Kaiser Rolls | Karen’s Kitchen Stories

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These Kaiser Rolls are wonderful for grilled burgers and smoked beef brisket sandwiches. They have a thin crackly crust and a soft, light, flavorful crumb.

Kaiser Rolls

While I have another Kaiser roll recipe on this blog, I’ve always wanted to conquer the authentic “non-cheater” method of shaping these rolls.

I’ve also tried using a Kaiser roll stamp, which didn’t produce the results I wanted. I’ve even used a knife to carve the Kaiser roll pattern in the top of these Kimmelweck rolls (the Kaiser roll’s western New York cousin, which are topped with caraway seeds).

Traditional Kaiser Rolls

How to Shape a Traditional Kaiser Roll

Traditional Kaiser rolls (or Bulkies) are shaped by pressing the dough into a round and then folding the dough over itself five or six times into the middle. You then let the the rolls rise, folded side down on a seeded towel so that the folds don’t open up when rising.

Here is an illustration of the folding method. The recipe talks about leaving your thumb in the dough, but I had to remove mine to take the photos. Rest assured, I add it back for each fold:

How to fold Traditional Kaiser Rolls
  1. Divide the dough into 3 ounce (85 gram) pieces and roll them into balls. Next, flatten the dough balls into 6 inch rounds. Lightly dust the circle with either white rye or rice flour. 
  2. Place your thumb in the center of the circle and fold the 9 o’clock side over your thumb and press it into the center. 
  3. Leaving your thumb in place, fold the 11 o’clock corner into the center and press it down on top of the first fold. 
  4. Fold the 1 o’clock position over and press it into the center. Your thumb should still remain under the first fold. 
  5. Fold the 3 o’clock position into the center and press. 
  6. Fold the 5 o’clock position into the center and press. 
  7. Finally, you will have a the remaining dough looking like a point. This is when you can remove your thumb. 
  8. Fold the point under the first fold, in the space you were keeping open with your thumb, and press. Place the shaped rolls, folded side down on a damp towel that has been dusted with poppy or other seeds. 

The reason you want to place the rolls upside down is to make sure they don’t open up during rising. Otherwise, you might end up with this, where you have to kind of press the folds together ….. still delicious but a little awkward … 

Kaiser rolls that opened too much

Or this from my first attempt….. 

Kaiser rolls that opened way too much

After a couple of tries… success!! Woo hoo! 

Kaiser rolls in a basket

It took me a couple of attempts to master this shaping, and, in the meantime, my experiments were delicious. 

These rolls are meant for burgers and sandwiches, which is why it’s my contribution for Barbecue Week, an event hosted by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventure and Family Around the Table. While brioche buns are nice, I prefer a leaner dough for burgers and grilled meats.

The dough for these buns is only lightly enriched, with just a little bit of egg, oil, and sugar, as well as a bit of malt. It’s a 50 percent hydration dough, easy to shape and still light and fluffy. 

My favorite part is the thin and crispy crust.

Kaiser rolls traditionally shaped

Traditional Kaiser Roll Recipe

Yield: 12 Rolls

Author:

ingredients:

  • 22 ounces (625 grams) 4 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 11 ounces (315 grams) 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil 
  • 1/2 large egg (30 grams)
  • 2 1/4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons malt powder or liquid malt
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt

instructions:

How to cook Traditional Kaiser Roll Recipe

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add all of the ingredients except the salt and mix with the paddle for a minute or two on low speed.
  2. Add the salt and mix for one minute more.
  3. Switch to the dough hook and knead for about 10 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and place it into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  4. Let the dough rest for 2 to 2 1/2 hours until tripled in bulk.
  5. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces (about 3 ounces each) and form into balls. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.
  6. Place a steam pan on the bottom rack of the oven and a baking stone on a rack in the upper third of the oven. Heat your oven to 450 degrees F.
  7. Flatten the dough balls into 6 inch rounds. Lightly dust the circle with either white rye or rice flour.
  8. Place your thumb in the center of the circle and fold the 9 o’clock side over your thumb and press it into the center.
  9. Leaving your thumb in place, fold the 11 o’clock corner into the center and press it down on top of the first fold.
  10. Fold the 1 o’clock position over and press it into the center. Your thumb should still remain under the first fold.
  11. Fold the 3 o’clock position into the center and press.
  12. Fold the 5 o’clock position into the center and press.
  13. Finally, you will have a the remaining dough looking like a point. This is when you can remove your thumb.
  14. Fold the point under the first fold, in the space you were keeping open with your thumb, and press. Place the shaped rolls, folded side down on a damp towel that has been dusted with poppy or other seeds.
  15. Let the rolls rise until they are 3/4 proofed. 
  16. Flip the rolls over, place them on a parchment lined baking sheet, fold side up, and let them rise for another 15 minutes. 
  17. Add two cups of boiling water to the steam pan and close the oven door to let the oven fill with steam. 
  18. Place the sheet pan with the rolls on top of the baking stone and bake the rolls for about 15 minutes, until they are a golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack. 
https://www.karenskitchenstories.com/2019/05/kaiser-rolls.html

Karen’s Kitchen Stories

bread, Kaiser rolls, buns

Bread, buns

Jewish


More Barbecue Week Recipes!

This recipe was adapted from the book, Inside the Jewish Bakery by Stanley Ginsberg. It looks like the book is out of print, so be sure to try to find it via your library. 

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