The name says it all – kaiser for emperor and semmel for rolls. This king of rolls traces its origin back to 19th century Austria. These beautiful knotted rolls are soft and tasty to be had either plain or made into a sandwich. The beautiful rosette shaped rolls are usually topped with seeds , which definitely adds to the visual appeal.
There are Kaiser roll stamps , which can be used to shape the dough into the beautiful flower shapes. Though beautiful I find the stamps to lack the artisan touch, and use a simple knotting technique to give the rolls its rosette shape. By all means use the stamp especially if you are making large batches of rolls , but otherwise give the technique in the video a try ..
This is a bread recipe that uses eggs, but if you have an aversion to eggs , try the shaping technique with a egg free bread recipe, like the Dilkush Bread dough or even with the Ladi Pav recipe .
Warm the water till it reaches 110°F - just warm to touch. Bring the egg and butter to room temperature.
Take 1/4 C of lukewarm water in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar and sprinkle the yeast on top. Let the yeast bloom for 5 to 10 minutes until the mix begin to foam up on top. To this add the flour, butter and salt . Make a well in the middle of the flour and break the egg into it. Knead everything together while adding the remaining water as needed to make a soft dough. Knead for about 10 minutes until the dough has become pliable and relaxed. Form into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl at least 3 times larger than the volume of the dough. Cover and let it rise in a warm place for at least an hour or until it has doubled in volume.
Uncover and punch down the dough. Divide into 6 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and shape the kaiser rolls. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or spray lightly with oil. Place the rolls on the sheet leaving at least 2" space between them. Cover with a moist kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes, or until almost doubled.
While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Just before placing the rolls in the oven brush the tops with milk and sprinkle the seeds on top.
Place in the preheated oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
I am a big fan of unbleached , unbromated all purpose flour, and that is what I use in this recipe. Any flour with a fair amount of protein content , AP Flour or bread flour but definitely not cake flour, will work well in this recipe. These rolls have just a hint of sweetness and can easily be paired with sweet or savory fillings. The seeds on the top are optional, but these definitely add to the visual appeal.
The video below recaps the methods and briefly shows how to shape the rolls .
These rolls are tasty just plain.. or just go ahead and stack your favorite sandwich fillings in there 🙂