Brötchen or Semmel are a german roll almost the consistency of french bread with a crispy hard outside and a soft fluffy inside. As I grew up, we got them as a treat every once in a while, and they com in a variety of types. But below is just the most basic version of this recipe.
My favorite type are with the poppy seeds on them which is easily done, just sprinkle them with whatever toppings you want after the egg wash before you bake them.
1 package of active dry yeast
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/ 45 degrees C)
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 cup bread flour (for if the dough looks too sticky)
Egg Wash right before baking:
1 egg white
1 tbsp. water
Making with out a bread machine:
In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the milk. Cover and let set in a warm place for 15 mins. or until the yeast is creamy.
Place 2 1/2 cups flour in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the yeast/milk mixture. Pour in the oil and stir until the flour is combined and a loose dough has formed. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in the remaining flour as in necessary to keep the dough from sticking. Knead until smooth and supple, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large 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.
Divide the dough into eight equal pieces and form into oval rolls. Place the rolls on a baking stone which works best or a cookie sheet and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a small bowl, beat together egg white with 1 tsp. water until foamy. Brush the risen rolls with the egg wash and bake in preheated over fro 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
With a Bread Machine:
Always start with the liquid ingredients first: add the Milk and Oil. If you are using a bread machine, then you don’t need to heat the milk because the bread machine does that for you. Then add the Yeast, it is important that the yeast and the salt don’t touch because that will kill the yeast and your stuff won’t rise. Then add the sugar which feeds the yeast and then the flour and then the salt last, I then select the dough cycle on my bread machine. If it is kneading and seems to be too sticky you can always add more flour. Â After an hour and a half, take out the dough and follow these instructions.
I tend to make mine with a bread machine because it gives me a lot more flexibility.
Divide the dough into eight equal pieces and form into oval rolls. Place the rolls on a baking stone which works best or a cookie sheet and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes, but don’t cover with anything. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a small bowl, beat together egg white with 1 tsp. water until foamy. Brush the risen rolls with the egg wash and bake in preheated over fro 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
Place a tray of ice cubes on the bottom of the oven to create a nice steam in the oven, and only cook these on the bottom rack. Follow this method and it will be the closest you will get to real brotchen without going to Germany.
You can technically make any shape you want. Grant and I like to eat these for breakfast with butter, nutella, or Jams or for lunch with Sandwiches stuff.
You can also freeze the dough. I would make the dough in the bread maker, then shape them how I want them and then put them in freezer bags and straight into the freezer. Then if Grant and I want to eat them for lunch for instance, I leave them to thaw/rise when I wake up until lunch time. Then bake them for around 15 to 20 minutes and they are perfect.
I hope you enjoy!!!!
If you want to try a store bought version go HERE, and you can see a Broetchen you can buy at the store.