Category: Legendary Breads

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.


  • 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.

BRÖTCHEN | Zuckerbrötchen SWITZERLAND sugar bread rolls

Sugar buns? An indelicate description for these delightful breads.

  • 500 g zopf flour or 300 g strong white flour, 195 g white spelt flour, 5 g barley malt flour
  • 165 ml milk, full-fat, lukewarm
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 50 g butter, softened
  • 45 g vanilla sugar
  • 1 orange, zest
  • 1 lemon, zest
  • 45 g pistachios, chopped
  • 45 g currants
  • 20 g yeast
  • Saffron powder, pinch
  • Salt, large pinch


  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 45 g pearl sugar

Dissolve yeast and saffron in half the milk. Leave to froth. Sieve flours into a large bowl with salt and sugar. Work in the butter, add remaining milk, yeast mixture and egg. Fold in the zest. Knead into a smooth dough, about 15 minutes, cover and leave to rise for an hour. Add pistachios and sultanas, knead, leave for a second hour. Degas, divide into equal pieces, around 80 g each. Place on baking trays covered with greaseproof paper, leave to rise for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush buns with egg wash, sprinkle with pearl sugar. Bake for 25 minutes.

BRÖTCHEN | Zöpfliknoten SWITZERLAND honey-saffron semi-spelt milk bread rolls


  • 500 g zopf flour or 300 g strong white flour, 195 g white spelt flour, 5 g barley malt flour
  • 200 ml milk, full-fat, warmed to 38ºC
  • 80 g forest honey
  • 60 g butter, softened
  • 20 g yeast
  • 15 ml kirschwasser
  • 8 g salt
  • 5 g vanilla sugar


  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 15 ml milk, full-fat, warmed
  • Saffron, large pinch

Sieve flours into a large bowl, add salt and mix thoroughly. Combine yeast with the honey, sugar and 150 ml of the warmed milk. Add butter, kirsch, yeast mixture and remaining milk to the flour. Knead into a smooth dough, about 15 minutes. Cover and leave to rise for an hour. Warm the small amount of milk, infuse with saffron, leave to cool. Degas, leave for a second hour. Degas, divide into equal pieces, around 80 g each. Place on baking trays covered with greaseproof paper, leave to rise for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 220ºC. Add the beaten egg to the saffron milk, coat the buns in this mixture. Bake in the lower part of the oven for 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 200°C. Bake for 15 minutes.

BRÖTCHEN | Rosinenbrötchen SWITZERLAND raisin bread rolls

  • 400 g white wheat flour, t550
  • 225 ml milk, full-fat, warmed to 38ºC
  • 100 g raisins soaked in 200 ml rum overnight, drained
  • 100 g strong white flour
  • 75 g vanilla sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 45 g butter, soft
  • 20 g yeast
  • 5 g barley malt
  • 5 g salt
  • ½ tsp cardamom, ground
  • ½ tsp cinnamon, ground


  • 1 egg yolk
  • 15 ml milk

Sieve flours into a large bowl, add the barley malt, salt and spices, stir and leave. Dissolve yeast in the milk and sugar. Work the butter into the flour, add the yeast mixture and egg. Knead for 10 minutes into a smooth soft dough. Leave to rise for an hour, degas. Knead the raisins into the dough. Leave to rise for an hour, degas. Divide dough into 85 g pieces, shape into balls and place on a baking tray covered with greaseproof paper. Preheat oven to 200°C. Leave balls to rise for 50 minutes. Glaze and bake for 25 minutes.

BRÖTCHEN | Nüssbrötchen / Nussbrötli GERMANY SWITZERLAND milk bread rolls with nuts

In Germany these are nut balls made with egg whites, hazelnuts and sugar. And sometimes, as in Switzerland, they are milk bread rolls enriched with nuts, either hazelnuts or walnuts or a combination of both. We used pecan nuts in our recipe.

  • 500 g semi-white flour / white wheat flour, t550
  • 250 ml milk, full-fat, warmed to 38ºC
  • 90 g butter
  • 75 g hazelnuts, coarse ground
  • 75 g walnuts (pecan nuts), coarse ground
  • 30 g yeast
  • 15 g vanilla sugar
  • 5 g salt
  • Water

Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Dissolve yeast in milk and sugar, add to bowl and mix, add butter. Knead dough until it is no longer sticky. Work the nuts into the dough. Leave to rise for an hour, degas, repeat for a second hour. Divide into 95 g pieces, shape into balls, place on a greased baking tray, brush with water. Preheat oven to 200ºC, bake for 30 minutes.

BRÖTCHEN | Käse Brötchen SWITZERLAND cheese bread rolls

Once made as scones, with baking powder and butter, this is the bread version.

  • 500 g strong white flour
  • 300 ml milk, warmed to 38ºC
  • 150 g Gruyère, grated
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 25 g yeast
  • Salt, large pinch

Dissolve yeast in the milk. Add yeast mixture and half of the cheese to the flour and knead into a smooth dough, about 10 to 12 minutes. Leave to rise for an hour, degas and rise for a second hour. Shape into 80 g rolls, and leave to rise until double in size. Coat buns with egg yolk, sprinkle with remaining cheese. Preheat oven to 175°C. Bake for 30 minutes.

