I tried to make German style breakfast rolls for brunch tomorrow. To put it nicely, I fucked them up. The key ingredient to failure in this case was covering the rolls with cling wrap on their second rise after shaping. The cling wrap pretty much mangled all of them. Beyond that, I don’t know how to correctly shape this kind of roll, while trying to create a steam bath for a nice shiny crust I sprayed the sides of my oven with a squirt bottle, this dislodged flakes of black stuff which is now embeded in the crust of the bread, I forgot to do the egg wash, and to top it all off I forgot to add salt, so they taste like shit too!
This is a comparison, the one on the right is closer but still not quite right.
Brotchen (German Breakfast Rolls)
2 1/2 – 3 cups flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 package active dry yeast
1 tablespoon oil
1 cup warm water
1 egg white
Pour 2 1/2 cups flour into a large bowl and make a well. Pour yeast, sugar, and two tablespoons of warm water (the water comes from the 1 cup listed above) in the well. Mix yeast, sugar and water carefully within the well. Do not mix with the flour at this time. Cover the bowl with a cloth and set it in a warm place for 15 minutes. Add the remaining water and oil and beat until mixed.
Turn out on counter top and knead until smooth. Add the remaining 1/2 cup flour as needed. Put dough in a bowl, cover, and let it rise until double in size.
Punch down and divide the dough into 12 parts. Shape into oval rolls and place 3 inches apart on a greased and floured cookie sheet. Cover and let rise until double in size.
Beat egg white and 1 teaspoon water with a fork until frothy and brush on the rolls. Bake in a preheated oven at 450 for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.
Source: “Authentic German Home Style Recipes” by Gini Youngkrantz
More info: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Br%C3%B6tchen