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Peter Reinhart’s Kaiser Rolls with Pâte Fermentée

© 2022 |

© 2022 |

The distinguishing characteristics of a Kaiser roll / bun (In German, it's known as a Kaisersemmel, Kaiserbrötchen or Sternsemmel) is the star pattern on the top, a thin, slightly crisp crust and a soft, dense, and chewy crumb. They are invented in Vienna, and thought to have been named to honor Emperor Franz Joseph. In the 18th century, the price and weight of the bread roll were regulated by law. In 1789, the bakers' association therefore sent a delegation to Emperor Joseph II to ask for free pricing for the roll. The emperor was so impressed with the bakers' craftsmanship that he approved the removal of the roll from the statutes and the roll was therefore called the emperor's roll / Kaisersemmel.
They are excellent for all kinds of savory and sweet breakfast toppings but also a great base for any sandwich variations. The traditional method for sharing a kaiser roll requires a series of overlappign folds, like making a paper flower. I am using Peter Reinhart’s simpler knotted roll design showed on The Bread Baker's Apprentice page 82. If you want them to be perfect, use a kaiser roll stamp or use an apple cutter to make the roll more like a rosetta.
Pâte Fermentée is the French word for ‘old dough’, a type of preferment that can either be freshly prepared or a piece of "old" bread dough separated from the last dough after bulk fermentation. It is made up of flour, water, salt and commercial baker’s yeast. It is the only yeasted pre-ferment that contains salt. It gives a complex flavour to the bread, it enhances crust colour and makes the gluten network stronger, making the resulting rolls significantly better than their commerical counterparts.

Pâte Fermentée (page 105)Main Dough (page 175)
  • 2 g Fresh yeast
  • 90 ml Water, at room-temperature
  • 135 g Organic white bread flour (or all purpose flour)
  • 2 g Sea salt
  • All of the pâte fermentée
  • 280 g Organic white bread flour (or all purpose flour)
  • 5 g Sea salt
  • 1-2 tsp Barley malt syrup
  • 5 g Fresh yeast
  • 1 Small egg
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 180 ml Water at room-temperature
  • Poppy seeds for the topping, optional
Easy Knotted Roll DesignTraditional Overlapping-fold Technique
  1. Dissolve the yeast in water and then mix with the salt and flour in a mixer for 4-5 minutes on slow until it forms a firm ball. Place the dough ball in a bowl and cover with a plastic film. Allow to rise at room temperature for 2-4 hours and then in the refrigerator overnight or up to 3 days.
  2. Take your starter out of the fridge and cut it into a dozen small pieces. Put the pieces in a bowl and let them come back to room temperature, which takes about 30-60 minutes.
  3. Place all the ingredients for the dough in the bowl of your mixer. Knead all ingredients with a dough hook on slow for 5 minutes and on fast for 4-5 minutes to a smooth dough. It should pass the windowpane test and be soft but not too sticky.
  4. Lightly grease the mixing bowl with a bit of olive oil and return the dough ball in it. Let the dough ferment at room temperature until it doubles in size, 60-90 minutes.
  5. Divide the dough into 9 even portions. Roll each dough into 16-inch / 40-cm long. To form a knotted bun, take the left end and put it over the right end forming a loop. Then loop the right end through the center. Repeat with the left end but in the reverse direction. Now the both ends should be in the middle to fill the hole. Place the knotted bun upside down on a baking tray lined with parchment paper sprinkled with cornmeal. Repeat with the remaining dough portions. Alternatively, try the traditional overlapping-fold technique.
  6. Cover with a plastic wrap or kitchen towel and let rise for 45 minutes, then flip them so the top of the roll is up and let them rise for another 30-45 minutes until the buns are double their original size.
  7. Meanwhile preheat the oven with a tray at the bottom of the oven to 240C/460F.
  8. Spritz the surface of the buns with water and place it in the middle of hot oven. Pour a cup of water into the tray at the bottom of your oven. Lower the temperature to 230C/450F and bake for 25-30 minutes until the buns are golden brown. Remove the rolls from the pan and transfer to a cooling rack.

© 2022 |

© 2022 |

© 2022 |


Tom 12/7/22 00:30

...they are works of art, but who is Peter Reinhart and what is pâte fermentée?

Norma2 12/7/22 00:45

Angie, your explanation is excellent.
The video is also explaining the use of the thumb to shape the bun

Brian 12/7/22 01:51

Those look delightful!