BRÖTCHEN | Kartoffel Baumnuss Brötchen SWITZERLAND potato and walnut bread rolls

  • 300 g semi-white wheat flour
  • 300 ml milk, full-fat, warmed to 38ºC
  • 250 g potatoes, boiled, peeled, mashed
  • 200 g strong white wheat flour
  • 200 g walnuts, chopped
  • 20 g yeast
  • 20 g vanilla sugar
  • 1 tsp barley malt flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Flour for finishing

Dissolve yeast and sugar in the milk. Combine flours and salt, add yeast mixture and knead into a smooth dough, about 15 minutes. Leave to rise for an hour, degas and rise for a second hour. Knead the potato into the dough, then the walnuts, using extra flour if the dough is too sticky. Leave to rise for 45 minutes. Shape into 90 g rolls, place on a greased tray and leave to rise. Preheat oven to 220ºC. Bake for 20 minutes

BRÖTCHEN | Hölzlibrötli SWITZERLAND spiralled milk bread rolls

  • 300 g white spelt flour, t630
  • 250 ml milk, full-fat, warmed to 38ºC
  • 100 g strong white wheat flour
  • 100 g whole spelt flour, t1050
  • 60 g butter, softened
  • 20 g yeast
  • 5 g salt
  • 1 long sprig marjoram, leaves removed, chopped small
  • 5 sage leaves, chopped small

Dissolve yeast in the milk. Mix flours, herbs and salt. Pour yeast mixture into the flour, add butter, knead into a smooth dough, about 15 minutes. Leave to rise for an hour, degas, rise for a second hour, degas again. Divide dough into 85 g pieces, roll into 35 cm sticks, twist into spirals, flatten, place on a greased baking tray, leave to rise for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 230°C. Bake for 10 minutes.

BRÖTCHEN | Gewürzzopf Brötchen SWITZERLAND spiced braid bread rolls

  • 500 g Zopf flour (or 200 g strong white wheat flour, 200 g white spelt flour, t630, 100 g white wheat flour, t550, large pinch of barley malt flour)
  • 225 ml milk, full-fat, warmed to 38ºC
  • 75 g yogurt
  • 60 g butter, softened
  • 20 g yeast
  • 15 g brown sugar
  • 7 g salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • ½ tsp cardamom, ground
  • ½ tsp cloves, ground
  • ½ tsp nutmeg, ground
  • ½ tsp turmeric


  • 1 egg yolk
  • 15 ml milk

Dissolve yeast in the milk and sugar. Mix the flours, salt and spices. Pour yeast mixture into the flour, add butter, knead into a rough dough. Gradually add the yoghurt, about 10 g at a time, working it into the dough to make it smooth. Leave to rise for an hour, degas, rise for a second hour, degas again. Divide dough into two pieces, roll out into 80 cm sticks. Braid. Cut into 85 g pieces, place on a greased baking tray, leave to rise for 30 minutes. Coat each piece with the egg-milk mixture. Preheat oven to 200ºC. Bake for 15 minutes.

BRÖTCHEN | Burli SWITZERLAND wheat bread rolls

Bürli dough after kneading

A popular bread in eastern Switzerland bürli are eaten with St Gallen bratwürst. Generally they are made with prepared flour called bürlimehl (wheat flour, wheat gluten, barley malt flour and acerola powder). Artisanal hand-made handbürli are preferred to maschinenbürli, the mass produced version.

Pre-ferment / Sourdough

  • 150 ml water
  • 75 g strong white wheat flour / white wheat flour, t550
  • 75 g white spelt flour, t630
  • 5 g yeast

Stir flours into water and yeast in a large bowl. Rest for 18 hours at room temperature.

Final Dough

  • 300 g sourdough
  • 175 g white wheat flour, t550, warmed
  • 100 ml water / milk, warmed to 38ºC
  • 50 g rye flour, warmed
  • 50 g wholewheat flour t1050, warmed
  • 20 g yeast
  • 10 g salt
  • 5 g barley malt flour
  • Warmed water for wash

Dissolve yeast in milk or water.

Work flours, malt, salt and yeast liquid into pre-ferment to make a soft elastic dough, about 20 minutes’ hard kneading.

Rest for three hours, degas after an hour.

Cut dough into 85 gram pieces, shape into rolls, lightly wash with warm water, make a deep cut on the top of each roll.

Place on floured baking trays. Leave to rest for an hour.

Preheat oven to highest setting.

Place a tray of water in the bottom of the oven.

Reduce heat to 230°C, bake for 20 minutes, opening oven to allow residual vapour to escape, then bake for a further ten minutes. This will produce dark crusts on the breads.

For lighter crusts reduce starting heat to 210°C and take out after 20 minutes.

Breads of Europe | Basler Walnussbrot / Gerstel Sauerteig (rye walnut bread with barley leaven)


An open door in a side street off the Barfüsserplatz in central Basel. The unmistakeable smell of baking punctures the pre-dawn air, attracting glances from early morning travellers who stare enviously at those carrying packages home for breakfast.

Sadly this scene is no longer part of Basel’s rich bakery tradition, which is a shame. The breads produced by this old-style bakery contradicted the laws of physics, one bread more than others – a crusty walnut rye bread with a dense texture and a remarkably soft crumb.

The magicians who made these masterpieces every day from a traditional recipe had every right to claim it was the best walnut bread in the land. 

We never managed to get the complete recipe out of them, but we believe they employed a sourdough called gerstel, a secret blend of barley, rye and wheat flours, and a subtle use of ground walnuts. 

Gerstel Sauerteig – barley leaven

  • 300 g + 150 g rye flour
  • 100 ml water, lukewarm 
  • 50 g barley flour
  • 50 ml water, lukewarm

This leaven has three stages. 

First, mix 50 g barley with 50 ml lukewarm water, leave to ferment covered with a damp cloth for 24 hours. 

Second, mix 150 g rye flour with 100 ml lukewarm water, add to the first mixture and leave to ferment for 12 hours. 

Third, hold back 100 grams of this mixture, and add 300 grams rye flour to make a dry crumbly starter.

It will keep for weeks, and is reconstituted with an equal amount of water, then with rye and water to start the process all over again.

Final Dough
  • 500 g rye flour
  • 400 ml water, warmed
  • 250 g gerstel leaven 
  • 120 g walnuts, halved
  • 100 g white wheat flour, t550
  • 15 g salt
  • 10 g yeast 

In a large bowl dissolve yeast in the water, stir in the flours, sourdough and salt. Form into a dough, knead for five minutes. Cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise overnight.

Divide walnuts into two equal piles.

Cut dough into two equal pieces. Flatten each piece into a 25 cm round. Take one pile of walnuts and place half on the dough, roll and shape into a ball, pushing remaining walnuts into the top of the dough. Repeat, place doughs on greaseproof paper on a baking tray.

Leave to rise covered for six hours.

Desired dough temperature 28°C.

Preheat oven to 140°C top and bottom heat.

Bake for two hours.

Walnussbrot – 2

This is a 50:50 rye-wheat combination.

  • 400 ml water
  • 300 g coarse rye flour
  • 300 g wheat flour
  • 250 g sourdough
  • 120 g walnuts, halved
  • 15 g salt
  • 10 g yeast 

Boil 300 ml water. Sieve rye flour into a small bowl, pour in boiling water and leave for an hour to thicken into a paste.

In a large bowl dissolve yeast in 100 ml water, add wheat flour, rye paste, sourdough and salt. Form into a dough, knead for five minutes. Add the walnuts. Knead until dough is smooth. Cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise for an hour.

Cut into two equal pieces, shape into rounds and place on greaseproof paper on a baking tray. Leave to rise covered for another hour.

Desired dough temperature 28°C.

Preheat oven to 240°C.

Place a tray half filled with boiling water in the bottom of the oven.

Turn heat down to 180°C and bake for 45 minutes.

Walnussbrot – 3

This is walnut bread made with wheat flour.

  • 450 g strong white flour
  • 150 ml milk, lukewarm
  • 150 ml of water, lukewarm
  • 125 g walnuts, chopped
  • 25 ml oil
  • 25 g yeast
  • 15 g salt
  • 10 g sugar

In a large bowl dissolve yeast in the warm water. Add flour, salt, sugar and walnuts. Mix thoroughly, then add the milk and oil, and form into a dough.

Knead on a floured surface for ten minutes. 

Cover and leave to rise for two hours, degas once.

Shape into a round, and place on greaseproof paper on a baking tray.

Leave to rise, covered, for an hour.

Desired dough temperature 26°C.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Make a deep cross with two sharp cuts almost to the edges and leave to rise, covered, for 30 minutes.

Dust the loaf with flour.

Bake for 40 minutes.

Fricot Feature | Breakfast in Europe

An Irish breakfast plate

Sumptuous breakfast lovers of the kind that comes stacked on a plate or stuffed into a bap, baguette, bun, huffa, muffin or roll should probably skip this opening bit, because it is not going to be complimentary and it might even be objectionable. Those of you, whoever you are, who love to tuck into a calorie-rich breakfast that consists of carbohydrates, fats and proteins and then go on to spend your working day sitting on your arse should stop and wonder. If someone set in front of you a plate containing a combination of all or some of the following – steak sausages, pork sausages, rashers of bacon, slices of black pudding, slices of white pudding, fried eggs, fried soda bread, fried potatoes, wheaten bread, white toast, potato cakes, tomatoes, white mushrooms and baked beans – you would, if you weren’t young and healthy with energy to burn, be looking at a heart attack on a plate. 

An English breakfast plate

This was the reaction of a French anthropologist when he first encountered the Irish breakfast. ‘The shock of eating this salty fat food was very real. At 8 o’clock in the morning having to eat an egg, two slices of bacon, two spicy sausages, a fried tomato, white beans served in a curious sweet tomato sauce and slices of a fried dark thing called pudding, was truly at the limits of the possible.’

In recent decades that plate has beome mobile and while the bacon, egg and sausage is now contained in a bun or a farl, it remains a lesser necessary evil. 

