Monday, June 18, 2018

Kaiser Rolls

It has been over a year since I've shared a recipe. Today I'm breaking that record.

When I make these kaiser rolls, I think of May 2017 when Ed was so sick with terrible headaches and we didn't know why. I baked these rolls, one of the first times ever, to serve with Ed's favorite pork barbecue, but he hardly touched the meal.

But despite that memory, we do enjoy these kaiser rolls. They are chewy and perfect for sandwiches. I have made a lot less bread this past year since Ed can't eat it, but I've made these rolls numerous times.

The original recipe came from my sister who got it from one of Peter Reinhart's cookbooks. The original recipe called for making a pre-ferment one day and then finishing the dough the next day. That is too fussy for me. I adapted the recipe to mix all the ingredients at one time and either bake it immediately, or refrigerate the dough and bake in a day or two. Sometimes I bake half the dough into rolls the first day and save the remaining dough for the next day so we can have freshly baked rolls again with minimal effort.

I make these rolls with a mix of white and whole wheat flours, but they can be made with all white or all whole wheat flour. If you use bread flour, the higher gluten level will make these rolls even chewer. I usually add a bit of vital gluten to aid the gluten development and make them chewy but it is not necessary.

You can shape these rolls into simple round rolls. But I like to roll the dough balls long and skinny and "tie" them into knots. If you google "shaping kaiser roll knots" you'll find lots of tutorials.

I'm attempting to rewrite this recipe for sourdough, but I'm not completely satisfied yet. Hopefully with a little more work I'll have that recipe perfected enough to share.

Kaiser  Rolls

3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3 cups white flour
2 T vital gluten (optional)
1 T salt
1 T yeast
1 T honey
2 eggs
3 T olive oil
2 1/2 cups water
Egg and seeds for garnish (optional)

Stir all ingredients together except garnishes. Knead 6 minutes with a kneading hook at medium speed. (Or knead by hand - though you may need to add more flour.) The dough should still be tacky and hard to handle, though not sticky.

Cover dough and allow to rise 2 hours or until double. Divide dough into 16 pieces. Rest 10 minutes. Shape into balls or roll and twist into knots. Place on greased baking sheet.

Allow rolls to rise one hour. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds and poppy seeds. Bake at 425 for 13 minutes. Cool and serve with your favorite pork barbecue or other favorite sandwich toppings.

Variation: After mixing, allow to rise for 30 minutes at room temperature. Then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and place in fridge. One to three days later, remove dough from fridge, divide into rolls, and proceed with the recipe. The rolls may need more time to warm and rise before baking.


  1. Oh my! The rolls sure look delicious. Thank you for the recipe.

  2. Hello Gina, I hope Ed is feeling better...? Question for you, do you have any recipes to share that do not use white or wheat flour? I am adopting the Keto W.O.E. and have stopped eating most processed items such as white flour, sugar...anything in a box or can from a store. We grow our own veggies and have fresh eggs from our hens. I am avoiding as many chemicals as possible in my family's diet. All home made to the best of my ability. Since you have such a talent for could only hope. How's your garden? Hugs ~A

    1. I've been making keto food for Ed for nearly a year now. I've found many great recipes on sites like Diet Doctor. They have a roll recipe that is excellent. But mostly I just keep meals simple with salads, soups, and simple casseroles.
      Garden is doing great (except for where the groundhog is browsing) and Ed is feeling very well right now.

  3. Oh, it is so nice to see you post a recipe again! I've missed that, although I totally understand why. I see from your above comment that Ed is feeling well now..glad to hear it! These rolls look good, but I think I'll wait until it cools off to bake them! Happy also that your garden is doing well. Ours is too. I made strawberry rhubarb jam today, and picked some broccoli. We are still praying for you and your family. Blessings to all!

  4. I would love the sour dough recipe. I use sourdough often, keep it alive always. Thank you and praying for you and your family, Melinda

  5. Thank you for such a beautiful recipe. I cannot wait to try it, as my son has numerous allergies and cannot eat many store bought breads. Recipes were what brought me to your website in the beginning, and I hope it brought you some peace to get back to posting something so normal. I will come and visit and see what you are writing, whether it be about bread or homeschooling or Ed's journey. Thank you for all that you share, and may your words encourage and lift up many.

  6. I tried your recipe and they came out great! I made them entirely by hand (I don't have a mixer) and I did have to add a lot more flour, like nearly 2 cups. Having never made this shape, I was delighted with how easy it was and how pretty the rolls came out!

    Also I can't thank you enough for sharing your life through your beautiful writing. So many times you have inspired and strengthened me with your faith, honesty, and wisdom, as I negotiate my own difficult journey.

  7. Thank you for sharing this recipe, I have really enjoyed reading your blog! I am in the process of making these and have a question. When I went to shape them, they were so sticky I couldn't handle them. I added quite a bit more flour and they were still too sticky to do the knots so I just plopped them on the pan, hopefully they turn out:) Anyway do you have any ideas as to why? I used all white flour. Thanks and praying for you all!

    1. Shannon-
      Glad you tried the recipe. I should have mentioned that if you use all white flour you will certainly need more flour. The age of the flour can make a difference. Sometimes even the humidity level can change the amount of flour needed. Next time you can try decreasing the amount of water slightly. They should taste fine even if they are "blobs."
      Happy Baking,


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