My Mom is German, as I’ve said before, and she brought a bag of German Hard Rolls home one day when I was little. She was very happy she found them at our local grocery store. I remember looking at them, thinking they didn’t look that special. I poked one, sure enough hard as a brick, I thought Mom was crazy. Why in the world would anyone want to eat a roll with a crust like that. Surely it would break your teeth out. Was I ever wrong. Crusty on the outside, soft and delicious on the inside. A true breakfast treat. I never thought I would bake them myself. I’m trying to branch out my kitchen skills. I am finding that I do love to bake bread. Good for my family, bad for my figure.
These were so much fun to bake, even more fun to eat. You will need two days to make this recipe so make sure you plan your time accordingly.
This recipe was e-mailed to me, so I do not know whom to give credit for it. Whomever you are, thank you, simply delicious!
Note: you will need a spray bottle with water for this recipe. This is what makes the crust crunchy.
2 cups Bread Flour
1 1/3 cup water
1/2 tsp instant yeast
5 1/2 cup bread flour
1 1/3 cup water (extra if needed)
1 tsp instant yeast
1 to 1 1/2 tsp salt
Mix all the Day 1 ingredients in a bowl until smooth and lump free
Cover loosely with plastic wrap
Leave on counter overnight (this makes the “sponge”)
Mix the sponge with 5 cups of flour, water and yeast
Knead for 8 minutes, preferably with a stand mixer
Add up to another half cup of flour until dough barely sticks to the bowl
Sprinkle salt over the dough and mix for 4 minutes
The dough should be smooth but still tacky, adjust with water, a teaspoon at a time, or flour, a tablespoon at a time
Form dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl turning once to coat
Place a damp towel or plastic wrap over the top and let the dough rest for 2 hours
Turn dough out on lightly floured work surface and cut into pieces the size of a small orange
Let dough rest for a few minutes then form into small balls or any other shape you like
Coat in flour and place on parchment paper about 2 inches apart
Cover with a damp cloth and let them rise for another hour
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Place an old pan on the bottom rack
Lightly score rolls with a serrated knife or blade
Place rolls on cookie sheet and place in the oven on the next shelf above the pan
Pour 1 cup water into the old baking pan and close the door quickly
Spray sides of the oven with water 2 or 3 times in the first 5 minutes of baking
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes
Cool rolls on wire rack so that the bottom will not get soggy
Rolls should be eaten warm and crispy
Place in the fridge then re-crisp in the oven or toaster if you are not eating them the same day
They can even be frozen
I didn’t have a spray bottle so I used a basting brush and a cup of water to splash on the sides of the oven, it worked nicely.