in for a big disappointment. The pretty little rolls tasted okay, but the consistency was totally wrong, with a lean and airy crumb like a French roll. My next trial with all-purpose flour only proved AP's limitations - it definitely was not up to THIS purpose! Totally frustrated I shoved the recipe in one of the numerous paper/cookbook/ food magazine piles adorning my office, telling myself to just forget about it.


But then one day at my favorite Italian wholegrocer, Miccucci's, in Portland, I came upon a neat little package of Italian Tipo 00 flour half hidden behind bags of instant polenta. With the predatory instinct of a hawk I swooped down and grabbed it. The next day saw me in my kitchen, the (after a prolonged search) unearthed recipe in view, mixing a new batch of Broetchen dough.


Viva Italia - Tipo 00 was a winner! Finally Broetchen as they should be, crusty on the outside, but fluffy and "pull-out-able" inside! (Later I found out that pastry flour works well, too).


You'll find the recipe here: http://hanseata.blogspot.com/2010/06/weizenbroetchen-german-rolls.html


 


 

Comments

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I don't have the benefit of having had the original, but those rolls are beautiful and look like they must be delicious.


Your experience with the flours confirms my experience that lower-protein flours are necessary for a really thin, crisp crust. Thanks for sharing!


Hmmm ... I wonder how Tipo 00 flour would work for baguettes.


David

hanseata's picture
hanseata

my biggest problem was the consistency of the crumb. It never had the right consistency until I used Tipo 00 (or unbleached pastry flour). It should be kind of loose and you can pull it out easily.


Karin


 

whosinthekitchen's picture
whosinthekitchen

Beautiful rolls!  I visited your recipe on your blog and saw it is NOT made with warm milk therefore allowing you to bake at a higher temperature.


The recipe I have is from a German lady I met in Worms, Germany in 1980.


Comparing the 2 recipes inspires me to seek recipes from different areas of Germany.  I am interested in how many use milk and how many don't.  Tippo 00 flour is hard to come by here in S. Florida but as soon as get some, I am making your recipe and mine for a comparison!  Thanks for sharing!


Bread makes the world go round,


Lisa


You can see my recipe at  http//:www.lisaslovinloaves.blogspot.com

maybaby's picture
maybaby

Check out Italian delis/grocers...That's where I get mine. It's not something I've been able to find in a regular North American grocery store.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I'm sure there a different recipes bakeries use. I saw your recipe - I'm sure it tastes good, too. Instead of Tipo 00 flour you can use unbleached pastry flour, too, I made the rolls with both and didn't see a big difference.


Karin

copyu's picture
copyu

for the link to your blog. I agree that the situation (w.r.t 'Broetchen') outside of Germany looks grim.


In Tokyo we have a Scandinavian bakery that does a small, daily run of very good "petit pain" (labelled that way, in Japanese, for the local market) but I have no idea, nowadays, where to find one of their bakeries. I'm stuck with making my own.


Your blog will be an invaluable resource. Your rolls look brilliant!


Thank you,


copyu

Noor13's picture
Noor13

I agree that good Broetchen are limited to a small region of Europe, but don't forget Austria. I think Austria is one of the countries producing most delicious breads. Believe me I do miss it a lot, and being spoiled from it, I decided to start baking bread myself, cause here in the UK you are lost when it comes to bread :(

hanseata's picture
hanseata

No, no, I did'nt forget Austria. I try to keep my blog somewhat entertaining, therefore it's neither totally concise nor scientific. Austrian breads are wonderful, and I'm sure in German speaking Switzerland, Alsatia and the former Habsburg Empire regions they will have similar rolls, too.


One of my most favorite baking books is written by a South Tyrolean baker, Richard Ploner (Brot aus Suedtirol) and the best torte I've ever eaten in my life was made by two old ladies in a tiny bakery in Salzburg.


Karin

copyu's picture
copyu

Where I lived, before, most of the bakers were German/Austrian/Hungarian or so-called "Donauschwaben" from all over Europe...


They've retired, now. It's hard to find good "Roggenbrot" or "Kleingebaeck" there, whereas I used to choose from six to ten different types, just in the supermarket...no need to visit the bakery unless you wanted 'Dobostorte'...Heheheh.


Times change...


Gruesse aus Japan,


copyu

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I always wondered how dessert or pastry lovers fare in Japan - at least the Japanese restaurants I know of don't offer anything edible in these catagories, only concoctions that look beautiful and appetizing - until you take your first bite.


In case you need a recipe for Dobostorte - I have one.


Karin