“Growing up, I would be sent to the village bakery around the corner every Saturday morning to get a variety of fresh brötchen,” says Barbara Leiber-Klotz. “Germans love their daily fresh bread rolls, especially on weekends for family breakfast.” Note: The bakers prefer grams as a unit of measurement because weight is more accurate than volume. The included conversion measurements to cups are approximate.

  • 400 grams (1 ¾ cups) lukewarm water
  • 8 grams (2 teaspoons) sugar
  • 6 grams (2 teaspoons) fresh yeast or
  • 2 grams (½ teaspoon) dry yeast
  • 500 grams (3 ¾ cups) quality bread flour*
  • 13 grams (2 ½ teaspoons) sea salt
  • Sesame, pumpkin, or sunflower seeds (optional)

Optional: Substitute 10 to 40 percent of the bread flour with another, such as sprouted spelt, whole wheat, medium or dark rye, einkorn, emmer, or kamut. Use more water with this option but add gradually.

Makes 8 to 10 broetchen


  1. In a large bowl, mix about 50 grams (4 tablespoons) of lukewarm water with sugar and yeast. Let sit until foamy, about 5 to 10 minutes. Then add the rest of the water.
  2. Add flour(s) and salt. Mix well with a whisk and cover the bowl with a wet towel.
  3. Let dough rest at room temperature for about 2 to 3 hours, incorporating 3 to 4 “stretch and folds” every half hour. This will strengthen your dough and develop its gluten. For this, lightly wet your fingertips, grab a portion of the dough, and stretch it upward. Fold the dough over toward the center of the bowl. Rotate the bowl a quarter turn, repeat, and continue folding and turning until you have completed a full circle.
  4. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.


  1. Set oven to 500° and place a shallow oven-safe bowl on the bottom of your oven and heat some water in a tea kettle.
  2. Take the dough out of the refrigerator. Carefully let it slide out of the bowl and onto a well-floured surface, then cut into 8 to 10 pieces with a dough cutter. You can do squares, rectangles, triangles, etc.
  3. Place dough pieces onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let sit and rise for about half an hour. If you wish, you can top with seeds.
  4. Place baking tray in oven (second level from bottom), pour some hot water into the shallow bowl, and close the oven door immediately. Bake for 10 minutes, then briefly open oven door to let steam out. Bake for another 10 minutes or until golden brown.

This recipe originally appeared in From Borscht to Brötchen by Candolin Cook.