Our Kaiser Roll Recipe Is the Perfect Sandwich or Burger Bun (2024)

Walk by any deli, sandwich shop, or coffee counter and you’ll see Kaiser rolls stacked sky-high. Sometimes they are plain, but more often the tops are coated with thick layers of nutty sesame or poppy seeds. These crusty yeasted rolls are soft and fluffy on the inside. When sliced, they are the perfect roll to toast and spread with butter or jam. They are also used for sandwiches, layering all kinds of meats, cheese, vegetables, and dressings on each side of the roll.

What sets Kaiser rolls apart from other dinner rolls is their unique shape. Thick logs of the dough are crossed and folded into a knot that resembles a loaf of braided challah, but on a smaller scale. Make a batch of these yeasted rolls over the weekend and you’ll have delicious rolls for sandwiches all week long.

Our Kaiser Roll Recipe Is the Perfect Sandwich or Burger Bun (1)

Soft, Buttery Dinner Rolls

What Are Kaiser Rolls?

At the supermarket, you’ll find Kaiser rolls in the bakery bins next to the bagels and other sandwich rolls. And if you order a sandwich at your local deli or bodega, it will likely come wrapped up in a Kaiser roll.

There are a few things that make these rolls different from other rolls.The first is the Kaiser roll’s characteristic seeded topping. Before the rolls go in the oven, bakers will sprinkle the tops with an even layer of either poppy seeds or white sesame seeds. The seeds not only add flavor, but also add another layer of texture to the pillowy rolls.

Many Kaiser roll recipes will use bread flour instead of all-purpose. Bread flour has a higher protein content, which contributes to the rolls’ chewy texture and stable structure. Using bread flour means the rolls are sturdy, so you can stack sandwich toppings as tall as your heart desires.

How to Fold Kaiser Rolls

Once the dough has risen and proofed, it’s time to form it into individual rolls. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Divide the dough into pieces: If you have a small food scale, this can be helpful in making sure all of your pieces of dough are roughly the same size. When your rolls are all the same size, they will bake through at the same rate.
  2. Fold the dough: Working on a lightly floured surface, pat each piece of dough into a rectangle. Position the dough so that a long side is facing you. Fold the dough in thirds like you’re closing a letter, then use your fingertips or the edge of your palm to pinch the dough along the seam to seal.
  3. Roll dough into a rope: Roll each piece of dough into a 12-inch long rope.
  4. Tie a knot: Gently thread the rope into a simple knot, leaving a few inches of length on each end for you to work with. Fold one loose end of the rope over the knot, tucking it into the center of the roll. Fold the other end under the knot, pushing it up through the center.

Directions

Our Kaiser Roll Recipe Is the Perfect Sandwich or Burger Bun (2)

  1. Make the dough:

    In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk flour and salt to combine. Attach bowl to mixer fitted with a dough hook.

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  2. Combine water, yeast, and honey:

    In a glass measuring cup, whisk together water, yeast, and honey; let stand 5 minutes.

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  3. Add eggs:

    Add eggs and whisk to combine.

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  4. Add egg mixture to flour mixture:

    Add to flour mixture and knead on low speed until it forms a soft, stretchy dough, 6 to 8 minutes. If necessary, add more water, a tablespoon at a time.

  5. Add butter:

    Add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until thoroughly incorporated, about 4 minutes.

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  6. Transfer to buttered bowl and leave to rise:

    Transfer to a buttered bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

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    Our Kaiser Roll Recipe Is the Perfect Sandwich or Burger Bun (9)

  7. Remove dough and pat into rectangle:

    Punch down dough and remove from bowl. On a lightly floured surface, pat dough into a 14-by-12-inch rectangle.

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  8. Fold dough:

    Fold dough into thirds like a business letter. Rotate dough 90 degrees on work surface and fold into thirds once more.

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  9. Let dough rise again:

    Return dough to bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

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  10. Divide dough into pieces:

    Divide dough into 12 equal pieces and cover lightly with plastic wrap.

  11. Form one piece of dough into a rectangle:

    On a lightly floured work surface, pat one piece of dough at a time into a 5-by-3-inch rectangle.

