Those bread rolls, known in Germany as Brötchen, are crunchy, richly golden brown rolls with a soft interior, and flavourful thanks to an overnight sponge. Serve them warm with jam or/and butter for the breakfast or with a bowl of piping hot soup as dinner. You can always freeze them and re-crisp in the 150C/300F oven.
- Combine together the flour, water and yeast in a mixing bowl. Cover and leave the starter at room temperature for 16-20 hours.
- Whisk together the water and fresh yeast in the bowl of your stand mixer. Add in the rest of ingredients together with the sponge. Mix until a soft, smooth dough forms.
- Shape the dough into a ball and return it to the mixing bowl. Sprinkle a bit of flour over the top of dough. This will keep the dough from sticking. Cover with a plastic and set aside for 90 minutes to rise.
- When the dough has doubled in bulk, turn it out on a lightly floured work surface. Lightly press down the dough and shape into a long roll. Cut the roll into 12 - 15 pieces. Take each piece of dough and form into a round or oval shaped roll.
- Place rolls on the baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Cover and let rise until double, about an hour. Preheat oven to 230C/450F and place an old baking pan on the bottom rack. Slash a 1/4-inch/5-mm deep cut across the top of each roll.
- Place rolls in the oven on the next shelf up, pour 1 cup of water into the old baking pan and close the door quickly. Turn oven down to 220C/425F and bake for 20-25 minutes until they're richly brown. Remove them from the oven, and cool on a wire rack.