Across the diverse culinary landscape of Europe, breakfast is a fast and furious affair for workers. A coffee will suffice until the mid-morning snack for some. For others it is a bread roll filled with a variety of items. Or it might be a hot drink with a cake or a pastry. A cold drink with an energy bar. Rarely will it be a hot plate. More often than not it will be a cold plate. Mostly it is a little something just to get going for the day, and that is no bad thing. Some bit of breakfast in the stomach is better than none at all.

Fresh orange juice

On the street, by road sides and in motorway stopping places, fast food outlets will offer a combination of breads and pastries including bagels, baguettes, croissants, muffins and rolls filled with a variety of foods, cheese and ham prominent. In cafés and hotels the breakfast menu may include the ubiquitous cold plate and the pragmatic hot plate, of which fish in its different disguises will feature in both. In the home cereal is a fast food and in the form of müesli a slow food, made with cow’s milk or soy milk. Pancakes of different shapes and sizes offer the opportunity to indulge with honey or jam. Toast has become an elaboration with an array of toppings. Fruit on its own or with yoghurt is a popular breakfast food. Coffee is universal yet fruit juice, fruit nectar, black tea and herb tea cling to the periphery.

What is obvious is the symmetry. Breakfast is a choice of staple foods that define the particular and peculiar culture, like the Irish breakfast, which appears to have all of them on one plate, so let’s take a closer look at these staples. First the raw produce.



Cereal — For those who like to think about the exact purpose of breakfast food, that it must provide for the body and the brain, müesli – mixed cereals, dried fruit, seeds and nuts – drowned in milk of one kind or another is a genuine breakfast dish. A tough choice for the energetic, carnivorous youth but one that can become regular for those prepared to seek sustenance in a different form.

Coffee — Italians who start their day early are content with a double espresso. If they have time they will take a cappucino. Elsewhere across Europe coffee black, coffee concentrated, coffee frothed and coffee white are the order of breakfast. 

Andalusian Breakfast

Corn — Squares of cooked potenta topped with a range of items or slices of polenta in the Romanian fashion (made with cheese and cream) are a breakfast food for those who follow the tradition, largely in central Italy and across the Adriatic region into the Balkans and the east.

Egg — Breakfast eggs are baked, boiled (hard and soft), fried, poached, scrambled and mixed with cheese and cream, and served in a variety of styles.

Pan-fried mackerel

Fish — Pan-fried fish was once a breakfast food of the Atlantic fringe and of all the coastal regions (the Aegean, the Adriatic) where fish such as the capricous mackerel were caught early in the day. Herring was rolled and pickled and became a breakfast favourite of the Baltic countries, of the Dutch and the Germans. Haddock was smoked to become an iconic breakfast product, whereas in Norway everything from eel to herring to saithe and salmon was smoked. Squid was battered and became an essential ingredient in the mid-morning fried fish snack of the Mediterranean countries.

Fruit — Fruit of all kinds can be found on the breakfast table. More often or not that is in the form of compotes, jams, preserves and marmalades. 

Forest honey

Honey — A breakfast favourite in the countries where honey is revered and celebrated, used in all kinds of preparations from pancakes to syrups. Used to sweeten black tea.

Czech Breakfast

Kefir and Yoghurt — Kefir is the essential ingredient in the Russian pancake, unlike its French counterpart a breakfast food that contained every kind of filling you can think of. Yoghurt is now an essential breakfast food, either on its own or mixed with puréed fruit or with müesli. 

Mushroom — Freshly foraged mushrooms once epitomised the breakfast tables whereas nowadays it is the cultivated white mushroom that is seen on breakfast plates, sautéed in butter, cooked in eggs to make an omelette and marinated in olive oil to feature in garlic-tomato concoctions spread on crusty breads.

Crispy bacon in a herb bread roll

Pork — Without pork butchery the idea of breakfast across Europe would be very different. Bacon, cured and smoked, is that ideal in virtually every tradition, used in different ways. Pork is the ingredient for salami and sausage. Ham made from pork is an essential ingredient in the cold plate that emerged in the delicatessen era. The Danish liver pâté called leverpostej is a popular breakfast food in Denmark and Norway. Made with pork liver and anchovy it is part of the Norwegian breakfast feast that includes breads, cereals, cheeses, coffee, crackers, crispbreads, eggs, fishes, milk, müesli, pickles, potato flatbreads, potatoes, smoked bacon, smoked fishes, tea, toast and yoghurt – the most diverse breakfast in Europe.

English Breakfast

Potato — When the potato arrived in Europe it replaced porridge made with oats as the choice of breakfast, particularly in Switzerland where it was grated and fried to become known as rösti and gradually lost it role as a breakfast food. In Ireland it became an essential ingredient in the morning fry as a cake or farl. The Norwegian lefse is a flat potato bread made with rye flour. Back in Switzerland in the east of the country the potato made a comeback as a breakfast food in the shape of maluns, cooked potato rested overnight, crumbled into small lumps, rolled in corn or wheat flour and fried in oil. 

Rye — Black bread made from rye flour is a feature of breakfast cultures that require toppings of various types. 

Farmer Andrew Workman in front of his spelt field in Ireland

Spelt — Rejuvenated by the Germans and the Swiss, the English and Irish have taken up the challenge to produce breakfast loaves made with spelt flour. 

