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From German Bread Roll to Curry Roll

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bakingbadly's picture
bakingbadly

From German Bread Roll to Curry Roll

About a month ago I began my quest of making Brötchen (German bread rolls). There was a demand in town for such rolls and I had to fulfill it. I mean, I had to. I'm opening a German-ish bakery albeit in Cambodia. And a German bakery without Brötchen is like a poem without words.


Thanks to Karin's (Hanseata) blog post and detailed descriptions from German expats, I knew what I was aiming for. I adapted Karin's recipe and baked the first few test batches of Brötchen.

Too hard, too heavy, too dense, too yeasty, too light, too... too many problems.

 

Three weeks later my freezer, my business partner's freezer, and my parents' freezer were full of experimental bread rolls. But behold, I was finally satisfied with my results: 

Thin, delicate, crispy crust; soft yet substantial crumb; and a pleasant yeasty, nutty aroma. 

One of my Swiss-German friends sampled my Brötchen, with a boiled Depriziner (spiced sausage). To my surprise he said, "It was the best meal I had in months," with much enthusiasm for the Brötchen. Of course, thinking it was an anomaly, I had others taste-test my bread rolls---friends and acquaintances. One after another, they all gave positive reviews, some of them rather lofty.

 



Some tips and suggestions:

The crust contributes a lot of flavour to Brötchen. Thus, to improve its flavour profile, I shaped the rolls into "ovals" instead of "balls". This way, the ratio of crust to crumb is increased.

Also, for my rolls, I reduced the oil / fat amount and did not fully develop the dough's gluten. Personally, I like my rolls with larger holes and a shreddy texture for one sole reason: it holds heavy sauces and condiments better.

Another tip: If you want seeds to stick to your bread, without an egg wash, I recommend brushing your dough with a mixture of flour (or anything starchy) and water, then adding the seeds atop. The majority of the seeds will stick, even when the bread is frozen, re-heated, and / or dropped onto the floor from chest-height!




From April 13th to April 16th is the Cambodian New Years. During this time, major festivals occur across the nation. One of these events is a three-day concert in the Angkor Wat complex (i.e., the largest religious monument in the world).

My business partner Michael requested that I produce something special for this event. My idea: Curry Rolls.




This idea was inspired by the Japanese "Yaki Kare Pan" (Baked Curry Bread). It's not uncommon for Cambodians to eat curry with bread as separate entities, so I thought it would be nifty to combine the two.

The bread roll wasn't a big deal. I used the same recipe for my Brötchen. The curry, on the other hand, was out of my expertise. Collaborating with Michael (a seasoned, professional chef) and his wife's family, we adapted a traditional Cambodian curry and transformed it into a bread filling.

Today marks the end of the Cambodian New Years. Truth be told, the Curry Rolls didn't sell as well as we wanted. Why? Perhaps a variety of reasons: poor location, too many competitors, lack of details...

But I have good news. Two bars in town have expressed keen interest in our Curry Rolls. We're confident that we'll attract other clients and will eventually produce the Curry Rolls by the hundreds, including other fillings, on a daily basis. 




One final comment. Last Friday our upcoming bakery was featured in a local news article, which you can view here: 

http://www.phnompenhpost.com/siem-reap-insider/new-sourdough-bakery-promises-home-delivery

This publication has garnered much attention from hoteliers, restaurateurs, and bar owners in Siem Reap. That's right, my dream of running a sourdough bakery is coming into fruition, and I have to say, it's surreal. How did I get to this point, I know. Without encouragement and assistance from my family and friends, including this community (a tremendous source of my inspiration), I wouldn't be where I am today.

With my utmost gratitude, I thank you all!

Zita
Head Baker
Siem Reap Bäckerei

Comments

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Great looking curry rolls, Zita! Well done. If the curry is delicious enough, which appears to be so, you'll be in for some serious demand.

Good to know that your passion for baking has lead you so far!

khalid

bakingbadly's picture
bakingbadly

:) Thank you, Khalid. We think the curry rolls, or practically any bread roll with savoury fillings, has big potential. We're doing our best to prepare for the oncoming demand. Unfortunately, with our limited equipment and staff, we don't think we can fulfill it... But hey, better than not having enough clients, that's for sure!

Cheers, and best wishes to the both of us!

Zita

fotomat1's picture
fotomat1

Absolutely great job...wishing you luck in your effort!

bakingbadly's picture
bakingbadly

Thank you, Fotomat!

