Hi! My name is muddywaters and I'm addicted to Brötchen, a German roll traditionally served at breakfast. I'm in love with a version baked by Wheatfield's Bakery, which fortunately resides in my hometown. If I was short on cash, this roll would have me contemplating pawning my KitchenAid mixer, so I could get satiate my Brötchen fix.
I find its slightly blistered, caramelized crust appealing. Its earthy fragrance conjures visions of farmers harvesting wheat.
When I tear open a roll and view its whole-grained flecked interior, I always contemplate the ingredients in this Brötchen. Is this something I could bake? I see flax seeds. Is it a whole wheat flour they use or a rye flour or a combination? I detect the scent and flavor of sourdough. How do I make a sourdough?
Are those wheat berries or pearls of barley? I need to learn to bake Brötchen.
Unfortunately, after scouring the internet, I've found no recipes that resemble the Brötchen at Wheatfields. Finally, in Daniel Leader's book Local Breads: Sourdough and Whole-Grain Recipes from Europe's Best Artisan Bakers I encountered a recipe that might work.
As I write this entry, I'm attempting to cultivate a rye sourdough culture, which will be the base for my Brötchen. I'm into day number four of a ten-day process, and so far I detect no signs of life. I'll keep you posted on my progress.
I found a 1968 Time magazine article titled "Brotchen from Heaven." The article explained that West Germans were forced to eat day-old Brötchen because of a law prohibiting commercial baking between 9:00 pm and 4:00 am. The article went on to report a recent agreement made with East Germany to import over 60,000 Brotchen a day to West Germans in Berlin. Needless to say, the West Germans were thrilled. When food can bypass the Iron Curtain, you know that food is more than food.