French Breakfast

Tea — Good tea from the Chinese, Indian and Turkish regions is a refreshing start to the day. Not only black and green teas, breakfast include fruit teas and herb tissanes, especially in the Mediterranean basin countries.

Wheat — Without the soft wheat grown across Europe, breakfast would be unrecognisible. Breads (large and small), cakes, pancakes, pastries and other confections made with wheat flour dominate the breakfast table. For over a hundred years the Viennoiserie style that produced baguettes and croissants and the Danish style that produced pastries was the breakfast choice of western Europe and Scandinavia. With the German and Swiss small breads revolution that has changed. Now enriched, small bread buns and rolls offer a nutritional package, from doughs that include fruits, nuts and seeds and are made with mediums such as apple juice, cheese, cream, egg, milk, potato and yoghurt. Even toast has not lost its allure, especially in central Europe where it is combined with an egg-cheese-cream mixture in different formations to produce a breakfast legend.

Bologna sausage

Then there are the processed products, vis bacon, cheese, ham, pancakes, pickles, salami, sausage and of course the dairy products.

Italian Breakfast

Bacon and Ham — Ubiquitous across Europe, cured by different methods and used in hot and cold preparations.

Breads and Pastries — Bread for breakfast varies but the emergence of the bread roll in recent years has seen a shift toward a breakfast package, with enriched bread rolls and bread rolls filled with various items. Pastries designed for breakfast include Austrian, Danish and French elaborations that are eaten whole or stuffed, like the Swiss habit of putting cheese and ham in the croissant.

Butter, Buttermilk, Cream and Milk (including Soy Milk) — Breakfast without butter to spread on various breads and other preparations would be unthinkable to most European food cultures, less so buttermilk and cream which are used with specific breakfast foods. Dairy and non-dairy (soy) milk is the medium for cereals including porridge, an old tradition that is still alive in northern countries.

Cheese with herb bread roll

Cheese — The list of cheeses that form the fabric of the breakfast table continues to grow as Europeans come to realise the extent of the raw milk cheeses available to them, all perfect as breakfast foods. The Norwegian breakfast has all the iconic cheeses of the country including cream cheeses and white cheeses, hard cheeses and semi-soft cheeses. French cheeses like brie and camembert, Dutch cheeses like edam and gouda and Swiss cheeses like emmental and gruyère provide fillings and toppings in breads and pastries. Most of the cheeses of Europe including mountain and valley cheeses play a role in the breakfast plate.

Greek Breakfast

Ferments and Pickles — Generally fish and vegetables, herring and cucumber for example.

Salami and Sausage — The sausage, more than bacon or ham, is a truly global food found everywhere as an established breakfast item made to traditional regional standards. In the German speaking countries there are 1500 varieties of sausage made from pork, beef or veal with herbs, spices and milk including frankfurters (aka hot dogs) sold as a breakfast street food. Salami is generally a cold plate item at breakfast.

A cold plate

Lastly let’s look at the breakfast stables from the perspective of each country. Generally the choices are a cold plate, a hot plate and a takeaway divided throughout the morning.

Norwegian Breakfast

British Isles — Bacon. Breads. Cereals. Coffees. Eggs. Fruits. Jams. Juices. Mushrooms. Pastries. Potatoes. Processed Cereals. Processed Foods (e.g. Baked Beans). Sausages. Tea. Toast. Tomatoes.

Czechia — Breads. Cheeses. Coffees. Eggs. Jams. Pastries. Sausages. Teas. Yoghurt.

Denmark— Breads. Cheeses. Coffees. Eggs. Fishes. Jams. Liver Paste. Open Sandwiches. Pastries.

A Danish open sandwich with smoked herring

Finland — Breads. Cereals (including müesli). Cheeses. Coffees. Fruits (including berries). Ham. Jams. Juices. Open Sandwiches. Pastries. Pies. Teas. Yoghurt.

Russian Breakfast

France — Breads. Cheeses. Coffees. Fruits. Pastries. Pork Products. Yoghurt.

Germany — Breads. Coffees. Cheeses. Eggs. Fish (cooked, pickled, smoked). Jams. Juices. Mushrooms. Onions. Pastries. Pickles. Pork Products. Potatoes. Sandwiches. Tea.

Greece — Beans. Breads. Cheeses. Chickpeas. Coffees. Eggs. Fishes. Fruits. Halva. Herb Teas. Honey. Olives. Pancakes. Pastries. Peppers. Pickles. Pies. Rice. Vine Leaves. Yoghurt.

Hungary — Bacon. Breads. Cheeses. Cocoa. Coffees. Eggs. Ham. Honey. Jams. Milk. Peppers. Tomatoes. Sausages. Teas.

Iceland — Cheeses. Fishes (pickled). Fruits. Ham.

Ireland — Bacon. Breads. Coffees. Eggs. Fishes (pan-fried fish). Mushrooms. Pork Products. Potatoes. Sausages. Teas. Toast. 

Swiss Breakfast

Italy — Breads. Cheeses. Coffees. Cornmeal. Fishes (including deep-fried mixed fish). Honey. Pastries. Pork Products.

Latvia — Breads. Cereals. Cheeses. Eggs. Milk. Sandwiches. Sausages. 

