I love bread. Sinking my teeth into a warm buttered slice of fresh bread is one of my greatest joys in life.  Most weeks I devote 3 hours to baking fresh bread so that I don't have to shell out almost $5 for a barely passable loaf.  Most people are not so passionate, but every good cook should have a special occasion recipe.  This is mine.  When I found this recipe I was looking for Brotchen for a German themed dinner, and while this is certainly reminiscent of the crusty on the outside, fluffy on the inside rolls I enjoyed when I was in Europe, I do not vouch for its authenticity.  It has several important qualities as a special occasion bread.  It is fairly straight forward, which can be important when putting together a large meal.  It also freezes well so you can take out just what you need for dinner.  Oh, and it makes great bread-bowls.  To make it you will need:

    2 tablespoons active dry yeast
    1 tablespoon white sugar
    2 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
    3 egg whites, stiffly beaten
    2 tablespoons shortening or oil
    2 teaspoons salt
    7 cups all-purpose flour
    1 egg white (for egg wash)
    2 tablespoons cold milk or water

I use a stand mixer for this and you will definitely want to something to beat the eggs, even if you opt to knead the dough by hand.

Step 1: Proof Your Yeast

Take your yeast, water and sugar and combine them in a large bowl.  Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes, until the yeast has risen to the surface and gotten frothy.

While this step is not strictly necessary, it does give the yeast a head start which makes creating fluffy goodness much easier.
Thank you so much!! I loved this, especially with butter. I made several large rolls/mini loaves and could not stop eating them
I used this recipe to make 3 (fairly large) loafs, instead of making a bunch of rolls. It's awesome! Definitely eat with butter. My wife isn't a fan of tough crust, but my dogs love it, I eat it all. Again, great recipe.
I just finishing eating my second brotchen with butter and if I do not stop now I will eat everyone of them .. lol... It is sooooo good...
Yeah, Brötchen! Those were one of the things I missed the most when I liven in South America. Though I prefer the one with grains, compared to the plain ones. Very good write-up and nice pictures!
The recipe does call for two tablespoons. I had never heard that more yeast causes it to stale faster, but a very crusty roll like this one doesn't have a terribly long shelf life anyway before moisture starts to make the crust chewy instead of crunchy. I usually make these the day I want to serve them. I use a sourdough starter when I am worried about shelf life. My weekly loaf is a oat bread with a sourdough base. One of these days I'll post an Instructable for that one too.
Those look so wonderfully fluffy!
Do really mean 2 tablespoons of yeast? That is a lot of yeast and will make the rolls get stale faster than if you meant 2 teaspoons. Your photos are fantastic.
These look delicious. Looking forward to trying them.

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