The Kaiser Roll is an old recipe originating in Austria in the 18th century. Try telling that to a New Yorker, though. Order a breakfast sandwich at a NY deli and you’ll get, no questions asked, a crusty white roll with an airy, soft inside. Stuff with gooey melted cheese, a runny hot fried egg, and bacon for a true NYC breakfast sandwich experience. A different variation of the Kaiser roll originates from other side of the state, Buffalo, NY. The kimmelweck is a Kaiser roll topped with massive amounts of pretzel salt and caraway seeds. The Buffalo variation is the base for the insanely good Beef on Weck sandwich- rare roast beef dipped in warm au jus, topped with horseradish, and served in a warm kimmelweck roll.
- Stand Mixer with dough hook attachment
- Large bowl
- Baking pan lined with parchment paper, wire rack
- Kaiser roll press
- Spray bottle with water
- 3½ cup Unbleached bread flour (plus a little for dusting)
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 tbsp Sugar
- 1½ tsp Instant yeast
- 1 tbsp Malt powder or syrup (or honey)
- 1 large Egg
- 1 large Egg, white only
- 1¼ cup Lukewarm water
- 1 tbsp Shortening, vegetable oil, or softened butter
- 1 large Egg
- 2 tbsp Unsalted butter, softened
- 4 tbsp Poppy or sesame seeds (pretzel salt and caraway seeds for Kimmelweck rolls)
- Mixing the Dough – Turn on lights in oven. Warm water and malt/oil/butter in the microwave. Using a stand mixer with dough hook attachment, combine the dry ingredients in the bowl. Add the water-malt mixture and eggs. Knead at medium-low speed for 8 minutes. A smooth, supple dough will form. Add a tbsp water at a time if it seems too dry and not coming together or add 1 tbsp of flour at a time if it seems too wet.
- Proofing – Transfer to a large buttered bowl, cover with a lid or plastic wrap, and place it in the warmed oven until doubled in size, around 1 hour. Gently deflate the dough, cover, and let rise for another hour. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead with hands for a minute-or-two. Divide into equal pieces and then roll each into a ball. Place balls on a parchment-lined (or lightly greased) baking sheet. Center a kaiser stamp over each ball and press down hard, cutting nearly to the bottom (but not all the way through). Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Let them rise for 1 hour on the counter.
- Cooking – Preheat oven to 450°F (230°F) before second proofing is complete. Spray rolls with water and in the ½oven when door opened to put rolls in. Bake until the rolls turn golden brown and are light to the touch, 15 to 17 minutes. Transfer cooked rolls to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Kaiser rolls can be stored in a sealed plastic bag for a few days and frozen indefinitely.
- Slits on top of the rolls can be made without a Kaiser stamp but won’t look as authentic. Make a pinwheel by making 4 curved cuts 1/2-inch into the top of the dough with a sharp knife or razor blade,