Netherlands — Bacon. Breads. Cakes. Cheeses. Coffees. Eggs. Fruits. Pancakes.

Norwegian potato breads

Norway — Bacon. Breads. Cheeses. Coffees. Eggs. Fishes (cooked, pickled, smoked including roe). Ham. Liver Paste. Pastries. Pickles. Processed Cereals. Processed Meats. Peppers. Potatoes. Salami. Sausages. Tomatoes. Yoghurt

Poland — Bacon. Breads. Cakes. Cereals. Cheeses. Coffees. Eggs. Fishes (including pickled and smoked). Ham. Honey. Milk. Mushrooms. Onions. Pastries. Pickles. Sandwiches. Sausages.

Portugal — Bacon. Cakes. Cereals. Cheeses. Coffees. Fishes. Fruits. Ham. Pastries. Sausages.

Russia — Bacon. Beef. Breads. Cheeses. Eggs. Fish (including roe). Fruits. Honey. Jams. Milk. Mushrooms. Onions. Pancakes. Pastries. Potatoes. Sour Cream. Teas.

Slovenia — Breads. Coffees. Eggs. Pastries. Salami. Sausages. Teas.

Spain — Breads. Cheeses. Eggs. Fishes. Ham. Pastries. Potatoes. Sausages.

Sweden — Breads. Cheeses. Coffees. Eggs. Fishes. Pastries. 

Breakfast bread rolls

Switzerland — Bacon. Breads. Cereals (including müesli). Cheeses. Coffees. Eggs. Fruits (including dried fruits). Ham. Pastries. Potatoes. Teas. Yoghurt.

Turkish Breakfast ≠ 1

Turkish Breakfast ≠ 2

Turkish Breakfast ≠ 3

Turkey — Breads. Cheeses. Coffees. Eggs. Fava Beans. Fishes. Fruits (including fruit leather from apricots or berries). Jams. Meatballs. Molasses. Olives. Pastries. Peppers. Pickles. Sesame. Soups. Teas. Tomatoes. Yoghurt.

BRÖTCHEN | Aberdeen Rowie SCOTLAND flaky bread

Through the backlit window pane of an artisan bakery, golden-brown buns are a tantalising sight, an invitation to indulge. Generally made with high-gluten flours, a large ratio of butter or lard, fresh yeast and sugar with milk, salt, and an egg or milk glaze, the ubiquitous roll of Vienna was for many years the epitome of this type of bread. In Aberdeen around the time that Viennoiserie was evolving in Paris, a flaky bread became popular with fishermen. Using the same technique for making croissants, the Rowie was neither crescent nor roll, and it was made with beef dripping. The modern version is made with butter or with butter and lard.

  • 500 g strong white wheat flour
  • 350 ml water, warmed to 38ºC
  • 250 g butter / lard or 50:50
  • 20 g yeast
  • 10 g salt
  • 10 g sugar

Dissolve yeast in sugar and warm water. Sieve flour and salt, add yeast water and work into a soft smooth dough. The high water ratio makes this a tough dough to work, about 20 minutes of hard kneading. Cover the dough and leave to rise for an hour. Degas, leave for a further hour. Cut the fat into small cubes, divide into three portions. On a floured working surface roll the dough into a rectangle, about 40 cm x 30 cm. Place the cubes of fat from one portion on two-thirds of the rectangle. Fold the non-fat end into the middle, and then again over the final third. Leave to rest for 15 minutes, covered. Flour the surface, roll the dough out again with a little flour to aid the process, repeat once more. Flour the surface with flour and roll the dough again, then divide it into 15 pieces (roughly 80 g each), shape into ovals or rectangles, arrange on greased baking trays. Leave to rise until they have risen considerably. Preheat oven to 220°C. Place a tray of water in the bottom of the oven. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes.

