I started to bake my own bread since moving to Geneva a few years ago. Being close to France means that local bakeries offer good baguettes and great croissants, but I grew up on German bread which is very difficult to get in the area. After having tried a variety of store-bought bread, I could not find anything that was close to the artisanal bread that tastes like home - so I started to bake it myself and realized that I am enjoying the process of baking. (There is a vibrant German-speaking online community of amateur bakers that make it easy to get started.)
While baking bread is sometimes a necessity that requires some logistics, baking bread rolls is always the fun part: It tends to be less complicated, easier to handle and overall quicker. For me, this is the ultimate luxury of a lazy Sunday morning.
Below is a very simple German-style bread roll recipe that I wanted to remember. It’s an adaptation of another recipe (here, in German) that uses quite a lot of yeast. I wanted to avoid the yeasty flavours and wanted to have a version that can be prepared on the evening before, so the dough is ready for the oven the next morning.
Overnight Breakfast Bread Rolls
Ingredients (for approx. 8 bread rolls)
- 200g spelt flour
- 200g wholegrain flour
- 13g salt
- 10g olive oil
- 240ml water (about hand-warm)
- 8g fresh yeast
- optional: poppy seeds, sesame, sunflower seeds, etc.
In the evening: Mix all ingredients (except the poppy / sesame / sunflower seeds) in a large bowl and knead the dough for 5min until it has a soft texture. Cover the bowl, for instance with a plate, and leave it in the kitchen at room temperature.
In the morning:
- The dough should have risen quite a bit overnight. Use a dough scraper to knead it a bit and remove a part of the gas that has become part of the dough structure overnight.
- Pre-heat the oven to 220 degree Celsius.
- Put a bit of flour on the kitchen table and move the dough from the bowl on this surface.
- Knead lightly and form into one or two long rolls with your hands. Use a dough scraper to cut it into 8 equal-sized pieces.
- Take each of the dough pieces and roll it lightly on the kitchen table, bringing each bread roll to a round shape.
- Optional Step: If you want to add poppy seeds, sesame or sunflower seeds, put them on a small plate. Use a brush to add water to the upper part of each bread roll (or prepare another plate with a bit of water and dip them into it), then dip this wet side of the plate with the seeds. This should help them stick to the surface while baking.
- Put the bread rolls on a tray with parchment paper. Bake for approx. 15min. You can (and should!) eat them while they are still warm.
Four bread rolls on a board, about half of the result of the baking session: