The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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fenchel2c's picture

Does anyone have a recipe for German brötchen?  These are breakfast rolls usually made in 3 to 3 1/2 inch ovals.  They have a hard crust and a soft chewy inside.  I prefer white over whole wheat for this roll.  I am especially interested in knowing which of the flours available in the USA come closest to the German flour used.

ehanner's picture

A recent discussion of Dan Lepard's Black Pepper Rye got me interested in this bread. There are enough interesting aspects of this mix and method I had to try it. I followed the steps outlined in Dan's blog and carefully examined the detailed photos he provided. The process calls for boiling coffee with half the rye, pepper and the seeds. I watched carefully as bubbles started to erupt off the bottom of the pan. I thought surely it isn't actually boiling, I'll let it go just a little longer. Be forewarned, when the bubbles start to surface, stop whisking and pour the rye mix into a waiting bowl for cooling. I waited and ended up having to add an additional 1/4 C of water. Next time I'll be quicker. If you click on the link below, it will take you to the recipe page and more important the method with images that will be all you need to make this terrific bread.

As you can see the crust is loaded with Poppy Seeds and it smells wonderful coming out of the oven.

The crumb is somewhat dense as expected with a 30% rye. It is moist and has a nice pepper and fennel flavor. It's a very full flavor, I would say exotic wholesome. My wife and teen daughter are ecstatic about the flavor. The after taste stays with you like nothing I have ever tasted. This is a keeper. There are lots of variations I can think of that might be fun exploring with the base concept. This is the first loaf I have made in a long while that makes you want to keep eating it. Really, what a flavor!

I don't own any of Dan Lepards books yet but, after baking this bread and seeing how hands on he is with his blog, helping his followers, I'm ordering a copy of "The Handmade Loaf"  today. Thanks Dan!


Jw's picture

For some reason my starter takes way too long for the second rise and I underestimate the time it takes to get a 'solid bread'. Solid I got this time.. brick (on the left). Don't know why I did not see that coming, didn't see the signs. I thought/hoped the oven would do wonders. From last time I learned to always make different kinds of bread, it increases my changes on a good result. See the improved starfish bread! (and the originator of the idea)

The rest of the breads are universal rustics, with walnuts. Only the starter stayed one night in fridge, then baked it at the end of the next day. In the first bread, I tried the get an A. The W is not just my name (Willem), I tried to get the Wordpress logo into a breadform (semi succesfull). Taste was great, six breads were gone in 2 hours after baking (party at our house..some 15 'kids'/young adults). For that I thought it wise not to experiment with new things.

Wish I had more time for baking and TFL...Happy baking!


turosdolci's picture

A traditional cake/bread made at Christmas time, panettone was created in the Lombardy region and it is the undisputable holiday favorite. Scholars have traced panettone back to the middle ages. The dome shaped sweet bread is traditionally made with candied fruits, raisins and flavored with liquors. Today you can find it with chocolate chips and other ingredients. It is less like a cake then light fluffy sweet bread. The use of natural yeast results in the dough that rises slowly. The rising time can be as long as 48 hours. The long leavening contributes to the long shelf life, which can be as long as 6 months. Italian bakers take pride in the age of their leavening and some are maintained over many years.


Floydm's picture

We started the day with Sourdough English Muffins.

After lunch I made my first batch of Anis Bouabsa's baguettes.

I hurried things a bit, only giving them about 16 hours in the fridge, probably not letting them rise quite enough before putting them in the oven, and slicing them while still hot.  Nevertheless, they were quite good.  I definitely want to try this again. 

Finally I made a sourdough miche using the technique crumb bum introduced a couple of years ago.

I've not cracked this one open yet.  I'm looking forward to it.

Actually this wasn't the end of the baking, because I also made corn bread muffins to go with the pot of green tomato chili I made, which was awesome.  Followed up by some of the remaining birthday cake Dorota made.  It is a pity that baking season comes at a different time than prime bicycling season here, because after a day like today I could certainly use the exercise!

