Weggeliteig (button rolls)

Yield: 8 servings

Measure Ingredient
2 cups Hot water (120-130F)
1 cup Nonfat dry milk
2 tablespoons Sugar
2 teaspoons Salt
5 cups All-purpose or bread flour
2 \N Pkg. dry yeast
2 tablespoons Each lard & veg. shortening
1 \N Egg, beaten, mixed with a pinch of salt

Grease a large baking sheet (or have ready a Teflon one).

In a large mixing or mixer bowl pour the hot water and add the milk, sugar, salt and 2 cups flour. Stir to blend. Add the yeast: stir.

Measure in the shortening. (The recipe's creator, a Swiss baker, insists that half of the shortening should be lard if you're attempting to duplicate the original flavor.) If working by hand, beat with a wooden spoon: if in a mixer, use the flat beater. When the shortening has been blended into the heavy batter, add the balance of the flour, half a cup at a time, until the dough is a shaggy mass and can be worked with the hands or under the dough hook.

Knead for 8 minutes by hand or in the mixer, until the dough is soft and elastic.

Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and set aside until it has doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.

Turn dough from the bowl, and punch down.

Divide the dough into 24 pieces, and roll each into a ball until any seams disappear. When each ball is round and cohesive, fashion it into a long roll - 4 to 5 inches -- by pushing it back and forth under your flattened palm with considerable pressure. Place the rolls end to end on the baking sheet with a three-inch space between the parallel rows. If there is dough for more rolls than the baking sheet will accomodate, reserve it and repeat this step when the sheet and oven are available.

Cover the rolls with wax paper and leave undisturbed for 40 minutes.

Then brush each roll with the egg/salt mixture. Leave uncovered for another 20 minutes. At the end of the hour, brush again with the glaze.

Preheat the oven to 375F.

When the rolls have been brushed for the second time, face the long side of the rolls. Hold scissors at a 45-degree angle, and snip 5 triangular cuts across each roll, about 1" long, down the center of each roll. The points of the cuts will rise, forming "buttons". Dip the scissors in water frequently so the points don't stick to the glaze.

When all the rolls have been cut, place the baking sheet on the center rack of the oven. Halfway through baking, turn the sheet end for end to equalize the heat on the rolls. They are done when glossy brown, 35 minutes. Turn a roll over and tap the bottom crust to make sure the crust is firm.

Place on a rack to cool somewhat before serving.


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