How to Make Kaiser Rolls

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These Kaiser rolls will "roll" you away.

A Kaiser Roll is merely a lean roll, specially shaped, and baked in a steamy oven to make it crusty. Choose a recipe or mix for a lean bread dough—or leave the butter or oil out of the recipe. Make per the directions for rolls including letting the dough rise the first time.

  • So impressive! These rolls will easily look like they cam from a professional bakery. They’re sure to impress the whole family.
  • So easy! No one has to know that you formed these impressive rolls in just four easy steps. If you can make dinner rolls, you can easily make these Kaiser rolls.
  • So versatile! You can make Kaiser Rolls out of any lean bread dough but if you would like to make your rolls from a mix, we suggest using our Sunday Dinner Rolls. Simply leave the butter out and add another half-tablespoon of water.

How to Form the Kaiser Rolls

Step 1: Cut and Roll the Dough

Cut a piece of dough off about twice what you would use for a dinner roll. (We scale the dough at 3.5 ounces for our sandwich rolls.) Roll the dough out into a rope about eight inches long.

Step 2: Form a Knot

Form a simple over-hand knot in the center of the dough. Leave the knot loose; do not try to draw it tight. You will have two protruding ends a couple inches long.

Step 3: Fold In the Ends

Take one of the ends and continue it around the rope and push it down through the center hole. It should look like the picture to the left.

Step 4: Finish the Roll

Take the other end of the dough, go around the rope, and push the end up through the center hole. The finished roll should look like the one to the right.

 

It’s more complicated to try to describe the forming process than it is to form the rolls. After the first couple, you’ll breeze right through without even thinking.

Baking Your Kaiser Rolls

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Preparing Your Kaiser Rolls for the Oven

Let the formed rolls rise covered on a baking sheet. When they are ready to bake, brush them with a whisked egg and one tablespoon water, then sprinkle them with sesame or poppy seeds. You can bake them as you would dinner rolls, but if you would like crusty roll like true Kaiser Rolls, follow the directions for baking breads in a steamy oven.

How to Get a Thick, Chewy Crust for Your Kaiser Rolls

You can use this article to learn how to get a thick and chewy crust on your bread.

A hint: the key is a hot, steamy oven and a burst of high temperatures at the beginning of the baking followed by normal baking temperatures.

You can use this baking procedure for crusty hearth breads also. For rolls, bake for ten minutes at 450 degrees then lower the temperature to 350 degrees until done. How long you will bake them will depend on how quickly your oven loses heat but it will probably be about ten additional minutes (a total of 20 minutes). As for all hearth breads, the internal temperature of your crusty rolls should be about 210 degrees. (If crusty rolls are not well baked, the internal moisture will migrate to the crust and make it soft.)

 

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(Updated from May 11, 2014)