Kaiser Rolls are great for sandwiches or as a side with meat dishes.
Sandwiches are ok.
We eat them most weekends for lunch.
We have kids, it’s just easier.
But eating a sandwich outside…
I don’t know if it’s the fresh air or what, but they are so much better.
Even a plain old ham and cheese, on cheap loaf bread, made 4 hours before,
stuck in a cooler, eaten at a rest stop on the way to somewhere,
tastes better than when we eat the exact same thing at the kitchen table.
So we’re going fishing Saturday, making a day of it with some good friends.
Hmmmm, what to bring?
Well of course we’ll have to have sandwiches.
But these are special people we’re going with.
I know, I’ll bake the rolls.
I look at some of the recipes I have, dinner rolls, nope, won’t work.
Either have to slice before we leave or slice there, forget that,
loaf is best fresh out of the oven in my opinion.
Time to head to my favorite site King Arthur Flour .
Just a quick note about them. The company has a great story, are employee owned and If I lived within a hundred miles of this place, I’d never have to bake again. I have to settle for buying their flour in our local grocery store for now.
If you get a chance, wander around their site. They have great recipes, tutorials on bread making (they have videos on commercial bread making somewhere on the site. I watched them a few years ago and it just made me more comfortable with the bread making process.) You can tell the employees love where they work and that says so much about a company. I like to support companies like that whenever I can.
So back on topic, I head over to King Arthur Flour, start looking through the recipes and I find Kaiser Rolls.
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
then just a few kneads in the bowl, made it all come together.
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 pide into six equal pieces.
I used a sharp knife, a pizza cutter would also work well
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.
A great way to store home baked bread is in old bread wrappers (from your loaf bread), just another way to recycle!
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