Hard Rolls, Milwaukee Style #1

photo 5The 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

Dough: Continue reading

Hard Rolls, Milwaukee Style #2

The second Milwaukee Hard Rolls has the precise inside we remember. Light and airy, yet with a “chew”, and that very, very slight, sour taste we remember. And this recipe uses hardly any yeast.

photo 1

This is a terrific roll, yet the crust that isn’t quite right. Do not remember the split top, but it is hard and stays hard. But not as flaky.  Perhaps it is the egg wash. Also, the recipe directions result in rolls that are smaller than traditional Milwaukee Hard Rolls. So, if one wants the traditional Milwaukee Hard Roll, just double the size of the roll to make 8-10 rolls instead of 12, and replace the egg white wash with the a starch wash, as in the previous recipe. Make it plain, as directed, or add sesame seeds or poppy seeds. Oh, and be sure to use high protein bread flour!

Anyway, the recipe is the Crusty European-Style Hard Rolls, with great instruction and pictures from PJ Hamel and King Arthur flour on the post “Flourish” at http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2011/03/08/they-once-were-lost-but-now-theyre-found-crusty-hard-rolls/.  Here it is, repeated, but please visit her page, as she take you step by step, with pictures!

Crusty European-Style Hard Rolls
Makes 12 small rolls.

Starter
½ c. cool water
1 c. King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/8 tsp. instant yeast
dough
all of the starter
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Crusty Rolls, Milwaukee Style #3

These rolls come from the 1955 Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book and turn out great! The recipe calls for “enriched flour” and shortening, but I slightly revised the recipe, using high protein bread flour, Dakota Bread Flour and lard instead of shortening. I added the salt last so that it did not prohibit the yeast, and slightly shortened the rise time. Oh, and I made only 8-10 rolls instead of a dozen or more.

That seems to be the difference, and the key to producing rolls that look like they come from a bakery. Please note below, this can be altered to make crusty rye rolls, too!

1955 Woman’s Home Companion Crusty Rolls, slightly revised
1 c. water, boiling
2 tbsp. lard
1 tbsp. sugar
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