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Sourdough Kaiser Rolls

I decided to try out my luck with Sourdough Kaiser Rolls. Using Northwest Sourdough starter, I made up a sponge the night before and had a good vigorous sponge by morning. Then, in the morning I added the rest of the ingredients and proofed the dough for 2.5 hours at which time the dough doubled. Sponges usually proof faster as so much of the dough is really a starter. Also the house was warm with it starting at 72F degrees and it being 82F degrees when I baked. Here is the first proof at 10:30 a.m. after 2.5 hours of proofing:

first proof

Then I knocked down the dough and let it proof again for 1.5 hours. It had doubled. I then poured out the dough, added the salt, and kneaded a few times. I let the ball rest and then cut it into 18 pieces at 4 ounces each:

dough cut

I then formed the pieces into balls:

dough balls

I then rolled out the balls into a rope about 12 inches long:


Then you tie the dough into a knot:


Then take the left side end and push it through the hole in the middle:


Next take the right hand side end and fold it under the roll:

knotting under


I have another way to shape Kaisers, but it didn't turn out well for this recipe:

second way



Like I said, it did not work well for this recipe and the rolls made the second way looked like plain rolls. I prefer the first way because I think it looks better. When you are shaping the rolls the first way, you have to be sure the rope is coated with enough flour not to stick to itself:


Notice how the roll on the left isn't as nice as the one on the right which was coated with enough flour (lightly) so it wouldn't stick to itself.

all of them

I have the rolls finished and I have more pics to take, I will finish up later.

Here are the rolls glazed with egg wash and then sprinkled with Poppy seeds:


I found that final proofing with these Kaiser rolls was very critical. The first batch went in after 1 hour and 20 minutes rise. They are on the extreme right. The second batch was the Kaiser rolls I formed the way that I did not prefer, they were proofed 1 hour and 40 minutes. They are in the middle. The last batch were proofed 2 hours. They are on the left. They were almost perfect, but I think they would have been perfect at 2.5 hours. My dough was proofing so fast today that it was hard for me to determine the proofing. Here they are:

proofing times

Here is a basket of the finished rolls:

basket of kaisers

The third batch came out crusty on the outside and soft on the inside, but not as soft as I would like. I will add an addition amount of oil and part milk to my next try to see if I can't get them perfect. I certainly learned a lot about baking Kaiser Rolls. I think I might try a one day batch next time instead of a sponge. Happy Baking!

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  1. Fathiya A Rahim Fathiya A Rahim
    June 10, 2013    

    I love your site . I want to utilize my sourdough bread making , tea h and sell . Can you pl help me how to start ?
    Thks it’s a very useful site .

  2. Elizabeth Elizabeth
    April 13, 2011    

    These look delicious. I am new to this site and not sure how to navigate. I love to bake and have been starting to work with sourdough. Where can I find the recipe for these rolls?

  3. Bill44 Bill44
    June 26, 2006    

    Great rolls Teresa, just what I was looking for. As to the softer crumb, have you thought about adding some lower protein GP white flour to soften it. Works for me in a standard white loaf.

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