Brötchen {Classic German Breakfast Rolls}

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Cook time:
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Serves: 8
A word about scooping flour. I really recommend using a scale when working from this cookbook. My measuring cups at home, when simply scooped and leveled, yield about 140 grams of flour, far more than 125 grams allotted per cup here. If I were to rely on them instead of scale, I’d have almost 100 grams more flour than intended. If you hate using a scale we can still be friends, but do yourself a favor and see if a friend has one so you can do a test scoop to see how much flour your measuring cups yield before starting out with a recipe.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups, scooped & leveled (500 grams) flour, plus more for kneading (please read headnote)
  • ½ teaspoon (2 grams) instant dry yeast (10 grams if using fresh yeast, according to the recipe)
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons fine sea salt (7 grams)
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (150 ml) milk
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (150 ml) warm tap water
  • 2 handfuls of ice cubes, for baking

Instructions

  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. Add the flour, yeast, and salt to deep bowl. Whisk to combine.
  3. Reserve 1 tablespoon of milk in the fridge. Add the remaining milk and the water to the bowl with the flour. Stir together until it forms a shaggy ball.
  4. Generously flour a counter or other work surface. Scrape the dough out onto it. Knead until the dough is smooth, and no longer sticky.
  5. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover tightly with plastic film, and set in a warm spot until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  6. Gently deflate the dough, by pressing down with your fingertips or knuckles. Divide it into 8 equal portions. Shape into oval rolls, 3 ½-inches long & 2-inches wide (9-cm x 5-cm). Position the rolls 3-inches 8-cm) apart on the prepared baking sheet. Cover with plastic film, and set in the fridge overnight.
  7. When ready to bake in the morning, remove the rolls from the fridge.
  8. Place a rimmed, empty roasting pan on the lowest rack in your oven. Set another rack to the center position above the pan. Preheat the oven to 450ºF (230ºC).
  9. Once the rolls have been out for 20 to 30 minutes, brush the tops with the reserved tablespoon of milk. Using a sharp knife to make ¾-inch (2-cm) deep slashes across the top, lengthwise.
  10. Add the ice cubes to the pan, and immediately slide the tray if rolls into the oven.
  11. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until the rolls are golden and hollow sounding when tapped with the back of your knuckle. Let cool slightly on a wire rack before serving.