food & drink

seeded bread rolls, inspired by trip to germany

During my last term at Oxford, I went to Cologne, Germany with a friend. We saw the small German town and hopped on a train to go to Venlo, Netherlands to check out their horticultural festival. At Cologne, we visited the Chocolate Museum, ate some Wienerschnitzel, and tasted their local beer (which I didn’t like, but I don’t really like beer). Of course we visited the famous twin-tower Cathedral, the Kölner Dom, which is apparently one of the tallest cathedrals in Europe (The title of biggest goes to St. Peter’s in the Vatican, I think).

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My short time in Germany left me with one main impression: Great Bread. This isn’t the kind of bread that France is famous for— the pain de baguette made with white flour. Nope, this is a bread made of whole wheat, rye, spelt, and unabashedly rich in fiber, dark, and dense.

Like most cities in Europe (I presume), Cologne was studded with bakeries at nearly every street corner. In one of the bakeries we went to, there were walls with shelves of different kinds of breads. This wall was partitioned to two parts: mid-dark breads and dark-breads. It seems that white flour was reserved for pastries and pretzels, while most bread rolls and loaves contained a large portion of wheat.

One of my favorite breads was the seeded wheat bread rolls that were used to make hearty, meaty sandwiches. I still dream about them sometimes. So instead of dreaming, I decided to make it. Below is my white-flour adaptation of the seeded bread rolls I fell in love with at Cologne.

Seeded Bread Rolls

Ingredients

Dough A:
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoons yeast
1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup water

Dough B:
1 & 1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 egg

Seed Mixture:
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
1 tablespoon caraway seeds

Directions

Combine the ingredients for Dough A. Shape into a rough dough, do not knead overmuch. Let rise for 1 hour.

Combine the ingredients for Dough B and then Combine Dough A with Dough B. Knead into a smooth ball. Let rise 1 hour and thirty minutes or until doubled in size.

Divide the dough into 8 equal parts and shape into a roll. Let rest for about 5 minutes, then cover the dough with the seed mixture.

Let rise for about 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours.

In a 375F preheated oven, place the tray of seeded bread rolls for 5 minutes, then decrease the temperature to 350 F for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.

These rolls were soft, light in texture, and full of flavor from both the slightly sweet rolls and the variety of seeds. I hope to make a wheat-flour version soon!

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