At first, I wasn’t a huge fan of Brötchen. I thought that the ratio of bread to toppings was rather lacking. But then I slowly came to understand that keeping the meat and cheese to a minimum highlights the bread. And that means that the most important key to a good Brötchen is finding a good bakery, and buying the Brötchen fresh daily (day-old Brötchen is not an enjoyable experience, as German rolls harden up and go stale very quickly). Standard Brötchen is a round, crusty, white roll. It has a hard exterior, but a soft inside, is somewhat similar to a baguette in taste, but resembles a bun in form. Brötchen are often coated with poppy seeds, sesame seeds, or even melted, crispy cheese. There are also several whole-grain versions, with favorites including sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, muesli and raisins.
Lately, I’ve been making tomato Brötchen for breakfast. I’ve gotten tomatoes in my weekly vegetable delivery, and when tomatoes are fresh and at their peak, I like to eat them in as simple a form as possible. This includes endless Caprese Salads, of course, but also the simple, yet perfect, tomato sandwich. Today, I opted for a pretzel roll topped with a smear of mayonnaise and a sliced, fresh tomato liberally sprinkled with sea salt. It was a pretty good way to start the day.