The search for Hard Rolls, Milwaukee Style

Milwaukee hard rolls were something that was taken for granted growing up. These large, light rolls, with their dry, hard, crusty, flaking top, and ever-so-slightly tangy, soft, airy center were ever present.

They were there for “hot ham and rolls” after church, and especially Easter morning. They were stuffed with grilled Milwaukee brats (white bratwurst) at Brewer’s baseball games or brought to tailgate at County Stadium before we cheered on “the Pack.”  I ignored them, they were always there.

Funny, I kind of treated the Lake Michigan shoreline the same way, just expecting it to be there. And like Lake Michigan, I always thought these rolls always would be easily found. I never realized how very special these hard rolls were until years later when I moved away and lived in other cities.

Now every city has its charm, its special dish.  But I miss those dang hard rolls (almost as much as I miss Lake Michigan). And living in the Twin Cities, there just is not any roll that compares. So, to find them, I just had to learn how to make them.

Here, in separate posts, are two recipes for those now, not-so-elusive Hard Rolls.

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