The first Milwaukee Hard Rolls recipe is exactly as we remember! It has that great dry crusty top and the cornmeal bottoms we love, and comes from Gordon King a Milwaukee baker who ran Wilbert’s baker, which closed back in 1993. Note: It requires high protein bread flour and a little more yeast. And, while the directions make the tops of these rolls plain, feel free to top rolls with sesame seeds or poppy seeds.
An article, with his recipe for hard rolls appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and is preserved here: http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1298&dat=20050511&id=VS4zAAAAIBAJ&sjid=dggGAAAAIBAJ&pg=6793,3364570
Wilbert’s Bakery/Gordon and Barbara King’s Authentic German Hard Rolls
Makes about 2 dozen rolls
Sponge: 3 tbsp. active dry yeast (4 packets)
2 3/4 c. lukewarm water
3 tbsp. sugar
Karl Ratzsch’s is an old world landmark in Milwaukee and has been the epicenter of fine German food and dining for more than 100 years at 320 E. Mason Street. The history and lore of the restaurant is detailed on Karl Ratzsch’s site:http://karlratzsch.com/history.html.
Today’s posts include the cache of Karl Ratzsch’s recipes we’ve scored, starting with Duckling a la Ratzsch. This duck was prepared for President George W. Bush when he visited Milwaukee during his term. He told WTMJ radio, “I had a duck that looked like a goose. It was the biggest duck I ever saw in my life. But it was good.”
Karl Ratzsch’s Roast Duckling a la Ratzsch
1/2 c. vegetable oil or melted shortening
1 (4-5 lb.) whole duck, trimmed of excess fat, giblets removed Continue reading →
Michael Dreazy was a chef at Karl Ratzsch’s and first provided his recipe to the Milwaukee Journal in 1981, simply naming it “Baked Beans au Schlitz.” Schlitz, “the Beer that Made Milwaukee Famous,” is now being brewed by Pabst. At the time, Chef Dreazy advised, “Any beer will work, but why not Schlitz?”
The other advice he gave, “Don’t hurry, give it full cooking time. Don’t blast away at 400° F. Let the flavor develop slowly, like a good wine, it takes time.”
Finally, he added, “like any good stew or soup, the leftovers may taste even better than the initial serving.” Dreazy’s advice was to “leave it in the crockpot (a note:~in Milwaukee, we use a Nesco) and place it in a refrigerator rack, where the air can get to it from underneath. Keep the cover off until it’s completely cool, then place the cover back on and keep it airtight.”
Dreazy was also sous-chef for the Milwaukee Athletic Club and the University of Milwaukee Club, and in 1998 was named executive chef for the Golden Hills Golf and Turf Club in Ocala, Florida.
This recipe was reprinted in the Milwaukee Journal sentinel, by request, in 2010.
Baked Beans au Schlitz
2 c. navy beans, soaked overnight
1 med. onion, chopped
1 lb. short ribs, cut in 1″ cubes (the bone adds a lot of flavor) Continue reading →
Karl Ratzsch’s Crackling Pork Shank
1 fresh pork shank (about 2 lbs.)
1 gal. cold water
2 tsp. salt (divided)
1½ gal. vegetable oil (must cover shank)
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
½ lemon rind (left whole or in large pieces)
½ orange rind, (left whole or in large pieces) Continue reading →
Karl Ratzsch’s Baked Potatoes Stuffed with Mushrooms
6 lg. baking potatoes
1 tbsp. bacon grease
1 leek. white part only, chopped
3 tbsp. melted butter
4 c. fresh mushrooms, finely chopped
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1 tbsp. heavy cream
White Pepper, Salt, grated Nutmeg, to taste
1. Rub potatoes with bacon grease and bake until done at 425° F. for about an hour. Remove from oven and cool slightly.
2. While potatoes are baking, in a larger frying pan, sauté’ leek in half of the butter for 1 min. Add mushrooms, then cover and continue cooking until all of the liquid disappears. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Remove from heat, add beaten egg yolk.
3. Cut the top off the potato, scoop out pulp. Mash pulp and mix with the mushroom mixture, thin with cream, as desired.
4. Stuff potato shells with mixture and sprinkle with melted butter. Bake at 425° F. for 15 min.