Semmel Rolls- (Bavarian Bread Rolls)

Recipe by Brenda.
READY IN: 3hrs 10mins
YIELD: 12 Rolls




  • Measure 4 1/2 cups of flour into a mixer bowl.
  • Add the yeast, sugar, and salt. Stir to blend well.
  • Pour in the warm water and malt extract.
  • Mix for 1 minute with a flat paddle beater until a smooth and heavy batter forms.
  • Add the egg, egg white, and shortening.
  • Beat together until the mixture is smooth.
  • Switch to dough hook.
  • Add remaining flour if needed-- 1/4 cup at a time -- until the dough is on the softer side of firm. You want it to clear the side of the mixer bowl without sticking.
  • Knead the dough with dough hook for 8-10 minutes.
  • Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and set aside in a warm place until double in bulk, about 1 hour.
  • Uncover the bowl and punch down the dough with your fingers tips.
  • Cover the bowl and allow the dough to double in volume again, about 45 minutes.
  • Place the dough on work surface and loosely roll it into a 12-inch long cylinder.
  • With a sharp knife cut into 12 equal pieces and shape the pieces into smooth balls.
  • Cover loosely and allow to relax for 5 minutes.
  • Flatten each roll with your hand to about 1/2 inch thick.
  • Dust lightly with cornmeal.
  • With the handle of a wooden spoon or similar object, press a deep indentation into the top of each roll almost like you were using the side of your hand to split the rolls in 2 halves. Press firmly and deeply, almost to the bottom. As each roll is shaped, place it face down on a greased or parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Cover the rolls with a lint free towel or loose plastic wrap and let them rise an additional 40 minutes at room temperature. They will be slightly less than doubled.
  • In the meantime, prepare the oven by placing a pan on the bottom oven rack. Twenty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  • Five minutes before the rolls are to go into the oven, pour 1 cup of hot water in the pan to form steam and provide a moist environment for the rolls. Be sure to use Hot water.
  • Uncover the rolls, carefully turn them right side up, and spritz lightly with an atomizer of water.
  • Place the pan of rolls on the middle shelf of the hot oven.
  • After three minutes lightly spritz the oven walls with water.
  • Midway through the bake period turn the sheet around so that the rolls bake evenly. They are done when crispy brown all over, in about 20-25 minutes.
  • Remove the rolls from the oven and cool on cooling rack.