O is for..

O is for… Obscure Objects Of Desire

I wrote a post about Fiori di Sicilia a while ago in which my intention was two fold: one to poke fun at myself for wanting all these strange bits of kit to play around with; and secondly to say thank you to Bakery Bits who managed to get hold of nearly all of them.

I am aware that by writing about these objects it probably encourages people to want them too even if I am making fun of myself.

So what do I do ? Do I write about them or do I pretend that I don’t enjoy the searching and thinking about these things, I think I will just continue to write about them, it’s all part of the fun of having baking as an interest after all.

Chocveg asked me if I had pictures of the presses I included in the lame post. So today I made a quick batch of dough and got them out and put them to work, all for you Choc!

At the same time my friend Brydie at Cityhippfarmgirl wrote to me and asked if I knew anything about Italian Rosetta rolls which look different again.

Photo taken by Celia at Figjamandlimecordial.com shown by permission

Edit: Here is a picture of some Australian Rosetta rolls bought at a bakery taken by Celia in Sydney which she has kindly sent me to share with you.

You can make them by hand, there are several blog posts that show you how. Here is a post written by David Anderson on the subject. However, if you read the comments on that post he says that the ones with the hollow middles are called something else again, michetta from Milan, and that they are very difficult to make at home.

I am pretty sure that they aren’t all made by hand and that there are specialist bits of machinery that big bakeries have to make them with.  You can also get these little presses like the ones in the picture to stamp the rolls with prior to baking, though whether that gives you the full effect of the hollow roll I don’t know. I’ve never managed to make a hollow roll yet.

We don’t get them too often here in England, and I associate pretty bread rolls mostly with Germany and other Northern European countries.  Apparently they are really popular in Australia though.  I remembered searching for these bread shapers on one of my more obsessive moments and suggested them to Bakery Bits as something that every home baker would like to have. He stocks two of the shapes currently, the Kaiser roll one and the Spiral one (see the photos)  and I have both of these. However, there are a couple more, the Rosetta and the Football, neither of which are obtainable here. I have found them in Germany though where they are called Brötchenstempel or Brötchendrücker.  Again the various shapes are given different names depending on who stocks them, leading to endless opportunities for confusion.

The way English speaking people use Google is so Anglo/American-centric that we often conclude that something doesn’t exist when in fact it does of course exist, just that we don’t know the right name for it.  So as a tip, when your search draws a big fat 0 for something, ask yourself if you are calling it by the right name.

I see over on the Fresh Loaf, a predominantly American site, that people have been looking on and off for these for a long time. Some enterprising people have found them in Italy but it’s not easy apparently even to get them there.

If I manage to get hold of the Rosetta presses, I will let you know and get a few spare ones. And if you know a friendly baker who sells them, ask them if they make them by hand, and if they do,  find out how they do it, we’re all really curious to know!

Edit : I got them and you can see the results in this post Rosetta with Biga

24 thoughts on “O is for..

    1. Joanna Post author

      You are my hero :D Do you realise I have no idea what your Australian Italian rolls are like? I’m guessing they are like rolls I have eaten in Germany many years ago. Crisp shells and hollow in the middle. We tend to eat crusty rolls here which are round and dark and very light which stale fast, or soft white bappy things. We don’t have the tradition of rolls that they do in Switzerland, Austria, Italy and Germany. I wish we did, but we are too wedded to our sandwiches and latterly wraps and so on. Somehow fine quality bread rolls got missed off the baker’s list here.

  1. teawithhazel

    i am amazed at how huge the bread world is..so much to learn..kaiser rolls have always been a favourite so now i want a press so i can make them..the hunt is on! thanks for sharing your knowledge joanna..jane

    1. Joanna Post author

      Not at all, I am not particularly knowledgeable, but I an endlessly curious, and pick up snippets along the way to share :)

  2. chocvegveg

    Thanks Joanna! I have never seen them before, or seen bread knowingly made with them! I would say they come under the category of Odd Objects of Desire!

