These small crisp bread rolls with a crunchy crust and a soft tender crumb, also known as Weizenbrötchen, or Semmel in German, are the classic German hard rolls. They are eaten frequently for breakfast, or with cold cuts as lunch in Germany. An overnight poolish starter lends a nuttier flavour to bread and the shiny brown crisp crust brought about by the steam created by placing a pot of hot water at the bottom of your oven. You can always freeze them and re-crisp in a 150C/300F oven for 10-12 minutes.
Weizenbrötchen - German Hard Rolls with Poolishadapted from Plötz Blog
- Combine together the poolish ingredients in a mixing bowl. Leave it, covered, at room temperature for 16-20 hours.
- Mix the starter, bread flour, water and fresh yeast at low speed for 3 minutes, then increase the speed and mix for 5 more minutes. Add in salt, sugar, and olive oil and continue to knead for another 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and form into a round ball. Cover with a clean kitchen towel. Set aside for an hour. Stretch and fold the dough after 30 minutes. Knead the dough thoroughly and divide it into 5 large or 8 small portions. Shape each portion into an oval and place them on the parchment paper lined baking tray. Cover and prove for an hour.
- Place a roasting tray at the bottom of the oven. Preheat the oven to 230C/450F. Score the rolls and place in the hot oven. Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the roasting tray. Bake 20-25 minutes until they are nicely golden brown and crisp.