Perfect, a sturdy, flavorful roll that will travel well.
3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast (rapid rise)
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup water
In a large bowl, or the bowl of your electric mixer I don’t have one of these yet, so I’m using a hand mixer combine all ingredients, stirring till the dough forms a cohesive mass and begins to clear the sides of the bowl. With the hand mixer I was able to mix until the dough was crumbly
Knead the dough for 5 minutes, then allow it to rest for 10 minutes (which gives the dough a chance to absorb the liquid and the gluten in the flour a chance to relax.) Knead the dough for an additional 5 minutes, or until it’s smooth and supple. The dough should be quite stiff, but not at all “gnarly;” adjust consistency with additional flour or water, as necessary. This is a tough dough, you will get a workout kneading it. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover with cloth and allow to rise till it’s noticeably puffy, about 1 hour.
Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, and divide into six equal pieces.
Shape the pieces into round balls, and place them on a lightly greased or parchment lined baking sheet. Working with one ball at a time, center your kaiser stamp over the dough. Press down firmly, cutting to the bottom but not all the way through the dough. This is important; if you don’t cut deeply enough, the shape disappears as the roll bakes; if you cut too deeply (all the way though), the roll will form “petals” as it rises and look like a daisy, not a kaiser roll. Practice makes perfect. Repeat with remaining rolls. Ok, I don’t have a kaiser cutter either, I used my sharp knife and cut a deep cross in the top.
Place the rolls cut-side down onto a lightly greased or parchment lined baking sheet. Cover with cloth and allow them to rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until they have almost doubled in volume.
Turn the rolls right side up. Dip tops in milk and coat with poppy or sesame seeds, if desired.
Bake the rolls in a preheated 425 F. oven for 15-17 minutes or until they’re golden brown. Remove them from oven, and cool on a wire rack.