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Basket with bread rolls
Five typical types of pastry

Brötchen (independent diminutive of bread ) or bread roll are names for small baked goods of various kinds. In the various German-speaking areas there are a number of other words for them, but they all mean essentially the same thing. Bread roll is a collective term for mostly unsweetened small baked goods made from light or dark wheat or rye flour , or mixtures of both types of flour. The bulk liquid used is mainly water (water buns) , but sometimes milk (milk buns) . Traditionally, baking yeast or sourdough are mainly used as loosening agents . In Germany, according to the guidelines for bread and small baked goods, no more than 250 g are traded. In 1957, the legal requirement for a minimum weight was abolished.

The word "Brödle" in Swabian, Baden or Alemannic does not refer to bread rolls in the sense of this article, but rather stands for cookies .

Buns are mostly wheat pastries and don't stay crispy or soft for long. The inside of rolls is called a crumb .

The average bun has an energy value of about 586  kJ (about 140 kcal). A roll of 50 grams corresponds to two bread units (BU).

Regional names

In addition to the term 'Brötchen', which is mainly used in the northern part of the German-speaking area, there are various other names in various regions. The term bread roll itself occurs mainly in Lower Saxony, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, North Rhine-Westphalia, northern Rhineland-Palatinate, large parts of Hesse, northern Saxony-Anhalt and parts of Brandenburg. In Thuringia, southern Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony, both 'rolls' and 'rolls' are used. In Thuringia and Saxony, a distinction is sometimes made between rolls and rolls - Semmel then refers to the double roll.

In most regions of Germany, “bread roll” and “bread roll” are used synonymously, with the exception of the almost exclusively used compound breadcrumbs . In other areas, there is a difference in meaning: This is the name in Austria and Bohemia with bread little sandwiches, so canapés . The term was adopted for specific innovations: The soft hamburger buns and the small, ready-to-bake baguette buns established by the fast food chains (beginning: McDonald’s in Munich in 1971), but not for the baked-up buns made in Austria.

The diminutive form of bread is also used in the idioms “bake small rolls” and “earn rolls”. In alemannischen Vorarlberg is found occasionally in addition Brötle also rolls (gemeingermanisch). As a generic term for the whole range of products, including Stangerl etc., serves pastries ( biscuits in the German and Swiss food code), in Switzerland is colloquially Brötli also represented. In old Bavaria, the term roll functions as a community name and the square small baked goods rolls are also used in product names . In Austria, the roll is usually round - with the exception of the Styrian Langsemmel and occasionally in Vorarlberg. The square biscuits are usually called Weckerl , as are the actual small, elongated biscuits (the small rolls), unless they are sometimes called pointed in a twisted shape ( e.g. Kornspitz ). Long, thin pastries are called ~ stangerl , ~ stange , ~ stängel , and round pastries usually ~ loaf or ~ laberl (the small loaf ).

'Rundstück' and 'Schrippe' also differ in the area around Hamburg due to their different shapes. Bread rolls are the community name here (see also rye rolls, sesame rolls, etc.).

The Spitzwecken from Ovelgönne from the 8th – 6th
centuries Century BC BC (above) with reconstruction


Bread roll machine

Today, buns are also manufactured semi-automatically in the craft with the support of machines (for example a bun press ), while in industry production is fully automated. Shaping by hand is rarely found in the craft today.

The character of a roll is largely determined by the way the dough is handled . Specially grown grain, baker's yeast, powerful kneading machines and malt-containing baking agents significantly reduce the dough's maturing time. Today, bun doughs are usually made directly without pre-dough. At least 90 percent of the ingredients are flour ( wheat flour type 550 ), water, salt, yeast and possibly a baking agent. The addition of milk fat (e.g. butter ), margarine , edible fat (e.g. lard ), cooking oil and preparations made from it is also permitted. Buns with rye and seeds are common. Baking agents provide the yeast with nourishment and improve stability, because less starch is broken down for ripening. Soft wheat flour, which is well suited for making bread, is mainly used.

  • The use of baker's yeast in direct guidance is the most common method today, but requires baking agents that reduce starch and dough rest. Recently, however, tours with yeast and pre-dough have also been found. In the organic sector, bread rolls are made with organic yeast.
  • In the traditional tour (“Levain de pâte”), a dough is prepared with a fermented remaining dough and matured overnight. The long rest period is necessary so that the yeast can multiply and is present in sufficient quantities. Today this tour is only used occasionally in traditional bakeries. The disadvantage is that the amount of dough has to be determined the day before.
  • Use of wheat sourdough ("Levain"). In ongoing management, the yeast is kept alive and propagated. The disadvantage of this process is the increase in lactic acid, which is only desirable in limited quantities in wheat dough, since it has a negative impact on the baking properties.