    1. Joanna Post author

      I’m never quite sure I use them correctly or really show them as they are supposed to work. The little spiraling snail one is very small so I think maybe I should have made much smaller rolls. These were all about 90 grams dough weight. I just used a simple sourdough recipe so again that might not have been the best sort of dough. They tasted fine though :)

      As to never seeing them before I just googled the word brotchen and looked at a thousand pictures of these there….

  3. heidi

    I have some of these as well. I didn’t know their name and have been using them primarily in fried breads or doughnuts. But I have a couple that are perfect for pull apart parkerhouse rolls.
    I’ll put them up on an “in my kitchen” post when I get home next week.

    1. Joanna Post author

      How exciting – I’ve not made doughnuts ever, so we’ll look forward to seeing your photos next week. Hope you’re having a lovely time – the beach – what a wonderful word :D

  4. cityhippyfarmgirl

    A few bubbles of excitement this end! A press is close, very close!
    Between you, Celia and Mr Chocolate an Italian rosetta panino filled with proscuitto and fresh mozzerella is so close, I think I can smell it.
    (and I think the searching and obsessing is half the fun, if it was easy, no where near as fun ;-)

    1. Joanna Post author

      Mr Chocolate is on the trail ? Ooh Brydie – let me know what happens next….. rising crescendo of bubbles indeed!

  5. Yvette

    The rosetta (rose) is one of those hollow rolls especially made to be filled with abundant amounts of fresh sliced meats..osso collo, prosciutto, porchetta, you know all that good stuff!!! not to mention the cheeses….We have it here in Treviso Italy, as well as the tartaruga(tutle) and even the mantova, and the problem is always never have one..without knowing you’ll always eat two! x

    1. Joanna Post author

      Yvette how interesting! What is the difference between the tartaruga and the mantova and the rosetta ? Are they all different patterns? I would love to have one (or two) right now. I haven’t had breakfast yet. And all those lovely words beginning with ‘p’ prosciutto, porchetta…. this isn’t fair ;)

  6. The Cornish Exile


    Thank you ever so much for your donation for my impending cycle ride, and for the offer of a sourdough sandwich en route. Unfortunately I’m going to bypass Bristol to go via Bath to visit a friend who’s recently opened a little cafe there (the Roman Foodhouse, if you’re ever passing), but I’m hoping to do more long distance cycle rides later this year, so if I’m ever your way I’ll give you a shout.

    Thanks again :).


    1. Joanna Post author

      Good luck with the ride Jack, I support the work of ShelterBox too! I haven’t been to Bath in ages, even though it is so near but I will remember the name of your friend’s café should I visit.

  7. sallybr

    Joanna, all I can say is that my kitchen is overflowing with obscure objects of desire, and reading your blog opens my horizons to more and more ;-)

    1. Joanna Post author

      That’s a bit cryptic… now I want to know more about the overflow in your kitchen, visions of pots and pans spilling out the doors, drawers full of incredibly useful utensils… Meanwhile in Sydney the quest for Rosetta presses is getting hot :D

  8. Laurel's Reflections

    Mmmm that looks like so much fun! My mom always used to make bread, which I loved, and I finally got the hang of it last year whilst on maternity leave. Some of the things I really missed on my return to work is time for regular baking and cooking.

    1. Joanna Post author

      Thanks for visiting me back Laurel! It is fun to share the baking via a blog. A world of people from all over chatting away across our respective spaces, do join in when you have the time :)

  9. Misk Cooks

    When we’re on our road-trip next month, I plan to check out bakeries and shops that have nifty tools like those. It’s possible that I’ll need a larger house just to store all the goodies I’m wanting for my baking hobby!

    1. Joanna Post author

      I think I have managed to order some from Germany, and Celia and Brydie have found rosetta presses in Sydney, and are busily perfecting their home made rolls.

      I was googling just now for a dough recipe for the buns and found that Creeds stock them here but at an extortionate price. Three times as much as the German site.

      Take an extra suitcase on your trip just in case!

  10. Pingback: word was out, rosetta rolls were in « Cityhippyfarmgirl

    1. Joanna Post author

      I ordered the rosettas from Germany from the link in the post above. You can see my first go in the other post I posted today. I have a couple of spare ones if you want one, let me know via email.

  11. Pingback: Snapseed, Shards and Spirals « Zeb Bakes

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