Brotchen -Traditional German Bread Rolls

Total Time
3hrs 20mins
Prep 3 hrs
Cook 20 mins

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.........

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let sit until creamy; about 10 minutes.
  2. 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.
  3. Turn onto a floured surface. Knead, adding more flour as necessary, for 8 to 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic with bubbles.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
Most Helpful

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.

Sweet on Sweets December 29, 2009

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]

Sydney Mike June 01, 2008

This recipe is the BEST Brotchen recipe I've made. I did do one extra rise and punch down and think that made for a lighter, fluffier inside. Still had that wonderful crunchy crust that I've always loved in German Brotchen. Other than that extra rise I followed the recipe as written and will be doing it again. Highly recommend

Bonnie G #2 July 10, 2016