Frozen or unrefrigerated baked rolls are also available in stores:

  • In the bread factory, around 97 percent of deep-frozen bread rolls are baked in special ovens with high humidity and then quick-frozen . Commercially, these are then available in freezing counters and 8 to 12 months refrigerated shelf life.
  • Unrefrigerated baked rolls are only baked 70 percent ready in the bakery, the remaining 30 percent must be baked by the consumer. They are commercially available packaged in a protective atmosphere and can be stored for 3 to 10 weeks.
  • Bread rolls can also only be pre-proofed as frozen dough pieces and delivered to retail stores and only then baked in special ovens.


Various additives are allowed to be used in the production of rolls. The following substances that are considered harmless can be added: lecithin , edible acids such as citric acid and acetic acid , sugar, malt extract , guar gum (a thickener), soy or bean flour, emulsifiers (esterified glycerides), such as diacetyl tartaric acid ester , furthermore phosphate (separating agent), Acidity regulators such as calcium carbonate or calcium sulfate , enzymes , flour treatment agents such as ascorbic acid (vitamin C) or cystine , cysteine as well as flavor precursors for the scent of bread rolls.


Bread rolls are fresh baked goods and age quickly. With an increasing proportion of rye, the shelf life improves; however, bread rolls only stay fresh and crispy for a few hours.

The crust that determines the taste is dry after baking. It absorbs moisture from the surroundings and the crumb , the bun then becomes soft and sticky. In principle, bread rolls should be stored dry and cool (but not below 7 ° C). Fresh, warm rolls should be taken out of the bag immediately, as the evaporating moisture passes into the crust and makes it soft.

Short storage time

A sandwich is quickly softened in a tight plastic or metal cover. Here the moisture in the topping is transferred to the entire bread roll. It is also advantageous if the toppings and rolls are stored separately and the roll is only occupied shortly before consumption.

There are various options in the household. The bread roll stays crispy for a relatively long time in a stone pot (Roman pot) or a cookie jar. However, it must not be stored with moist goods (ham rolls, etc.), as the moisture migrates here. A bread roll bag is also suitable.

Long storage time

For longer storage times, it is advisable to store bread rolls in plastic bags so that they do not dry out and to bake them in the oven or on the toaster before consumption. Buns can be frozen well. Please note that even under these circumstances moisture will escape from the frozen food ( freeze-drying ).

Types of bread

General variants

  • Wheat rolls or white cakes (e.g. Kaisersemmel) must be made from at least 90 percent wheat flour
  • Mixed wheat rolls are made from more than 50, but less than 90 percent wheat flour
  • In Germany, rye rolls must contain at least 50 percent rye flour. In Austria, like bread, it has to be 90 percent
  • Whole grain bread rolls in Germany must be made from at least 90 percent rye and whole wheat products in any proportion to each other
  • Shot rolls are made from at least 90 percent rye and wheat baked meal in any proportion to each other
  • Schwedenbrötchen also puff pastry rolls or Danish rolls in Germany. The dough is rolled with fat, like Danish pastry
  • Muffin (also mouth rolls or buns in Saxony, Micke in the Ruhr area , filly on the Lower Rhine (region) and Bun in the Rhineland ) contain milk or milk powder in the dough
  • Fat rolls contain fat in the batter
Doppelwecka, Wasserweck, Roll, Paarweck, Doppelsemmel
Franconian Kipf
long bread roll that is mainly found in southern Austria
  • Potato rolls contain potato starch
  • Poppyseed , sesame , caraway , etc. are variants of simple rolls that are sprinkled with spices, seeds, salt or cereals on the top. They are also wrapped in the shape of croissants or rods
  • Jourgebäck , also known as party biscuits ,are miniaturized versions of the usual biscuits, especially in Austria
  • Party rolls are small rolls weighing around 15 to 20 grams. They are sprinkled with onions , bacon , poppy seeds, sesame seeds, coarse salt or sunflower seeds before baking . Often the dough pieces are put together to roll rolls (also called party wheel or party sun) the size of flatbreads. Due to their small size, they are much better baked and crispier compared to conventional rolls.
  • Pizza buns simple, widely used form of buns in pizzerias made from conventional pizza dough
  • Cheese rolls simple (consisting of flour, dry yeast, salt, sugar, cheese, egg yolk, milk) rolls with cheese gratin, with different types of cheese
  • Buns or regional Mürbchen , Hedeweggen / Hedwig or hot Awakening are baked sweet muffin. They are made from wheat flour , milk, sugar , margarine , yeast, baking malt , salt and raisins made
  • In principle, egg rolls consist of the same ingredients as raisin rolls, but are made without raisins and are usually torn open lengthways on the top during baking
  • Gluten-free rolls arebakedwith rice flour and corn or potato starch .