Mbul Kecil 12/7/22 02:13

Very pretty bread! They look like flower Angie. Thanks for sharing the historical of this type bride. I learn more baking knowledge from you Angie. Have a nice day ^^

J.P. Alexander 12/7/22 02:23

Rico y diferente pan. Te mando un beso.

Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake 12/7/22 02:38

Oh, my gosh, Angie, these are GORGEOUS rolls!! How I'd love one warm from the oven with some cold salted butter. Heavenly.

Ben | Havocinthekitchen 12/7/22 04:06

Ooo these rolls look fantastic, so beautiful and appetizing; I can almost feel their warm aroma. Loving the touch of poppy seeds, too!

Angie's Recipes 12/7/22 04:53

@Tom I have explained what a Pâte Fermentée is in the post. Anyway, it means Old Dough. And Peter Reinhart is the author of the The Bread Baker's Apprentice, which I have also written in the post.

The Liberty Belle 12/7/22 05:22

Looks wonderful! Thanks for sharing.

Graciela Bacino 12/7/22 06:20

Me encanta que nos continúes brindando ideas nuevas para hacer pancitos. Gracias Angie!!
Tienes alguna receta de torta con semillas de amapolas? La comí hace mucho en una cafetería del sur de Chile. Sabía exquisita.
Recibe afectuoso abrazo.

Sherry's Pickings 12/7/22 08:01

these look beautiful angie. ooh you are a clever baker! so good.

Lola Martínez 12/7/22 08:24

Bonitos panecillos, también la historia que encierran, y deben estar riquísimos.

DEZMOND 12/7/22 13:38

It is interesting that we took over your name for kaiser rolls and call them 'kajzerice' over here :) Looks lovely!

Kitchen Riffs 12/7/22 16:04

Really interesting history! Didn't know any of that. I do know kaiser rolls though, and yours are beautiful. Great post -- thanks.

savorthebest 12/7/22 16:53

These are such beautiful rolls!

Maria Grazia Ferrarazzo Maineri 12/7/22 17:04

I love these rolls, Angie. So delicious!

Bill 12/7/22 20:12

They so so good, I've always enjoyed them.

David 12/7/22 20:17

Angie, Those Kaiser rolls look fabulous! Some nice butter with perhaps a little cheese and I'd be a happy diner... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Rainbow Evening 12/7/22 21:52

I just watch your attached video "Easy Knotted Roll Design"....
yes, look easy to knot roll.....
Thank you for sharing

Cooking Julia 12/7/22 23:23

This bread looks wonderful!

Whats Cookin Italian Style Cuisine 12/7/22 23:54

Wow another Bakery Worthy creation just perfect!

foodtravelandwine 13/7/22 00:14

I love it!....I was looking at that book today!!!....I must make it and try before I biuy the book. It has been so hot here that I'm barely turning the oven on....only once a week for making bread.....looks delicious!!....Abrazotes, Marcela

Raymund 13/7/22 03:00

Seriously when are you opening up your bakery?

Margaret D 13/7/22 09:02

They do looks wonderful and certainly a work of art - the videos are good. Thanks.

Assia 13/7/22 15:10

Trop choux tes pains

Nancy Chan 13/7/22 15:38

Beautiful bread. You are a professional baker.

Gloria Baker 13/7/22 18:31

Love your breads Angie always are amazing!

lisa is cooking 13/7/22 21:55

Your rolls look perfect! I think I've made this recipe before. I wanted to get a kaiser stamp for the cuts on top but didn't do it and cut lines with a lame instead. I need to to make them again and try the rolled option!

Pam 13/7/22 22:36

They look perfectly delicious!

speedy70 14/7/22 09:13

Bellissimi panini, molto invianti!!!

lea 14/7/22 12:49

le tue spiegazioni precise e la bellezza dei tuoi panini fa venire voglia di impastare!

mjskit 16/7/22 04:54

What an interesting stary on the background of this bread. It certainly is quite lovely. Your bread is always amazing!

foodtravelandwine 16/7/22 23:06

Angie! Is that book good? ....I want your opinion since I may buy it. Thanks!!........Abrazotes, Marcela

Angie's Recipes 17/7/22 05:11

@foodtravelandwine If you are interested in bread baking, this book is for sure a good one. Lots of basic bread science and recipes with detailed explanations and photos in this book.

Muriel 17/7/22 23:02

Qu'ils sont beaux ces petits pains !

Anonymous 23/7/22 16:54

Oh and another interesting and new to me bread technique. Love the look of these rolls and the shape is something new again.
Choclette x


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