BRÖTCHEN | DDR Brötchen GERMANY small bread rolls

Ostalgie, the nostalgic trend for the humdrum German Democratic Republic, has brought with it a yearning for the simple traditional food once served in the cafes and canteens of Berlin, Leipzig and other East German cities. These breakfast rolls were soft and salty, and were made more often than not with margarine and whey.

Pre-ferment

  • 250 g white wheat flour, t405 / t550, warmed
  • 250 ml milk, full-fat / whey, warmed to 38ºC
  • 20 g yeast

Dissolve yeast in a little of the milk or whey. In a large bowl stir remaining milk or whey into the flour with the yeast mixture. Rest overnight at room temperature.

Second Dough

250 g white wheat flour, t405 / t550
75 g sugar
25 g butter / lard / margarine
15 g salt
5 g barley / wheat malt
Milk, for brushing

Sieve flour into a large bowl, add salt and sugar, incorporate the butter, lard or margarine, then add the pre-ferment. Knead into a soft smooth dough, about 10 minutes. Cover and leave to rise until doubled in size, about an hour. Degas, leave for an hour, cut into 12 pieces (roughly 65 g each), shape into balls, arrange on baking trays. Cover. Preheat oven to 220°C. When they have risen, brush lightly with milk. Place a tray of hot water in the bottom of the oven. Bake for 15 minutes.