Regional variants

There are numerous regional variants that differ in terms of bread roll dough and shape and have their own names.

  • Fastenwaien are offered in bakeries in Switzerland and south-west Germany during Lent. The dough contains fat and / or eggs, is pulled out flat, diamond-shaped, cut four times and sprinkled with caraway seeds.
  • Croissants are baked croissant-shaped rolls from Semmelteig in the Hamburg area of Milchteig. In the Czech Republic and Slovakia , the croissant shape is standard for bread rolls. In German-speaking countries, for example, they are in Saxony and the Rhineland . In some regions, for example in the Rhineland, there are croissant and stick pastries made from bread roll dough, mostly baked with cheese or sprinkled with caraway seeds, salt or other ingredients. In southern Germany, the term is also occasionally used for croissants that are not part of the bread roll .
  • Kaiserwecka , Kaisersemmel in Switzerland and southern Germany, in northern Germany Kaiserbrötchen . It consists of normal white bread dough with a long dough. It is round and has a typical five-part spiral pattern on the top. Originally it was created by laboriously working the dough, today a special stamp is usually pressed onto the cooked piece of dough. The bread roll has a higher proportion of crust and is therefore “crispy” / “crispy” and more aromatic.
  • Semmel , Kaisersemmel in Austria. Dough and shape as stated above, the Kaisersemmel is baked from the same amount of dough. A distinction is made between hand roll and machine roll (as in the picture). Hand rolls are formed by hand and have an irregular spiral pattern due to the manufacturing process. In Hamburg it's called Kaiserbrötchen.
  • At the Semmel or Kieler Semmel in Schleswig-Holstein, the dough consists of at least 90 percent wheat flour. The shaped pastries are "scrubbed" on a plate provided with fat and salt. This creates a dull, rough, firm, salty and slightly fatty crust. Due to the high proportion of manual labor in production, it is becoming increasingly rare.
  • Schlumbergerli or Schlumbi , in Switzerland and around Basel, are round rolls in which the dough is processed on an oiled work surface. They show a characteristic rosette break.
  • Kipf also Spitzweck or Spitzwecken in southern Germany, elongated shape with pointed ends (incised lengthways).
  • Zipfelwecken, Zipfelbrötchen , also Spitzweck or Spitzwecken , is a variant of the Kipf from Swabia. Slightly sweet-tasting milk roll with tapering ends and three to four characteristic pointed "tips".
  • Soul is a baguette-like white bread pastry from Upper Swabian cuisine made from spelled. The soul is crispy on the outside, soft, airy and moist on the inside. The Knauzen is made from a similar dough, but in a different shape.
  • Knauzen is a particularly large roll made from spelled and wheat flour. It is known as a specialty, especially in Upper Swabia . They get their special taste through manual work and a long aging time of up to 20 hours. Baking in a particularly hot and dry oven (open at the back) first forms a crust, and when the inside rises, the crust breaks open in one place and a protuberance forms: the knuckle.
  • Knüppel or Berliner Knüppel in Berlin, Brandenburg and Saxony hand-made elongated ("wrapped") bun with a proportion of milk and salt in the dough.
A pretzel stick (Austria)
  • Known as Kümmelstange or Stalzstange (in Austria Salzstangerl ), the elongated biscuits consist of a light yeast dough (yeast dough) that is shaped by hand or machine and sprinkled with salt and caraway seeds.
  • The Konduktsemmel (also: Totenlaibchen ) is available in Upper Austria for a meal after a funeral, the Kondukt . It is bigger than normal rolls and sprinkled with caraway seeds and aniseed.
  • Langsemmel is a wide variety of bread rolls in Styria and is therefore also called Styrian Langsemmel. It has an oval shape with a pronounced longitudinal groove at which it can be torn into two parts.
  • Pretzel rolls
    Pretzel roll (pretzel rolls, lye wake, Basel: silserli) mainly in southern Germany and Switzerland before baking with sodium wetted (caustic soda), are thus a pretzel . This results in the typical taste and the shiny, dark brown color. Mostly cut in a cross shape and sprinkled with coarse salt.
  • Pfennigmuggerl in Altbayern and Munich is a small round roll that is baked from a mixture of rye and wheat flour. It's especially crispy because it's smaller than other rolls.
  • Röggelchen in Düsseldorf and Cologne are also baked with at least 50 percent rye flour and are offered, for example, as Halver Hahn with Gouda in restaurants. The double bun is baked very dark.
  • Passauer Rosensemmel or Passauer or Rosensemmel for short is a variant of the wheat bread that is widespread in the Passau area . Appropriate pretreatment - the dough piece is turned over after it has been "sanded" and the "open surface" is additionally treated with fat or oil - tears the crust open during the baking process and is more or less reminiscent of a rose. In the Passau area, the designation Passau or Rosensemmel are rather unusual, in contrast to the Kaisersemmel, the designation torn open bread is common.
  • The round section in Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and northern Lower Saxony is round to slightly elongated and has no cuts.
  • The Schrippe in Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Berlin and parts of Brandenburg and Franconia is elongated and ribbed. This is the name given to the deep cut lengthways on the top. The name Schrippe is derived from the activity of Schrippe. This gives it a more crispy crust and cooks evenly. It basically consists of water and not milk dough.
Cobbler boy
  • The shoemaker's boy in Berlin is baked from a mixed wheat and rye flour. It has a dark brown color, has a longer shelf life and is usually a little softer to the bite than the wheat flour rolls. The double-cut surface is characteristic. In Silesia , a bun that had failed in its planned shape (no longitudinal gap in the middle) used to be called a cobbler boy and was sold more cheaply.
  • Splitterbrötchen are a slightly sweet, high-fat roll specialty from Berlin, which got its name from the jagged surface.
  • Rolls in Saxony, Brandenburg and Franconia are two small rolls that are joined together, usually with a longitudinal cut ("double roll").
  • Black crescents are a typical regional specialty of Bavaria from Regensburg : A spiced caraway buns from rye and wheat flour with a cracked -röschen crust is baked and has a hearty, spicy flavor. Traditionally they are eaten with white sausage or crackers and, above all, often with bratwurst together with sauerkraut .
  • Spring rolls. Also called Springer , in the greater Osnabrück area , are rolls made from low-gluten flour that are coated with a layer of fat before baking.
  • Stollen are elongated, slightly larger rolls, usually lightly seasoned with anise . They occur in Upper Franconia and are preferably eaten with two or three Kulmbacher sausages .
  • The straw roll is a type of milk roll that is brewed with boiling water (or honey water) and baked on rye straw before baking. The underside has grooves from the straw and sometimes even remnants of the straw can be found. Straw bread rolls are only known in a few cities like Lemgo .
  • Val Venosta are palm-sized, two to three centimeters thick flat rolls made from rye-wheat sourdough and yeast from the South Tyrolean Venosta Valley .
  • Wasserweck in Frankfurt am Main , Rhineland-Palatinate , Baden and Saarland are made from flour, salt and water. Shape: two round buns hang together. That is why they are also called Doppelweck or Paarweck, in Saxony also "a double", in Rhineland-Palatinate also "Schösschen" (pronounced Schöss-chen).
  • Line roll in Styria made of six elongated rolls in a row.

