German Kaiser Rolls/Brötchen

The sun came after days of rain and clouds.  Mood was good.  Since I will perform usher service and need to standby at 4.45pm, I don’t want to go out far but stay home and try making German Kaiser rolls.  Or just call it brötchen, means small bread or rolls.  It is eaten typically during breakfast and keeps fresh only the day it is baked.   It comes the plain version, with poppy seed or sesame toppings.  Butter, marmalade and cream cheese are good complement to the fresh and soft rolls.  Additions of ham, tomato and lettace make it a light lunch.

Angel lived some years in Germany.  And I, less than 1 year.  We both like German bread.  She even said it’s the best bread in the world.  I agree.  It’s chewy, full of fragrance, has over 300 kinds of bread and can be kept fresh for days (except Kaiser rolls).  A very close friend is a German living in Italy.   Most Italian bread must be eaten within the day it is baked and becomes old the next day.  Most likely, it ends up in the trash or is used for making meat balls.  When I visit him and if we stay home most of the day, I make bread.  But chances of staying home is scarce.  So, today, a good chance to try his homeland bread.  I may make it next time but must bring along the key ingredients. 

I used French bread flour (90%), rye flour (10%), instant yeast (1.6%), butter (2%), salt (2%) and water (62%) to make it.  The percentage denotes the portion to the total weight of flour.  In this case, 250g split into French bread flour and rye flour.

It was first kneaded for 2 minutes.  Then it was left alone for 20 minutes.  During the time, the dough will develop gluten.  It shortens the kneading time.  Then the kneading was resumed at low speed for 2 minutes, followed by medium speed for 7 minutes.  When the dough is stretched, a transparent pane can be seen.

Shape it round to go through 2 stages of fermentation.  The first lasted for 35 minutes and the second 20 minutes.  Then the dough was divided into 5 parts.  Each weighed slightly more than 80g.  Let it rest for 10 minutes.  Then shape them into a ball.  Brush extra virgin olive oil on top.  I used two special stamps to get the nice patterns.  Press the stamp on the dough till it is quite flat.  To make sure the crack will stay, I used a bread cutter to deepen the it.  Then the dough was inverted onto a bed of sweet ground almond or poppy seeds.  Proof it for 45 minutes.  They grew big.  Gaps between shrank to minimal.

Spray the oven with water to create steam.  Bake at 240C between 12 and 15 minutes.  Cool the rolls on a wired stand for 10 minutes.  Guten Appetit!  I had one and fennel orange avocado salad in lime dressing.  Supreme!

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