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Easy German Bread Rolls (Broetchen)

Easy German Bread Rolls (Broetchen)

Learn how to make these easy-to-follow German bread rolls, also known as Brötchen, like those from a German bakery.

Brötchen, which can also be written as Broetchen (which literally means “little bread”) are fluffy, delicious and easy to make German bread rolls made with a few simple ingredients such as bread flour, yeast, salt, sugar and water, that are very popular in Germany.

Brötchen come in different shapes, forms, and flavors, depending on the type of flours used and baking method. This recipe, however, yields Brötchen with a crispy exterior, and a fluffy and soft interior.

Enjoy German bread rolls from breakfast to dinner,

The good thing about homemade Brötchen is that you can add or subtract ingredients to your taste. For this recipe I have used bread flour, but sometimes I use plain flour (all purpose flour) or add mixed seeds to the dough after the first rise.

Ingredients used to make this recipe

  • 500 g (1.1 lbs/ 4 ¼) Bread flour plus extra for dusting (SEE NOTES)
  • 330 ml (11.2 fl.oz/ 1 1/3 cups) lukewarm water
  • 2 ½ teaspoons dry yeast (7 g (¼ oz)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon oil plus extra for greasing

Flour: for this recipe I have used bread flour to make it. But you can also use all-purpose flour (plain flour). If you’re using 500 g ((4 cups + 2 tablespoons) plain flour / all-purpose flour, just use 300 ml (10.1 fl.oz/ 1 ¼ cups) water.

How to make German brotchen

Put bread flour into a large bowl and make a well in the middle. Add sugar, yeast and lukewarm to the well. Stir well and let the mixture stand for 10 minutes. Add salt and oil and knead the dough like this:

By hands: combine all the ingredients together with the help of the fork or similar until the flour is well incorporated. Transfer the dough on a lightly dusted working surface and knead for about 6 minutes.

Hand mixer or stand mixer with dough hooks: Mix all the ingredients until well combined. Then knead the dough for about 5 minutes (I have kneaded the dough on medium speed (speed 2, on Bosch kitchen machine))

Shape the dough to a ball and place it in a greased bowl. Turn it over so that it’s completely coated.
Cover the bowl with cling film and then with a damp kitchen towel. Let rise for about 120 minutes at room temperature or until it has doubled in size.

  • Hint: If your kitchen is cold, or if you are in a rush, you can use your oven to help the dough rise. Preheat the oven to 50°C (122°F), then switch it off and place the covered bowl of dough inside. Allow the dough to rise in the preheated oven that has been switched off until it has doubled in size. If using the oven to help the dough rise, make sure the dough is in a glass or metal bowl, that’s tightly covered with a kitchen towel.

Shape and bake the brotchen

When the dough is ready, punch it down to release the air and transfer it on a lightly dusted working surface.

Using a dough scrapper or a sharp knife that’s greased with oil, divide the dough into about 10 equal doughs. Shape each dough into a smooth ball.

Arrange the dough balls on a baking sheet lined with a parchment paper. – don’t forget to leave enough space between them.

Cover with a damp cloth and let rise for another 30 minutes at room temperature. About 10 minutes before the end of the second rise preheat the oven to 200 °C (392 °F), with both up and lower heat. (Convection bake function: 180 °C (356 °F)).

After the second rise, lightly brush the buns with water. Then dust them with flour and cross- cut the top of each roll with a sharp knife.

  • Try not to apply a lot of pressure on the buns while cutting. You want to retain the air bubbles in the Brötchen intact so that you’ll have nicely fluffy buns.
  • If you want, you can also sprinkle the buns with sesame seeds or whatever seed mix you wish before baking. (Totally optional).

Put a heatproof cup or bowl of water or similar at the bottom of the oven to create steam in the oven so that the Brötchen will have a great crust and bake for about 25 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Serve the Brötchen for breakfast, as a side dish or snack.

FAQ- Can I refrigerate the dough?

Absolutely! You can refrigerate the dough overnight after the first rise. The next day just take out the dough from the fridge, let it come to room temperature. Then shape the rolls, let them rise for the second time and bake.

Can I use plain flour / all-purpose flour to make these bread rolls?

Of course! This recipe calls for bread flour. But you can also use all-purpose flour (plain flour) to make it. If you’re using plain flour / all-purpose flour just use 300 ml (10.1 fl.oz/ 1 ¼ cups) water instead of 330 ml ml (11.2 fl.oz/ 1 1/3 cups) as indicated in the recipe.

