Delicious hamburger rolls

Author: Marthinus Strydom
Category: Bread
Serves/Qty: 12
Marthinus Strydom

The origins of the buttered roll, or as we call it hamburger rolls or dinner rolls, are cloaked in mystery, or perhaps mere lack of curiosity. The first such rolls would have arrived in New York in the 1870s.

The Story

The origins of the buttered roll, or as we call it hamburger rolls or dinner rolls, are cloaked in mystery, or perhaps mere lack of curiosity. The first such rolls would have arrived in New York in the 1870s, along with Louis Fleischmann’s Vienna Model Bakery, which brought commercial yeasted bread to the city. The buttered roll apparently became popular with German Jews (and later, Eastern European Jews) as a filling, inexpensive dairy meal, in accordance with kosher law.

When the 20th century brought us the commuter breakfast, the buttered roll was ready to take its place on office coffee carts and at takeout windows. Either way, we are eternally grateful for the innovative baker that made the first buttered roll. Hamburgers would certainly not have tasted as good without them!

Being a federal republic, Germany is very much a decentralised country, which embraces the cultural differences between the regions. Some travellers will perhaps only think of beer, lederhosen and Oktoberfest when Germany is mentioned, but Germany's famous alpine and beer culture is mostly focused around Bavaria and Munich. Here the beer is traditionally served in 1 litre mugs (normally not in pubs and restaurants, though). The annual Oktoberfest is Europe's most visited festival and the world's largest fair. Germany's south-western regions, however, are well known for their wine growing areas (e.g. Rheinhessen and Palatinate) and Bad Dürkheim on the 'German Wine Route' (Deutsche Weinstraße) organises the biggest wine festival worldwide with over 600,000 visitors annually.

The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the subsequent German Reunification in 1990 are the most significant events of recent German history. Today, most Germans as well as their neighbours support the idea of a peaceful reunified Germany and while the eastern regions still suffer from social inequality, higher levels of unemployment and from brain drain, the reunification process is overall seen as a success. 3 October is celebrated as "German Unification Day".

Cars are a symbol of national pride and social status in Germany, like in many other countries. Certainly manufacturers such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Volkswagen are internationally reknowned for their quality, safety, success and style. This quality is matched by Germany's excellent network of roadways including the renowned Autobahn network, which has many sections without speed limits that attract speed hungry drivers. There are actually speed tourists who come to Germany just to hire an exotic sports car and race down the autobahn. Amazingly for its size, Germany is home to the sixth-largest motorway network in the world. Germany also features an extensive network of high-speed trains - the InterCityExpress (ICE).

Most cities have a vibrant gay and lesbian scene, especially Berlin and Cologne. The Berlin tourism agency and other tourism organisations have started campaigns to attract LGBT travellers to their cities. In fact, some politicians (e.g. a former governing mayor of Berlin and the former German federal foreign minister) and stars in Germany are either homosexual or bisexual.

Germans are generally friendly people, although the stereotype that they can be stern and cold is sometimes true. Just be polite and proper and you'll be fine.

Germany hosted the FIFA World Cup 2006, and won the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final against Argentina in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

More about Germany

Germany is filled with interesting destinations, like the dynamic capital Berlin, the enchanting Neuschwanstein Castle or major cities like Cologne, Hamburg or Munich. You can also explore the dense forests, mountainous regions, river valleys or sea coast. In short – Germany has it all.

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Adjust Quanities

325 g water, luke warm. (37c)
62.50 g eggs
16 g instant yeast
370 g white bread flour
317 g cake flour
75 g caster sugar
9 g salt
50 g soft butter
egg wash (one beaten egg and a tablespoon of milk)
for the topping, sesame seeds or sea salt and pepper


  1. Add water, eggs and yeast, flour. Then add sugar and salt and softened butter.
  2. Mix with the mixer at slow speed for a minute and then speed it up to medium for 6-10 minutes until dough is smooth.
  3. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl
  4. Fold the down around the sides to get the dough nice and smooth.
  5. Cover with cling film
  6. Rest the dough in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  7. Divide the dough into 12 pieces at 100 grams each. Weigh them.
  8. Make your hand into a claw shape and roll the dough in your hand to form a round shape.
  9. Place the round rolls on a baking mat or baking paper on a baking tray.
  10. Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees celsius
  11. Cover with a tea towel until they are double in size. They will start to merge into each other. That’s good.
  12. Gently brush them with egg wash
  13. Sprinkle sesame seeds on the top of the buns, or salt and pepper.
  14. Bake in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes until they are golden brown.
  15. Cover them with a tea towel and let them rest until they are completely cooled down.

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