In a bowl, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, and skim milk powder. Next add in the lukewarm water and knead until the dough comes together in one mass
Once the dough has come together in one lump, transfer it to a working surface. Knead for 10 minutes till the dough is smooth.
When the dough is smooth, add the salt and shortening and knead some more.
When you first add the shortening and salt, the dough is going to fall apart and be a mess.
But as you keep kneading it it comes together nicely, and becomes smooth and easy to handle. Knead for around 10 minutes.
Grease a bowl and place the ball of dough in it with the seam facing down. Cover it with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out and leave for the first time. It should take about 60 minutes.
Once the dough has is about 2-2.5 times bigger, it's done rising.
Transfer the dough to a working surface that has been coated in flour. Using the palm of your hand, gently press the dough down to deflate.
Divide the dough into 6 portions and form them into balls. Take a tightly wrung out damp towel and cover them. Let them rest for 20 minutes.
Once they are done resting, it's time to form the rolls. Take one ball of dough and on a flour coated surface, roll out the dough with a rolling pin till it's about a 20cm long oval.
Fold down the top half of the dough, while making sure to not trap any air inside.
Do the same for the bottom half. The picture shows dough that was flattened with a rolling pin, but please don't use one and use your hands instead.
Bring the top and bottom edges of the dough together as shown in this photo.
The roll is now formed nicely.♪ Repeat the previous steps for the rest of the dough. (You see a rolling pin in the photo, but please use ignore it and don't use one.(＝◇＝;) )
Arrange the formed rolls seam side down on a baking tray that has been lined with parchment paper. Cover them with a tightly wrung out damp towel and let the dough rise a second time. This should take about 60-70 minutes. Before the dough is done rising, preheat your oven to 450℉ (230℃). (If you only are baking one tray of them, then lower the temperature to 375℉ (190℃) and bake them on the bottom rack.)
Once the dough is about 2-2.5 times bigger, it's done rising. Bake them in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
Once they are done, put them on a cooling rack and let them cool.
Try filling them with yakisoba (stir fried noodles) or potato croquettes to make a savory snack bread. You can also fill them with whipped cream or jam and make them into sweet snack breads. Of course the rolls are delicious on their own too.
Story Behind this Recipe
I made these for my boyfriend, who's never had koppe-pan before. I wanted to make a simple bread that had a subtle sweet flavor when you chewed on it.
＊This is a relatively easy dough to handle, so I think that even beginners can make this bread. I urge you to try this out, so that you can experience the deliciousness of freshly baked bread. ＊There is going to be some discrepancy between my oven and yours, so please adjust the temperature as you need to. <If you are using two oven trays:> I've specified rather high oven temperatures, so I think it's best to start baking the rolls at 200 °C (400 °F).