When I was living & working in Germany, I would go out every morning for breakfast, & every morning I would eat these little babies! This is a traditional recipe for Brotchen. If you like light, fluffy bread rolls DON'T try these! Brotchen are crusty on the outside but are chewy & quite dense on the inside.........
- In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let sit until creamy; about 10 minutes.
- Mix in shortening, salt and 3 cups of the flour. Beat with dough whisk or heavy spoon for 2 minutes. Fold in egg whites. Gradually add flour 1/4 cup at a time, until dough forms a mass and begins to pull away from bowl.
- Turn onto a floured surface. Knead, adding more flour as necessary, for 8 to 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic with bubbles.
- Lightly oil a large mixing bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Deflate the dough, form into a round and let rise again until doubled, about 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 24 equal pieces and form into oval rolls about 3 1/2 inches long. Place on lightly greased baking sheets, cover and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes.
- Place an empty baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven. In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg white with the 2 tablespoons of milk to make the egg wash. Lightly brush the risen rolls with the egg wash. Place 1 cup of ice cubes on the hot baking sheet in the oven and immediately place the rolls in the oven.
- Bake at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) for about 20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Remove to a wire rack and cool.
This recipe is absolutely wonderful, you will not be disappointed. The rolls keep well. To create a crisp crust on the outside, I fill a glass with ice and cold water (more ice than water) and then throw it on the oven floor (I have a hidden element) after putting the rolls on my stone. About half way through cooking time, I turn the bunch around and lightly mist with a little more water.
Was going to cut this recipe in half, then didn't, 'cause I wanted to freeze some to see how they do, & also gave 8 to some wonderful neighbors of mine! WONDERFUL BREAD all the way around! So unlike the 'Wonder Bread' of my childhood (That's a GOOD thing!) & a great chew-treat! Thanks for sharing! [Made & reviewed whil touring Germany during Zaar's World Tour 4]