1 cup and 2 tbs. (250ml) warm water (115F or 40C)
1 1/2 tsp. dry yeast (1 pk)
2 tsp. sugar
1 tbs. 3 1/2 + 1/3 cups (500g) flour
less than 1 tsp. salt
2 tbs. + 2 tsp. oil
You can use a
breadmachine for making the dough, which takes about 1 1/2 hours. If you don't have a breadmachine you still can do it.
First part without a breadmachine:
You need a handmixer with the hooks attached. Mix all the ingredients with the mixer on low speed first, and than on medium until the dough becomes soft and separates from the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand in warm place until dough doubles, about 1 hour or less. You can use as a warm place another larger bowl of warm (105F or 40C) water.
First part with a breadmachine: Put all the ingredients into the dough making cycle of the machine. This will take about 1 1/2 hours.
Second part for both:
Grease a bread sheet or pizza pan with cooking oil (do not use Crisco). For best results use one with little holes in the bottom. Preheat the oven to 105F (40C). I turn the oven on 350F (180C) for about 1 minute, if you can't touch the rack in the oven than it is too hot, this is only to give an ideal climate for the yeast to rise. If you are not to sure about this you might get an oven thermometer to check. When it has reached the right temperature just turn the oven off. Take the dough out of its container, press the dough down, until all the gases escape. Cut in 8 pieces, and form balls. Flatten them out in your hand to a diameter of 4 inches (10 cm) and put them on the baking sheet. At this point you can brush them with water and sprinkle sesame, poppy or caraway seeds on them, or just leave them as they are. Put the rolls in the oven for about 30-40 minutes. They should rise again. Take out of the oven and cut the top like this * or like this +, the cut has to go down to the center of the dough. From here on I like to use an convection oven for even browning, but again a regular oven will do. Just put the baking sheet in the oven, without preheating, don't worry if the oven is still warm from the rise. Set the temperature to 375F (200C) for regular ovens and 350F (180C) for convection ovens. After about 5-10 minutes take a pump spray bottle filled with water and spray 4 to 5 times onto the bottom of the oven, this will make the rolls crisp. Do not put a pan filled with water in the bottom of the oven, because too much moisture will make them hard. The rolls should be done after 30-40 minutes when they are nice and brown. If you are using a convection oven, and your rolls are on a baking sheet without little holes in it, you will have to turn the rolls about 5 minutes before they are done over, or they will not brown on the bottom. If the crust of your rolls turned out to be to hard, just reduce the amount of sprayed water. The rolls will be good for about 2 days, after that they will become dry and hard. If this happens than you can make breadcrumbs, or Armer Ritter (Poor Knight) out of them.
Armer Ritter (Poor Knight):
Use only rolls without any toppings for this. Cut rolls in half, soak in milk, brown in frying pan in butter. When nice and crisp take them out and roll them in granulated sugar. Serve warm or cold. Your children will love them, but be aware of the calories they are tasty but loaded.