Kaiser Rolls (German Kaisersemmeln)
Want to make the most beautiful Kaiser rolls you’ve ever seen? You can do it! No need to run out to the bakery. You can make my Kaiser rolls easily in your own kitchen that come out with a nice, crunchy crust and a super soft and moist center. Pssst…my secret to the best crust is using a steaming pan every time I bake bread and rolls. It never lets me down.
I simply preheat an empty roaster pan and place it on the very bottom of the oven. After I add my rolls or bread in, I splash a cup of water into that preheated pan, slam the door shut and go do my thing. You’ve got to be quick so your oven doesn’t lose any heat or any of that resulting steam.
Ready to get baking? Let’s do this! For these, you’ll need to plan ahead.
Prepare your starter! Here’s how:
400g AP flour
40g whole rye flour
2g dry yeast
Combine everything, mixing well to make sure there are no lumps. Cover it up with foil and let the starter rest for 3 hours at room temperature. After that, transfer to the fridge where it can stay overnight.
Pull your starter out of the fridge 3 hours before you want to continue working on your Kaiser Rolls as it needs to get to room temperature. By then it should look like the picture below, bubbly and airy with a wonderfully sour smell.
After that happens, combine:
500g AP flour
80g whole rye flour
12g dry yeast
Knead the dough for a good 10-15 minutes. Whenever you notice that the dough is not sticking to the sides of your mixing bowl anymore you can cover it up and let rest for 15 minutes.
In the meantime, you can prepare your dipping bowls. You will need:
1 bowl with rye flour and cornstarch mix ratio 1:1 I used 2 tbsp whole rye flour: 2 tbsp corn starch
1 bowl with a folded paper towel soaked in water
1 bowl for the seeds you would like as your toppings
Feel free to get creative with your toppings. My favorites are sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and sunflower seeds. Every once in a while, I sprinkle cheese on them. If you love cheese and want to sprinkle that on top, you don’t need to dip your roll in water before stamping it. You can simply punch the pattern on with your bread stamp, then sprinkle on the cheese. You can purchase the stamps in my online shop here.
Next, divide the dough into 18-20 equal pieces, and shape them into rolls.
You can purchase the stamps in my online shop
Punching and Dipping
Dip the rolls with the top into the flour/starch mix.
Punch the pattern on the top of the roll, try not to go all the way through the roll. 80% is perfect.
Press the punched top onto the soaked paper towel to help the seeds to stick. The water and the flour mix work as the “glue” that binds your toppings to the roll.
Dip the punched, moist top of the roll into the bowl with the topping of your choice.
Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, cover and let rest for 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes, these babies are ready for the oven.
Preheat the oven to 450 F and don’t forget your steaming pan! Bake for 17 minutes and enjoy these fresh and perfect Kaiser Rolls!