This recipe for kaiser rolls, (adapted from King Arthur Flour) is perfect fodder for an upscale bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich. Toast and butter the roll beforehand, if you so desire, or leave it soft and pillowy for ultimate yolk absorption. Because the tangzhong helps the rolls retain moisture longer, you can serve yourself a delicious sandwich on fluffy bread nearly every day of the week without fear of your bread getting stale.
- Make the slurry: Mix together flour and water in a small saucepan over medium heat until flour is fully dissolved. Whisk constantly until mixture begins to thicken. It should be roughly the thickness of cake frosting. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Mix, then knead together all of the dough ingredients, plus the slurry, by hand or in a stand mixer. Your dough is ready when it is soft and smooth.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover it, and allow the dough to rise until noticeably puffy, about 1 hour.
- Gently deflate the dough and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Shape the pieces into round balls.
- If you have a kaiser roll stamp, stamp the rolls firmly, cutting nearly to the bottom but not all the way through. If you don't have one, lightly cut a cross in each roll, about ¼ inch deep.
- Place the rolls cut-side down (this helps them retain their shape) on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover the rolls and allow them to rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until they've almost doubled in volume. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Turn the rolls cut-side up. Brush tops with egg white and a splash of water, then coat with poppy or sesame seeds.
- Bake the rolls for 15 to 17 minutes, or until they're golden brown and feel light to the touch. Remove them from the oven and cool them on a rack.
Dayna Evans is a writer in New York. You can find more of her writing at daynaevans.com.