Prep 3 hrs
Cook 15 mins
When we lived in Germany several years ago, I became hooked on Brotchen, fresh from the Bakkerie. I have been searching for a recipe that duplicates that crisp-on-the-outside, melt-in-your-mouth middle ever since. I haven't tried this one, yet, but it certainly reads like it will fill the bill! Those of you who have never experienced Brotchen, keep in mind that it is best eaten soon after baking. Within several hours, it becomes very dry and hard. But when fresh, it is magnificent! Prep time is an estimate.
- 2 packets active dry yeast
- 2 1⁄2 cups warm water (105-115 degrees)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 6 -7 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, divided
- 3 egg whites, stiffly beaten
- 1 egg white, beaten with
- 1 tablespoon cold milk
- poppy seeds or caraway seeds or sesame seeds (optional)
- coarse salt (optional)
- 1 cup ice cube
- Dissolve yeast in water, in large mixer bowl.
- Using dough hook, blend in shortening, sugar, salt and 3 cups of flour, and beat vigorously for 2 minutes.
- Fold in 3 stiffly beaten egg whites.
- Gradually blend in remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes, adding more flour as needed to form a smooth, elastic dough, with surface blisters beginning to develop.
- Place into a large warm, oiled bowl, turn to oil all sides of dough.
- Cover with clean tea towel and let rise 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- Turn onto lightly oiled surface.
- Divide into 24 equal pieces and shape into 3-1/2 inch ovals.
- Place on greased baking sheet and flatten slightly.
- Cover with clean towel and let rise about 45 minutes.
- About 15 minutes before end of rising time, turn rolls over.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees and put an empty shallow pan on the lower shelf.
- Lightly brush brotchen with a mix 1 egg white beaten with milk, and sprinkle with seeds or salt.
- Put ice cubes in the hot pan in lower oven and immediately set pan of brotchen in oven.
- Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden.
- Internal roll temperature should be 190 degrees.
- Transfer to cooling racks.
- If your oven won't hold this number of rolls, shape 1/2 the rolls and let rise, and halfway through the rising time, shape the rest of the dough.
- Bake in two batches.
This did not work well for me at all. I tend to make artisinal breads and am usually careful of what I do. The texture of these was somewhat cottony, very little flavor. They looked nice though. I don't think there was enough salt (and that may be a problem since I used the metric conversions which came to 10gm, I think). It would have been better with double that. The amount of yeast was about 3 times more than I would normally use to leaven this much flour, so the dough rose far too fast (even though I tried retarding it in the fridge). The dough also seemed a bit too wet - it never did clear the sides in the mixer. I was OK with it, but it was pretty hard to work with. I don't get why the eggs should be beaten - I understand why they are there, but beating them seemed like an unnecessary step. I can't judge that accurately, since I have never tried any other way. All in all, these are a failure for me.