Monday, September 24, 2012

Soft and Fluffy Kaiser Rolls

I've been wanting to try my hand at Kaiser rolls for a long time.  I'm not that big of a fan of the grocery store rolls, but I used to live next to a diner that made them fresh every day and they were to DIE for.  Well, I've moved over 1000 miles away from that little diner, so if I want fresh baked Kaiser rolls, I guess it's on me to make them. (0=

I found two recipes that I thought sounded interesting but I didn't really like the entire recipe of either, so I've snipped away at both and combined them to make a truly delightful recipe.  These came out PERFECTLY!  

*The first recipe came from and the other from Taste of Home, in case your interested in my inspiration for this recipe.

First up, what you'll need:

2 Tbsp active dry yeast

2 1/2 cups warm water (110 to 120 degrees F)
2 Tbsp shortening (you could use oil but it does make a difference)
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
6 - 7 cups flour (bread flour is best but All-Purpose is fine)
3 egg whites

Then, for the egg wash before baking:
1 egg white, beaten with a splash of cold milk

topping of your choice (poppy seeds, caraway, etc.)


Beat egg whites until very stiff and firm, set aside.

Egg whites - all whipped up

Combine yeast and warm water in the bowl of your stand mixer and let sit for about 5 minutes or until yeast starts to bloom.  
Yeast Bloom

In the mean time, cream together sugar, salt and shortening in a small bowl.  
Shortening, salt and sugar
all creamed together

When yeast is in full bloom, add shortening mixture and 3 cups of flour.  Using your paddle attachment, mix dough for 2 minutes or until it comes together. 

This is what dough should
look like before egg whites

Remove bowl from mixer and fold in your egg whites.  (I know that we will lose some of the air from the egg whites as we mix and knead in the rest of the flour - believe me, I was skeptical - but this really makes a huge difference in the lightness of your rolls when they're done.)  
Switch to Dough Hook

Return bowl to mixer and switch over to your dough hook.  Gradually add flour, incorporating on LOW speed as you go, in 1/4 cup increments until dough comes together and starts pulling off the sides of the bowl.  

Dough ready to knead by hand.

Pour dough out onto a floured work surface and knead by hand an additional 3 to 5 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.

You will know it is ready because as you fold and push the dough while kneading, it will begin to spring back more forcefully and will literally fight you to keep it's shape.  Slightly oil the surface of a large (I do mean LARGE) bowl and place the dough in the bowl.  Flip the dough once so that the top side is oiled.  Take a kitchen towel and wet it under HOT tap water, cover the bowl and set it in a warm, draft-free place to rise until doubled (about an hour).

Dough, ready for 1st rise

I live in South Texas where we run the air conditioning 24/7 until mid- to late-October, so there really isn't a warm place in my home.  On the other hand, it is always warm and muggy outside, so I generally place my covered dough on top of my chest freezer in the garage to rise.  It's like MAGIC letting it rise in this humid atmosphere.  Here is what my dough looked like after one hour in my garage.

Dough after First rise
After your dough has doubled (as you can see, mine went WAY more than double), punch it down but try not to work it too much.  Flip the dough in the bowl again, re-wet your towel with hot tap water, cover and let rise again for about 40 minutes.

Dough after 2nd rise

After the 2nd rise, you'll want to punch the dough down again and turn it out onto a floured surface.  Roll it out either with your hands or a rolling pin to about a 12 inch square.  Cut the dough into 16 equal pieces.  

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Roll each piece of dough into a ball and place on parchment paper approximately 2" apart for the final rise.  Once all the dough is placed on the pan, re-wet your kitchen towel with hot tap water and cover the rolls again.  Let them rise one last time for about 30 minutes.  

Rolls ready for final rise
Egg wash and toppings
(running out of clean
places for pictures - haha)
In the meantime, heat your oven to 400 degrees F.  Whisk together your last egg white with a splash of milk until it's a little frothy.  

Ready to Bake
Once your rolls have risen for their final rise, uncover and brush the rolls with the egg wash.  Sprinkle toppings of your choice over the rolls.  I've used sesame seeds on one pan, and caraway seeds on the other.  
If you're like me, your regular kitchen oven isn't large enough to accommodate two large baking sheets on the center shelf.  I have situated one shelf in the center of the oven, and the second shelf, on the topmost shelf height. (Please don't look at my dirt in the oven - it's on my list but this is much more fun, don't you think?)

Bake at 400 degrees F, for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Mine took the full 20 minutes but I'm at sea level and it's pretty humid in these parts so watch your rolls after 15 minutes.

I started with one pan on the center rack and the other on the top.  At the halfway point of the baking time (10 minutes), I switched the pans so that my rolls would all have a chance to cook evenly.

And FINALLY.......after much ado, I give you>>>

Fresh from the oven, Soft and Fluffy Kaiser rolls!!

Yield = 16 rolls

You could get more or less depending on what size you make them, I would guess you could get up to 2 dozen slider sized rolls from this recipe.

Lastly, I'm not really very tech-savvy, so I don't know how to embed a printable recipe in this post so, if you're interested in a printable format, email me at and I will send it to you.

Thanks for checking in and happy baking!


  1. LOVE this recipe! Bread is my absolute favorite food to make and eat. I'm pinning this recipe and they're now on my list to try. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Hi Stephanie,

      I'm a bad blog-mom as I haven't been paying much attention to this blog in a while so I totally missed your comment here. I'm glad you like the recipe and my post. I do hope you enjoyed the rolls as well. Have a fabulous day. :)