BRÖTCHEN | Handmade Small Breads — Contents

Aberdeen Rowies flaky breads
Apfelmost-Brötchen bread rolls made with apple juice
Aprikosen-Brötli milk spelt bread rolls with apricots
Aprikosen-Brötli milk cornmeal bread rolls with apricots
Baguette and Levain stick bread and pre-ferment
Balik Ekmek / Fischbrötchen fish in bread
Bap / Huffa large soft breakfast bread rolls
Barbros Bullar garlic buns
Belokranjska Pogaca Bela Krajina bread cake buns
Bierbrötchen beer bread rolls
Breakfast Bread Rolls breakfast bread rolls
Buchteln / Dampfnudeln baked milk bread rolls / steamed yeast dumplings
Brytebrød breaking bread
Bułki z Cebulką bread rolls with onion
Burli bread rolls
Cebularz Lubelskie onion and poppy seed-topped flatbreads
Ciabatta Piccolo (Zoccoletto) small slipper breads
Crumpets raised bread rounds
DDR Brötchen German Democratic Republic bread rolls
Dinkel-Emmer Seelen spelt-emmer breadsticks
Dinkel Sauerteig Brötchen spelt sourdough bread rolls
Dinkelseelen spelt baguette
Emmer Fladenbrötchen emmer flatbreads
Ensaimadas coiled sweet bread cakes
Friselle toasted ring breads
Frikadellen Brötchen meatballs in bread rolls
Frukostbullar breakfast buns
Geleneksel Eksi Hamur Ekmekleri / Vakfıkebir Ekmeği sourdough breads
Gewürzzopf-Brötchen spiced braid bread rolls
Godmorgonbröd good morning bread rolls
Handkaisersemmel handmade emperor breads
Hölzlibrötli spiralled milk bread rolls
Hörnchen / Kipfel half-moon milk bread rolls
Housky salted bread rolls
Kada pastry bread rolls
Karottenbrötchen carrot bread rolls
Kartoffel-Baumnuss-Brötchen potato and walnut bread rolls
Käse-Brötchen cheese bread rolls
Korvapuustit cinnamon bread rolls
Kouloúria Voutýrou butter buns
Kräuterbrötchen herb bread rolls
Kürbisbrötchen pumpkin bread rolls
Laugenbrötchen / Laugenbrötli lye breads
Laugenbrötli gefüllt mit Streichkäse bread rolls with cream cheese
Lepinje Bosnia-Herzegovinian, Serbian flatbreads
Lingongrova wholegrain rye sourdough with lingonberries
Maisbrötchen cornmeal and spelt bread rolls
Milchbrötchen / Mutschli crispy breakfast wheat bread rolls
Milchbrötchen / Mutschli crispy breakfast spelt bread rolls
Morotsfrallor carrot bread rolls
Müslibrötchen mixed cereal flakes, apple, cranberry spelt bread rolls
Ninda Purpura / Küçük Ekmek Hittite and Sumerian honey breads
Nussbrötchen / Nussbrötli milk bread rolls with nuts
Ostfriesische Teebrötchen East Friesland tea bread rolls
Pan de Hamburguesa hamburger bread rolls
Pan di Sorc cornmeal breads
Panino all’olio olive oil breads
Petits Pains aux Olives et aux Tomates Séchées olive, tomato bread rolls
Pre-Ferments / Sourdough Starters
Riestainiai bagels
Rosinenbrötchen raisin bread rolls
Rundstykker poppy seed coated bread rolls
Shokoladnyye Pryaniki chocolate gingerbreads
Soda Bread soda bread rolls
Speckweckerl bacon and onion bread rolls
Speķa Pīrāgi bread rolls stuffed with bacon and onion
Speķa Pīrāgi bread rolls stuffed with pork and onion
Schwäbische Knauzen Swabian knaves
Uri Art Birnweggli Uri-style pear and nut bread rolls
Weggli soft bread rolls
Weltmeisterbrötchen bread rolls with seeds
Zeeuwse Bolussen Zealand bread rolls
Žitný Chleba rye-wheat sourdough bread rolls
Zöpfliknoten honey-saffron semi-spelt milk bread rolls
Zucchini Brötchen courgette bread rolls
Zuckerbrötchen sugar bread rolls
Appendix: Beginner’s Bread Dough 1, 2, 3, & 4


Handmade Small Breads

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BRÖTCHEN | Crumpets and Pikelets ENGLAND raised bread rounds

Crumpets and Pikelets

These breads were baked on stones, on irons over coal, peat or wood fires, on griddles over ranges and stoves, and on cast-iron frying pans. Crumpets are baked in warmed rings set on greased griddles, where the bottom heat forces the batter to create a honeycomb effect as the steam attempts to escape. Pikelets are baked directly on the griddle as pancakes, also oven-baked.

First Mixture 
600 ml water, warmed to 38ºC 
500 white wheat flour 
30 ml olive oil (optional) 
30 g yeast 
15 g sugar

Second Mixture 
90 ml water 
10 g salt 
3 g bicarbonate of soda
Finish and Equipment 
Butter / oil, for greasing 
Bakers Rings, 7-8 cm diameter 
Cast-iron frying pan / heavy-bottomed frying pan / griddle pan 
Trays with in-built cups

Sieve the flour into a large bowl, add the water and yeast, stir and leave to rise for 90 minutes. Add the ingredients from the second mixture, leave to rise for 30 minutes. For crumpets warm the rings and heat the pan, grease it with butter or oil. Test the heat of the pan by dropping a little of the batter onto the surface, the correct temperature will bake it in one minute, if it starts to burn it is too hot. Pour the batter to a thickness of 2 cm into the ring, bake for 10 minutes until the crumpets come away from the sides of the rings. Flip the crumpets to brown the tops, about two minutes. For pikelets preheat oven to 200ºC top and bottom heat, warm the trays and grease the cups, allow to cool a little. Pour the batter into the cups up to the rims. Bake for 15 minutes. Each is toasted and served with butter.  

Cover of pocket book Brötchen – Hand-Made Small Breads

BRÖTCHEN | Apfelmost Brötchen SWITZERLAND bread rolls made with apple juice

  • 500 g strong white wheat flour, warmed
  • 225 ml apple juice, natural cloudy
  • 70 ml full cream / sour cream, brought up to room temperature
  • 30 g apple purée
  • 30 g sugar
  • 20 g yeast
  • 5 g salt
  • Butter, for greasing

Grease a large rectangular baking tray with butter. Combine flour and salt in a large bowl in a warm area. Dissolve yeast in apple juice, add the cream and sugar. Add yeast mixture to the flour and salt, knead into a smooth dough. Leave to rise for 50 minutes, degas. Rise again for an hour, degas. Divide dough into 85 g pieces, shape into rolls, place on buttered tray, leave to rise again, for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 200ºC. Bake for 25 minutes.

