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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!