Consumption forms

Bread rolls are also often used in the fast food sector and z. B. offered in the form of ready-made rolls. Originally, this took place exclusively in the bakery trade itself, as part of the so-called baker's gastronomy . Because of the popularity of these products, you can find bread rolls filled with cheese or ham today from many suppliers and recently even from some fast food chains.

Artisanal production

Web links

Commons : Buns  - Collection of Images
Wiktionary: Bread rolls  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Guidelines for bread and biscuits, (PDF; 42 kB) Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, October 19, 1993.
  2. a b Ulrich Ammon (Ed.): German dictionary of variants. Walter de Gruyter, 2004, ISBN 3-11-016574-0 , p. 139, “Brötchen”.
  3. Buns / rolls . In: Atlas of everyday German language.
  4. pastry for baking , consumer 3/2011, February 14 2011th
  5. ^ Wolfgang Schneider: Folk culture and everyday life. In: Ulrich Wagner (Hrsg.): History of the city of Würzburg. 4 volumes, Volume I-III / 2, Theiss, Stuttgart 2001–2007, Volume 1 (2001): From the beginnings to the outbreak of the Peasants' War. ISBN 3-8062-1465-4 , pp. 491-514 and 661-665, here: p. 508.
  6. See also Monika Fritz-Scheuplein et al. a .: Dictionary of Lower Franconia. A lexicographical inventory. 2nd Edition. Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 1997, ISBN 3-8260-1335-2 , p. 44 ( Bollen “thick stick”).
  7. Schrippe. In: Jacob Grimm , Wilhelm Grimm (Hrsg.): German dictionary . tape 15 : Schiefeln – Soul - (IX). S. Hirzel, Leipzig 1899 ( woerterbuchnetz.de ).
  8. Handbook sourdough. Editing: Gottfried Spicher, M. Brandt, Biologie, Biochemie, Technologie, 6th edition, 2006, Behr's Verlag, ISBN 3-89947-166-0 .
  9. ^ Academic Berlin German Dictionary
  10. Berliner Knüppel (without pre-dough) , exemplary recipe.