"Kipfen - wecken - semmel - weggli - schrippe - feierabend brotchen - rundstuck" - these are all German words for the very common small, white round roll that you see in breakfast bread baskets in Germany and Austria. A lean dough and steam in the oven help create the special taste of the crisp roll, and an overnight sponge gives these rolls a deeper dimension.
If you are serving a brunch, these rolls can easily be ready in time. And you can always freeze them and re-crisp in the oven just before serving.
- 2 cups bread flour
- 1 1/3 cup cold tap water
- 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
- 5 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/3 cup water plus more, if needed
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- Mix the bread flour, cold water and 1/2 teaspoon yeast in a bowl until it is smooth and lump-free.
- Cover with plastic wrap or plate (not airtight) and let this mix sit on the counter overnight.
- The next day, or 8 to 24 hours later, mix the sponge (the flour and yeast mixture) with 5 cups of flour, 1 1/3 cups water and 1 teaspoon yeast.
- Knead for 8 minutes, preferably with a stand mixer.
- Add up to another half cup of flour until the dough clears the bowl -- meaning it doesn't stick to the sides much.
- Sprinkle the salt over the dough and mix for 4 more minutes You can decrease the salt to 1 teaspoon if you wish.
- The consistency of the dough should be smooth but tacky. Adjust with water, a teaspoon at a time, or flour, a tablespoon at a time.
- Form the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl or dough doubler, turning once to coat.
- Place a damp towel or plastic wrap over the top.
- Let the dough ferment for 2 hours at room temperature, or until it has doubled in size.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and form it into a log.
- Cut 2-ounce pieces with a bench knife or spatula. This will make about 40 small rolls. If you want them a bit larger, cut 2 1/2- to 3-ounce pieces. If you have a scale handy, weigh a few to be sure.
- Let the pieces rest for a few minutes, then form them into balls or any other shape you like.
- Coat the balls in flour and place on parchment paper about 2 inches apart.
- Cover with a damp cloth and let them rise for another hour.
- Preheat the oven, preferably with an oven stone, to 450 F for 1 hour. Place an old pan on the bottom rack.
- Slash the rolls with a serrated knife or razor blade.
- Place the rolls in the oven on the next shelf up, directly on top of the stone if available or on a baking sheet if not.
- Pour 1 cup of water into the old baking pan and close the door quickly.
- Spray the sides of the oven with water two or three times in the first 5 minutes of baking using a regular spray bottle. Bake for 15 to 20 more minutes, turning the baking sheet if necessary for even browning.
- Cool the rolls on wire racks so that the bottoms don't get soggy.
- Serve immediately; rolls should be eaten warm and crispy. You can freeze and re-crisp in a hot oven if you are not eating them the same day they are baked. To transport to a brunch or potluck, wrap them in a towel or fabric napkin in a basket.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||1 g|
|Saturated Fat||0 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||0 g|
|Dietary Fiber||0 g|