Bread Rolls

So, you know the really super cheap and tasteless bread rolls you can buy in the grocery store in the US? I would literally pay like $10 for a bag of 8 of those here. Germans are very particular about their bread. It should be crusty, heavy and filled with fiber. So, when you are looking for buns for a burger or pulled pork sandwiches, your options are German crusty bread (which on it’s own is FANTASTIC) or really not so fantastic “American XXL Burger Buns” which will make you not happy. They can be dressed up with a little butter and a few minutes on the grill, but when I had these buns the first time I realized by bun buying days were over. It’s almost like a Florence & the Machine song…but not quite.

We had these the first time when we had pulled pork with Eva (my spectacular German sister-in-law) and her boyfriend Frank. It was one of those times where I instantly said “OMG I need the recipe!!” He responded that it was easy to make them and gave me a printout of the recipe. At the time (over a year ago) my German was less awesome than it is today and this “easy” recipe looked like a marathon to me…just for fun here is the picture of the paper of the picture of the piece of paper 🙂

I can in fact say that now that I have done this a time or twelve (and of course had Alex verify that what I thought the recipe said it really did in fact say) it is actually not too hard. And by not too hard I mean if you have time, you will never buy buns at the store ever again. That being said…I do still but the American XXL buns on occasion! I also should give the qualification that if I can do this as a baking challenged person, you can too!

Here are our ingredients…
Butter, All purpose (or Type 405) flour, Dry yeast, Milk, an Egg, Sugar and Salt

This recipe is designed for those who have a stand mixer. I think you could certainly do all the kneading by hand, but it would be a workout as it needs to be kneaded for awhile!

First, take all your dry ingredients and add them to your mixer bowl.

Stir them up until blended, and then add a combination of the egg & milk, and then separately the melted butter. I try to keep the butter & milk / egg mixture separated in order to not scramble my eggs as no one wants scrambled egg buns. Gross.

I have a US Kitchen Aid stand mixer (connected to a power converter) that I use with the kneading attachment. For 3 minutes (and I highly recommend using a timer…baking is after all a science and not an art!) use the “Stir” speed to get is started. By the end of the 3 minutes your dough will be mixed and will cling to the kneading attachment. Your mixer will start to sound as though it is punching the crap out of someone…and this is good 🙂 If there is a bunch of dry stuff at the bottom, add a bit of milk. If the dough is really wet, add some flour. You want it to look like this…

After the 3 minutes have elapsed, turn the mixer up on speed and then set your timer for 5 minutes. let the mixer beat up that dough for that 5 minutes. During this time, residents in your house are permitted to scream their conversations at one another as ladies and gents, it gets a bit loud!

Once your dough is well pummeled and all, you need to let it rise for between 45 minutes and an hour in a warm and still place. I usually stick my dough in the oven with a towel over it. In the winter I will just barely turn the oven on so it is a bit warmer than the house. Here is our dough pre-rise…

Once the dough has risen, you will start to form your rolls. A kitchen scale comes in very handy here…as the dough ingredients weigh in total 880 grams, so to get 10 rolls you need to have each section you pull off weigh around 88 grams. We have also made bigger ones for bigger burgers, so it is all in what size of roll you want. The pictures here are all of making 10 from this amount of the ingredients.

If you have a burger press, it is great to use to form nice buns. We have a Weber one, and I will use the 1/4 lb. side to form the buns up.

Put them on a cookie sheet / oven pan with a piece of parchment paper. Cover them with plastic wrap once you are done with the sheet so they do not dry out and let then rise about 15 minutes again for putting them in the oven. When making 2 batches at a time, I was able to put the first batch in the oven when finishing forming the first batch.

Bake for around 15 minutes, or until they look browned a bit on the top. YUM!

Bread Rolls

Ingredients :
500 g Type 405 Flour (3 to 3.5 cups All purpose flour)
10 g (just under 2 tsp) Salt
1 package Dry Active Yeast
30 g (just under 2 Tblsp) Sugar
1 Egg
240-250 ml Milk (around 1 cup)
40 g (just over 2 Tblsp) Butter, melted

Instructions :
Set up your stand mixer with the kneading attachment. Mix all dry ingredients in a stand mixer bowl. Mix the milk & egg, and melt the butter. Add the egg / milk & butter to the mixer bowl and mix on the “stir” speed exactly 3 minutes. Then increase the speed by one level, and continue to knead for exactly 5 more minutes. Cover and place in a warm, draft free place for 1 hour and allow the dough to rise. When risen, divide the dough evenly into 10 88 gram pieces. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celcius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Form into burger sized patties, and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 15 more minutes. Bake buns for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool, and then enjoy!

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