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

Incredible journey you have begun . I wish you much success. The rolls are beautiful and the curry roll sounds delicious. The article was very well written and I am sure you will be getting as many orders as you can handle. I have looked into a bicycle tour that will be in your area in 2015....if I am able to do it I shall certainly let you know . Would love to visit your establishment !  caroline

bakingbadly's picture
bakingbadly

Thank you for the wonderful compliments, Caroline. I appreciate it.

Please feel free to contact me if you're visiting Siem Reap. It's always a big pleasure meeting other bakers in town, which is an uncommon occurrence. 2015 is quite some time from now, but I'm sure by that time I'll have plenty of breads for you to try. :)

Jolly bakings,

Zita

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi Zita,

So glad to read about how your persistence is paying off.  You have worked very hard to make your dream come true despite many challenges - mainly that of finding the main ingredient for you great breads - flour!  You are certainly an example of what someone can do if they truly have a passion for what it is they are doing.  I am so proud of you!  Really exciting stuff and your breads look great - both the German rolls and the curry rolls - simply delicious!

Take Care and thanks so much for the update,

Janet

bakingbadly's picture
bakingbadly

Thank you for your kind words, Janet. It means a lot to me.

Yes, it's been very challenging and I remember every and each obstacle I had to overcome. I still believe we caught a lucky break when we found a local supplier who could import flour according to our specifications (e.g., unbleached, higher protein and lower protein content) at a reasonable cost. As far as I know, we're the only bakery in Cambodia to use such flours.

Take care and best wishes,

Zita

Gingerandbread's picture
Gingerandbread

I really enjoyed your story - have been trying to bake German bread in the British Isles, but your story takes Brötchenbacken to another level! Keep it up and keep us informed!

bakingbadly's picture
bakingbadly

:) Thank you, Gingerandbread. I'll definitely do my best and keep you guys updated.

Jolly bakings and all the best,

Zita

isand66's picture
isand66

Hi Zita....I'm so happy to see that your dream is coming true.  I can feel your passion and enthusiasm 1000's of miles away and it really shows in your awesome German rolls and Curry rolls.  I've made the German rolls myself and I love how they come out.  Were you able to get a hold of some 00 type flour or did you use something else?

Anyway, so glad you are well on your way to opening your bakery and I look forward to hearing more about it.

Regards,
Ian

isand66's picture
isand66

Hi Zita....I'm so happy to see that your dream is coming true.  I can feel your passion and enthusiasm 1000's of miles away and it really shows in your awesome German rolls and Curry rolls.  I've made the German rolls myself and I love how they come out.  Were you able to get a hold of some 00 type flour or did you use something else?

Anyway, so glad you are well on your way to opening your bakery and I look forward to hearing more about it.

Regards,
Ian

bakingbadly's picture
bakingbadly

:) Hey Ian, good to read from you!

For the rolls displayed I used Typo 00 Italian flour. However, in a few days I'll receive a package of Type 405 flour from a local supplier, imported from Germany. (We're the only bakery to request for this type of flour in Cambodia.) I'm looking forward to testing this flour, and hopefully it produces similar results.

Anyway, thank you for the kind words. It's much appreciated.

Jolly bakings,

Zita

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

and before you know it you will be in business making a selling your breads etc.  Love the curry tolls by the way - love curry all by itself:-)  Happy baking and good luck with the bakery.

 

liv2learn's picture
liv2learn

Thank you for sharing it

bakingbadly's picture
bakingbadly

:) Thank you!

WendySusan's picture
WendySusan

but I too, have been using that same recipe for making Brötchen.  Married to a German for 30 years I have been assimilated!  I stumbled across the recipe and the video from the fellow in The Netherlands when I returned to baking after retirement last year.  I too use the Italian Tipo 00 flour which I can get locally.  I make them at least once a week.  I recently made them for an event at our Austrian club and was given the best compliment from a German chef who told me these were the best rolls he had eaten outside of Germany.  

I was just wonder what tweaks you made and if they were made due to the local climate conditions or just because being a baker you like to put your own mark on your work...kind of like I do even tho I'm just an amateur.

Any chance you have a recipe for Kurbiskorn Brötchen?  I'm going to start R&D'ing that shortly...they're my favorite.

