Week 34: Kaisersemmel

AUSTRIA: Often called hard rolls in the U.S., these “emperor’s rolls” are mostly eaten for breakfast in Austria, with butter and jam. I couldn’t really master the “fold and tuck” method of shaping the dough, so tied them in knots instead — no easy feat either! These are a sturdier alternative to Week 10’s Burger Buns which are made with a brioche type dough, so definitely something to add to your repertoire!

Since the video is in Bavarian (or German? I have no idea!), I’ve listed the ingredients below. Get them all measured out ahead of time, then follow the video instructions below.

  • 400 g AP flour
  • 8 g salt
  • 10 g malted barley flour 
  • 5 g sugar
  • 15 g soft butter
  • 7 g yeast
  • 50 ml milk
  • 190 ml lukewarm water (72 degrees)
  • milk and sesame seeds for topping

Instructions (make sure you watch the video – don’t just go by this loose translation!)

  1. Knead slowly for 3 minutes, then a little faster for 6.5 minutes
  2. First rise is 20 minutes
  3. Each dough ball should be about 75g, 9 total
  4. He dusts the balls with a “dusting flour” which is 50% rye and 50% cornstartch.
  5. Dough balls rest for 15 minutes
  6. I did not dust them a second time, because I wanted to coat them with sesame seeds and I figured the flour would interfere with that. But, if you are going to shape them as he does, do the 2nd dusting.
  7. After you shape them, they rest for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 450 during this rest.
  8. You want a steamy environment, so put hot water in a pan on the lowest rack. See the Tips page for more info on that.
  9. Just before baking, I brushed them with milk and added the sesame seeds. So, I did not spray them with water as he does in the video.
  10. Bake for about 18 minutes.

Here’s how to make knots if you would rather go that route:

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