SylviaH's picture

Getting ready for some Italian hoagies!  This is the recipe from the King Arthur bread recipes site type in scali bread in the recipes search box.  I hand mixed and did stretch and folds.  After my biga or starter they call it 'which can also be made with a 'biga naturale' for a little more was ready from a long night in my cool bathroom..this morning the starter looked perfect and I cut it up into the room temperature water, mixed it real good to start it dissolving added the olive oil and about a 1/4 cup flour from the pre measured flour.  In a separate bowl I wisked my all the rest of my dry ingredients..If you use the King Arthur Dry Milk powder..which I sure and push it through a sieve..because it does not dissolve easily and can make lumps in your crumb if it's not sifted and mixed in good with the dry ingredients.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix till moist and let it autolyse for about 40-50 minutes then I did 3 stretch and folds about 40-50 min. apart..until I had a good gluten formation.  Pre-shaped them and rested about 5 min. and shaped them into rolls..I had a double batch..let them rise till very puffy..washed them with egg white and water, sprinkled with a few sesame seeds and washed them again.  Baked in a pre heated 450°F convection oven on parchment lined trays for exactyly 20 mins.  No need to steam them.

Crumb shot....these are my favorite italian sandwich rolls.



JeremyCherfas's picture

Dan Lepard had a great recipe in The Guardian magazine back on 19 September 2009. I don't recall anyone here posting about it, but when I tried it I encountered a problem. Nothing insurmountable, though, thanks to Dan's forum.

Anyway, I wrote about it in detail at my blog. I'm putting this here in case anyone else comes looking.

And here's the warning: be very careful not to overheat the initial mixture of rye and coffee.

Happy baking


hansjoakim's picture

Jan Hedh, the Swedish bread, pastry and chocolate master, has recently put out his second bread book; the new one is titled "Bröd & kaffebröd" ("Bread and pastries"). I've just picked it up, and baked the first loaf from that book this weekend. It's an inspiring book, written in a style similar to his first bread book, but this one's filled with even more gorgeous photos. Hedh is passionate about bread, and provides detailed recipes for several European style hearth loaves and for breakfast pastries (mostly croissant, Danish and sweet dough oriented stuff).

I decided to try his "country bread from Bayern" first, mostly because of the lovely photo of it in his book :) Hedh doesn't provide any bakers %, so I used a spreadsheet to get the figures. I decided to adjust the recipe a bit (it looked awfully dry, and slightly heavy on caraway seeds), so I ended up with something like: 50% whole spelt flour, 20% whole rye, 30% AP flour. The original hydration was at approx. 62%, so I increased that to 70%. It could've been even higher, I think. I used approx. 1% caraway seeds, and put the whole rye flour in a rye sourdough. I baked it this morning together with some croissants and other pastries shaped from the croissant dough:

Bread and pastries

I think the loaf turned out alright - it rose nicely in the oven, and smelled deliciously of caraway and earthy wheat/spelt. The flavour is similar to that of a mostly whole-wheat bread, but the rye and caraway makes it a bit more exciting. Filling and delicious with hard cheese!

The mandatory crumbshot (I know people get upset if there's no shot of the crumb, so here you go!) reveals a pretty dense crumb, so next time I'll increase the hydration further and perhaps see what a poolish+rye sourdough can do to loosen it up a bit.
Bread and pastries

dmsnyder's picture

These breads were made with my recently activated San Francisco Sourdough starter from I used 100 gms of starter fed with a mix of AP, WW and Rye flours, 500 gms KAF Sir Lancelot flour, 360 gms water, 10 gms salt. The formed loaves were cold retarded for about 14 hours.

The flavor is very nice. It is a little more sour than yesterday's San Joaquin Sourdough, as expected, but still only mildly sour. I'm hoping the distinctive SF SD flavor will develop over a few weeks. Stay tuned.


SylviaH's picture

I was going to make P. Reinhart's Italian loaves when  my husband said we were invited to Monday night football at a friends home and I was asked to bring the bread for the Italian sausage and peppers sandwiches.  So I thought since this batch of dough was already 'without milk' made up for today..I would use it for a little practice run and make it into rolls!  I was very pleased with the crumb and crust...just what I wanted plus some needed practice on shaping hoagies.  Mark from 'Back Home Bakery' has a great video showing how to shape hoagies..they are the pre shape for baguettes!  All mixing was by hand. 

Night Lights!

I just find this photo very relaxing..going into the abyss of the crumb! : ) 



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