Easy German Bread Rolls (Broetchen)

Learn how to make these easy-to-follow German bread rolls, also known as Brötchen, like those from a German bakery. Brötchen, which can also be written as Broetchen (which literally means "little bread") are fluffy, delicious and easy to make German bread rolls made with a few simple ingredients such as bread flour, yeast, salt, sugar and water, that are very popular in Germany.
Prep Time35 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Rise Time2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time3 hours 30 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Austrian, European, German
Keyword: bread and doughs, brotchen recipe, German bread rolls
Servings: 10 bread rolls
Author: Ester | esterkocht.com

Equipment

  • baking sheet and parchment paper
  • Dough scraper (OPTIONAL)

Ingredients

  • 500 g (1.1 lbs/ 4 ¼) Bread flour plus extra for dusting (SEE NOTES)
  • 330 ml (11.2 fl.oz/ 1 1/3 cups) water lukewarm
  • 2 ½ teaspoons dry yeast (7 g (¼ oz)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil plus extra for greasing

Instructions

  • Put bread flour into a large bowl and make a well in the middle. Add sugar, yeast and lukewarm to the well. Stir well and let the mixture stand for 10 minutes.
  • Add salt and oil and knead the dough like this:
    By hands: combine all the ingredients together with the help of the fork or similar until the flour is well incorporated. Transfer the dough on a lightly dusted working surface and knead for about 6 minutes.
    Hand mixer or stand mixer with dough hooks: Mix all the ingredients until well combined. Then knead the dough for about 5 minutes (I have kneaded the dough on medium speed (speed 2, on Bosch kitchen machine))
  • Shape the dough to a ball and place it in a greased bowl. Turn it over so that it’s completely coated.
  • Cover the bowl with cling film and then with a damp kitchen towel. Let rise for about 120 minutes at room temperature or until it has doubled in size.
    * Hint: If your kitchen is cold, or if you are in a rush, you can use your oven to help the dough rise. Preheat the oven to 50°C (122°F), then switch it off and place the covered bowl of dough inside. Allow the dough to rise in the preheated oven that has been switched off until it has doubled in size. If using the oven to help the dough rise, make sure the dough is in a glass or metal bowl, that’s tightly covered with a kitchen towel.
  • When the dough is ready, punch it down to release the air and transfer it on a lightly dusted working surface.
  • Using a dough scrapper or a sharp knife that’s greased with oil, divide the dough into about 10 equal doughs. Shape each dough into a smooth ball.
  • Arrange the dough balls on a baking sheet lined with a parchment paper. Don’t forget to leave enough space between them.
  • Cover with a damp cloth and let rise for another 30 minutes at room temperature. About 10 minutes before the end of the second rise preheat the oven to 200 °C (392 °F), with both up and lower heat. (Convection bake function: 180 °C (356 °F)).
  • After the second rise, lightly brush the buns with water. Then dust them with flour and cross- cut the top of each roll with a sharp knife.
    * Try not to apply a lot of pressure on the buns while cutting. You want to retain the air bubbles in the Brötchen intact so that you’ll have nicely fluffy buns.
    * If you want, you can also sprinkle the buns with sesame seeds or whatever seed mix you wish before baking. (Totally optional).
  • Put a heatproof cup or bowl of water or similar at the bottom of the oven to create steam in the oven so that the Brötchen will have a great crust and bake for about 25 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Enjoy!!

Notes

  • Flour: for this recipe I have used bread flour to make it. But you can also use all-purpose flour (plain flour). If you’re using 500 g ((4 cups + 2 tablespoons) plain flour / all-purpose flour, just use 300 ml (10.1 fl.oz/ 1 ¼ cups) water.

Did you make these German bread rolls? I’d love to hear from you! Simply write a comment and add rating to it.

Recipe Rating




Joachim

Sunday 12th of November 2023

Hi Ester, I will be making your Brötchen recipe to see if it is like my mum used to make. However, there is no mention of oil in the ingredients list but you do mention oil in the method. I can only guess it to be about 1 tablespoon? My mum was from Gelsenkirchen and we moved to Australia 1952, she has now passed so cannot ask her.

Ester

Sunday 12th of November 2023

Hi Joachim! Thank you for bringing that to my attention. Apologies for the oversight. Yes, you're correct – it's 1 tablespoon of oil. I appreciate you trying out the recipe, and I hope it brings back fond memories of your mum's baking. Happy baking!