whole wheat kaiser rolls

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This recipe makes a nice and tender whole wheat kaiser roll with a crisp exterior. The large rolls are great for burger buns and the regular size rolls are great for lunch cold-cuts.

Servings:
8 (large) to 12 (regular) rolls
Preparation Time:
3 1/2 hours (1/2 hour work, 2 1/2 hour rising, 1/2 hour bake)

Tools

  • medium & large bowls
  • measuring cups & spoons
  • wooden spoon
  • light oil
  • cling film
  • baking pan
  • pie pan
  • hot water
  • water spritzer
  • cooling rack

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup warm water (100F to 110F)
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 packet dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp. melted butter
  • 1 cup warm water (100F to 110F)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • poppy or sesame seeds

Cooking Instructions

  1. Stir the brown sugar and yeast into the 1/2 cup of warm water and let proof for 5 minutes.
  2. Place the 3 cups of whole wheat flour into the large bowl and add the salt, egg, butter, 1 cup of warm water and the proofed yeast mixture. Stir 100 times.
  3. Stir in 1/4 cup of the remaining flour and the dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl. If not, stir in a bit more flour until it does. The dough should still be very soft and a bit sticky.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and cover with the bowl for 10 minutes.
  5. Knead the dough for 10 minutes. Use the remaining flour to keep it from sticking to your hands and the work surface as needed.
  6. Oil the medium bowl and place the dough into the bowl and cover with the cling film. Let rise for 1 hour.
  7. Gently press down the middle of the dough. Fold the sides into the middle. Turn the dough over in the bowl. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes.
  8. Roll the dough out into an even log and cut it in half and each piece in half again.
  9. Cut each piece in half one more time for large rolls and in thirds for regular rolls.
  10. Roll each piece into a ball, place on a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 5 minutes.
  11. Sprinkle seeds into the baking pan. Cover pan with baking parchment to make unseeded rolls.
  12. Flatten each ball into a 3/8" thick disk and fold an edge almost into the middle and press down. Do this 5 times on each roll, slightly overlapping the folds, to get the traditional kaiser roll look.
  13. Place each roll upside down onto the seeds (or parchment). Cover and let rise for 40 minutes.
  14. During this rise, preheat the oven to 450F and place the pie pan in the bottom of the oven.
  15. 10 minutes before the rolls go into the oven, carefully fill the pie pan one-third-full with hot water.
  16. Gently turn over the rolls and lightly spritz each roll once with water before placing the pan in the oven.
  17. Bake for 25 minutes at 450F - rotate pan half-way through baking. (30 minutes at 400F in a convection oven.)
  18. Remove hot rolls to a wire rack as soon as they come out of the oven. Carefully remove the pie pan from the oven so that it does not boil over the floor of the oven.

Notes
For a crispier crust on your rolls - place the cooling rack back into the oven after the pie pan is removed for a few more minutes.