German Brotchen or Brötchen (Semmeln) in German are without exaggerating the best! Everyone who has visited Germany knows that these rolls are super delicious. They are part of every good German breakfast and, of course, they need to be fresh. A fresh Broetchen is slightly crunchy and never soft. How to keep Brötchen fresh? Please don’t keep them in plastic bags.
Recommended is a wooden box or paper bags. In Germany there are special bread boxes or clay pots made out of ceramic or wood where you would keep your bread or rolls. These pots prevent that the bread gets stale fast and it won’t dry out, or get soft like it does in plastic bags (see containers at the bottom of the recipe). Happy Baking!
Starter Dough (Vorteig)
150 g wheat flour (1050) – US High Gluten Flour
135 ml warm water
10 g fresh yeast or 1 package dry yeast
350 g wheat flour (550) – US All Purpose Flour
140 ml water, as needed
10 g salt
20 g pork grease (Schmalz) or butter
1/2 tbsp Honey or 20 g sugar
– Make the starter dough by mixing all starter ingredients.
– Dissolve yeast in water, then knead until you get a smooth dough.
– Knead for 5 minutes.
– Let raise for 30 min.
– Add all remaining ingredients to the dough.
– With the mixer and kneading hooks knead for 10 minutes. You want the dough stretchy and smooth.
– Let raise for 20 minutes.
– Make about 50 pieces out of the dough and roll them to balls (See the video).
– Place them on a baking tray layered with parchment paper or sprinkle baking tray with flour>
– Cover with a kitchen cloth.
– After 15 minutes remove cover and dust a layer rye flour on top, with a knife make a cut in the middle.
– Place rolls on a greased baking tray (or layered with parchment paper, cover with kitchen cloth.
– Let them raise 35 min or until you see a visible change in volume.
– Spray the buns with water until they are shiny, the baking tray should be wet too.
– Add sesame seeds, poppy seeds, caraway seeds or a mix of your favorite bun topping. Even coarse salt is great.
– Bake in pre-heated oven on 210 C or 400 F for 20 minutes. If you use a convection oven temperature is 370 F.
Form the Brötchen as we do in Germany – It’s called “Rundschleifen”. That’s the secret to make round Brötchen!