All the best,

Wendy

bakingbadly's picture
bakingbadly

Hi Wendy,

I don't remember the exact details, but I recall adding medium rye flour (Type 1150), reducing the yeast amount, and extending the fermentation period of a portion of the dough to over 10 hours in the cooler, around 5 - 7C. These adjustments resulted in more flavourful, aromatic bread rolls.

I don't have a recipe for the Kurbiskorn Brötchen but Fotomat posted one earlier today (see below). It may interest you, so check it out!

Best wishes and jolly bakings,

Zita

fotomat1's picture
fotomat1

Kurbiskorn Brötchen


Ingredients
2 (1/4 oz) packages of active dry yeast
1 TB sugar
1 cup warm water (must be between 105-115° F to activate & not kill the yeast)
1½ cups light rye flour
1 cup warm low-fat buttermilk (105-115° F - see above)
2 ts salt
½ cup steel-cut or regular old-fashioned oatmeal
½ Soya Granules (available from whole-food markets)
1½ cups whole wheat flour
3-3½ cups bread flour
½ cup sunflower seeds, unroasted and unsalted
1½ cups of pumpkin seeds, unroasted and unsalted
2 TB whole flax seeds
½ cup very hot water
Soy flour, for dusting

Instructions

1.     Place the sunflower seeds and ½ cup of the pumpkin seeds in a coffee grinder or food processor and pulse until seeds are about half the original size.2.     Combine chopped seeds and whole flax seeds in a bowl and pour ½ cup of very hot water over them.  Let set for a couple of hours until most of the water is absorbed.3.     In a large bowl, whisk the sugar in 1 cup warm water until the sugar is dissolved.  Sprinkle the yeast over the water and sugar mixture and let set about five minutes, until foamy (this indicates that the yeast is active…if no foam, the yeast is bad).4.     Blend in ¾ cup of the rye flour, cover with a clean dry cloth, then set in a warm spot for 20-25 minutes until mixture is light and spongy.5.     Heat the buttermilk in the microwave on high power for 1 minute, then by 30-second intervals, stirring often, until the correct temperature is reached.6.     Stir down the sponge, mix in the warm buttermilk, salt, oatmeal and soya granules.7.     Stir in the remaining rye flour, the whole wheat flour and enough of the bread flour to make the dough manageable.8.     Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead hard for 5 minutes.  If you have a heavy-duty electric mixer with a hook attachment, knead at speed 2 for 5 minutes (and thank your lucky stars because this recipe is going to be a lot easier!).9.     Shape the dough into a ball and place in a well-oiled bowl, turning once to oil the top surface of the ball.  Cover with a clean cloth and allow to rise in a warm dry spot, away from drafts, for about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.10.  Punch down the dough.  It should be moist and tacky.11.  Turn the dough onto a well-oiled surface (a large, hard cutting board works well) and with oiled hands, knead the dough for 5 minutes.  Knead in small amounts of bread flour if the dough is too sticky to manage, but avoid too much flour as it will make the rolls tough and dry.12.  At the end of kneading, lift the dough and sprinkle the board with ¼ cup of bread flour.  Flatten the dough into a large oval.  Drain any remaining water from the seed mixture and spread seeds over the dough.13.  With well-floured hands, gather up the edges of the dough into a bundle and gently knead the seeds into the dough, distributing them as evenly as possible.  Use additional bread flour if needed to manage dough, but keep it as moist as you can. 14.  Divide the dough in half.  Lightly sprinkle the bread board with soy flour, then using your hands, pat each half into a 6” X 10” rectangle.  Sprinkle the top side of the dough with flour, then use a sharp knife to cut each rectangle into 10 rolls.15.  Scatter remaining pumpkin seeds on a dinner plate.  Brush the tops of the rolls with water, then gently press each roll into the pumpkin seeds and return them to the bread board, pressing the seeds further into the dough with your hands.16.  Cover the rolls with a clean towel and let rest 10 to 15 minutes or until slightly risen and puffy.17.  Place the baking sheet on the center rack of the oven and pre-heat to 400° F.  Place an aluminum pie pan on the bottom rack and pre-heat it as well.18.  Use a spatula to transfer the rolls from the bread board to the pre-heated baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes, then drop 4 or 5 ice cubes into the aluminum pie plate and close the oven door immediately.  Bake for an additional 15 to 25 minutes or until rolls are golden brown.  The steam from the ice will give the rolls a crispy exterior.  Do not open the oven door during baking or the steam will escape.