This is from the Fricot book Hand-Made Small Breads

BRÖTCHEN | The Story of the Bread Roll

Cover of the Fricot pocket book Handmade Small Breads


The modern bread roll is one of those mother-of-invention  moments. A product of the 1800s, when necessity  decided that different sized breads were needed throughout the day in the various work environments, it is now ubiquitous across Europe.

The bread roll emerged out of the tradition of baking small bread loaves. These gradually became smaller and became known variously across Europe as a bap or a bun, and then simply as a roll or as a small bread (brötchen in Germany, brötli in Switzerland).

In the beginning these bread rolls were made with white wheat flour, warmed water, fat (usually lard), bakers yeast and salt. These were usually the breakfast bread rolls and the lunch bread rolls.

Depending on the environment  (factory or field, mobile or office) they were designed large – to hold fillings – or small – to accompany confits and jams and pastes. In some countries whole milk replaced water, and, unsurprisingly, these became known as milk bread rolls.

Milk was an ingredient in tea bread rolls which were enriched with eggs and a higher quantity to fat, to produce a soft, silky bread. They might contain dried fruit and dried peel.

Dinner bread rolls were characteristised by a crisp crust and a soft sponge. They contained less fat and more yeast.

Sugar featured in most breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner bread rolls throughout the 1900s, until it was decided that the quantity of salt determined the quality of the bread, and sweetness was not a criteria.

Small breads were not always round, and for a long time they were shaped like tubes, shorter versions of the Vienna roll. Exceptions included the bagel, the ring-shaped bread of northern Europe, the pirogi, the oval-shaped filled bread of central Europe, pouch-shaped bread of eastern Europe and the crescent-shaped breads that emerged out of Anatolia and Asia.

Viennoiserie defined breakfast breads from the late 1800s, with the baquette and the croissaint. Suddenly bread was light or it was flaky. Hydration became a factor and instead of breads with a 2:3 liquid-solid ratio, the amount of water or milk increased to over 70%. This technique could only be achieved with machinery but it produced an aerated crumb with a softer sponge.

Then it changed again, toward the close of the 1900s, as bakers experimented with numerous ingredients. Milk began to feature prominently in recipes that had previously required water. Cream, kefir and yoghurt became popular liquid mediums and apple juice was found to work if it was combined with cream.

Biscuit ingredients, such as grains and nuts and seeds, were adopted and recipes that were once associated with confectionary became bread ingredients, especially in Switzerland where a bread roll revolution took place in the early 2000s.

Small breads began to feature toppings and traditional breads made a comeback, like the onion and poppy seed topped bread of Poland.

Oils began to replace lard in small breads as bakers realised that olive oil and rapeseed oil added a delicate flavour.

And not before time the sourdough techniques found their way into the ‘brötchen’ tradition and wheat began to lose its dominant position.

Pre-ferments or starters made with rye and water crept into small bread recipes, but it was the advent of spelt flour, white and whole, that changed small bread culture.

At first spelt flour was mixed with the various soft and strong wheat flours, then it broke out on its own, usually with a pre-ferment. Rye flour left its traditional position in northern Europe as the desired flour of the encased pie, to gradually become an essential ingredient in small breads.

Even barley flour, used as a pre-ferment and as an improver, got in on the act.

White Wheat Flours, type 405 and strong white, notice the difference in texture and colour …
Smalls breads made with apple juice, apple puree and sour cream

Generally though small breads are made with soft wheat flours. Soft wheat has more flavour than strong wheat.

Some recipes use a small amount of strong to increase the gluten content. 
We begin with a bread made with strong white wheat flour, and high fat, salt and water content – the Rowie!

Handmade Small Breads


BRÖTCHEN | Aprikosen-Brötli SWITZERLAND milk bread rolls with apricots made with spelt

Apricots are synonomous with the Swiss valleys, so it is no surprise that they make their way into milk bread rolls. These apricot bread rolls are also made with a combination of semi-white flour and cornmeal. This version celebrates the Swiss love affair with spelt.

  • 500 g white spelt flour
  • 250 ml whole milk, warmed
  • 100 g dried apricots, soaked in 150 ml mineral water for two hours, chopped small, re-soaked, liquid retained
  • 60 g butter
  • 50 ml apricot water 
  • 30 g sugar
  • 25 g yeast
  • 5 g salt
  • Wheat flour for dusting

Dissolve yeast in milk and sugar. Sieve flour into a large bowl, add salt, work in the butter. Add yeast mixtureknead into a smooth dough. Leave to rise for 50 minutes, degas. Add apricots and sifficient water to make into a spongy dough. Rise again for an hour, degas. Divide dough into equal pieces, around 85 g each, shape into rolls, place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper, leave to rise again, for 45 minutes. After 30 minutes dust the tops of the rolls, and make three cuts across each roll. Preheat oven to 200ºC. Bake for 25 minutes.