If you can't travel to Germany right now like me, these Weizenbrötchen, classic German rolls, will take you back immediately, minus the plane ride and jetlag.
What I always miss the most about Germany (yes yes... my family of course has to be mentioned here as well) is Frühstück or German breakfast. Not so much anymore. Ever since I discovered how to make my own, authentic German breakfast rolls, I feel less homesick and just a little closer to home despite the five thousand mile distance.
You can make these ahead and freeze them, then simply sit them out to thaw before baking them, to save some time and prep work in the morning.
How I like these the most is with a nice, hearty German breakfast, aka sliced meats and cheese, Leberwurst, Fleischsalat, some croissants and a light fruit salad with yogurt and müsli. My family in particular is also crazy about all the veggie toppings like fresh sliced cucumbers, fresh sliced tomatoes, radishes, cress and what absolutely cannot be missing is the 7 minute Frühstücksei. To make some, carefully drop the cold eggs into boiling water using a large spoon, boil for 7 minutes and run cold water over them at the end to stop the cooking process. Serve in egg holders and eat by cutting open with a knife and spooning out the inside. I like to put mine on a buttered Brötchen and add some ham, tomato and whatever else looks good. Lecker!
So if you're missing Germany like me, whether it be home to you or whether you just miss a lovely German Frühstück, please do yourself a favor, and make these Brötchen. I promise it's a great temporary bandage for your homesickness aches. I feel you.
Brötchen: Classic German Breakfast Rolls
- Combine all ingredients for the poolish or pre-dough and allow to rest in a sealed bowl in your fridge for 48 to 72 hours. The volume should have at least doubled and the dough should be nice and bubbly.
- Combine the warm water and cold milk and knead in the other ingredients on the lowest setting for 5 minutes, then increase to the second setting for another 8 minutes. Cover the bowl and let rise for one hour, folding the dough on a floured work surface 30 minutes in.
- Knead the dough for a couple of minutes and shape 8 dough balls of about 90 grams (3.14 ounces) each. Place seam side up on a baker's linen or a piece of parchment paper and cover with the linen or a clean towel. Allow to rest another 45 minutes.
- Place the dough balls on parchment paper, seam side down. If you would like to bake coupled rolls like I did, place them on the parchment paper in pairs with the dough balls touching.
- Spray or brush on hot water, then cut straight down about a half inch into each roll (or pair of rolls). Bake in a preheated oven at 230 degrees Celsius or 445 degrees Fahrenheit (place an oven-safe bowl full of hot water on the bottom rack while preheating to create steam). 10 minutes into baking, open the oven door wide to release steam and during the last 5 minutes of baking, crack open the oven door to achieve a thin, golden crust.
- I didn't do this, but if you want a shiny crust, spray once again with hot water immediately after baking and then transfer to a cooling rack. Guten Appetit!