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  12. Fold rectangle:

    With a long side facing you, fold dough into thirds as you would a business letter. With the edge of your hand, pat dough along length of seam to seal.

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    Our Kaiser Roll Recipe Is the Perfect Sandwich or Burger Bun (20)

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  13. Roll into a rope:

    Using your hands, roll dough into a 12-inch rope.

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  14. Tie rope into a knot:

    Tie rope into a simple knot, leaving a bit of length at each end.

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  15. Finish the knot:

    To finish the knot, pull one end up and over and tuck it into the center. Take remaining end and pull it down and under, pushing it through the bottom of the knot and up into the center.

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    Our Kaiser Roll Recipe Is the Perfect Sandwich or Burger Bun (25)

  16. Place on baking sheet; Repeat with remaining dough:

    Place on parchment-lined baking sheets, 3 inches apart. Repeat process with remaining pieces of dough.

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  17. Let rise:

    Let rise, covered, in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

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  18. Make the topping and bake:

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly brush tops of rolls with egg wash and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake, rotating sheet pans between racks halfway through, until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes.

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  19. Cool:

    Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

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Storage

Baked Kaiser rolls can be stored in an airtight container or resealable bag at room temperature for up to 3 days. They will also keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

How to Use Kaiser Rolls

Kaiser rolls are perfect for both sweet and savory applications. A buttered roll is a classic deli breakfast, where a pat or two of butter is allowed to melt between the two warmed ends of the roll. You can also add nut butter, chocolate-hazelnut spread, sliced bananas or strawberries, or a fruity jam or jelly.

Kaiser rolls are the ideal roll for sandwiches of all kinds, especially ones with hearty meats and cheeses. Roast beef and smoked turkey are both perfect for piling onto the rolls, and we also like to use them to hold together fluffy slices of frittata.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I make Kaiser rolls without a stand mixer?

    A mixer isn’t completely necessary–after all, people were making bread dough long before stand mixers existed. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can knead the dough by hand. It will take more time and effort, but it will get the job done. If you do have a stand mixer, it’s worth using for this recipe, especially when it comes to incorporating the butter into the dough.

  • What is the difference between Kaiser rolls and hamburger buns?

    Kaiser rolls tend to be larger than the standard burger bun. They also have a different texture–hamburger buns are soft throughout, but Kaiser rolls have soft insides and crusty outsides.

  • Can you use Kaiser rolls as hamburger buns?

    Absolutely! Kaiser rolls are a great substitute for burger buns. Keep in mind they are bigger than a standard bun or pre-shaped burger patty, so adjust accordingly.

  • How do you keep Kaiser rolls soft?

    Kaiser rolls will stay soft when properly stored at room temperature.

More Roll Recipes to Try:

  • No-Knead Dinner Rolls
  • Soft, Buttery Dinner Rolls
  • Potato Rolls
  • Sour Cream-Thyme Rolls
  • Barley-Malt Pull-Apart Rolls
  • Roasted Garlic and Sage Parker House Rolls
  • Khalil Hymore’s Parker House Rolls
Our Kaiser Roll Recipe Is the Perfect Sandwich or Burger Bun (2024)

FAQs

Are Kaiser rolls good for hamburger buns? ›

Kaiser Roll

The bulk and fluffy interior of this classic bun, good versions of which can be found in most supermarkets, make it an excellent vehicle for big, juicy backyard burgers.

What makes a Kaiser roll a Kaiser roll? ›

What sets Kaiser rolls apart from other dinner rolls is their unique shape. Thick logs of the dough are crossed and folded into a knot that resembles a loaf of braided challah, but on a smaller scale. Make a batch of these yeasted rolls over the weekend and you'll have delicious rolls for sandwiches all week long.

What is the difference between a Kaiser roll and a regular roll? ›

There are multiple variants of the common roll, differing in size, type of flour used, and toppings. While traditionally plain, Kaiser-style rolls are today found topped with poppy seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax, or sunflower seeds.

Why are Kaiser rolls so good? ›

Kaiser rolls are ideal for sopping up a variety of fillings, paired with a soft texture that's easy to bite into. This makes them a great vessel for meat-based sandwiches such as Baltimore's Pit Beef and Buffalo's Beef on Weck.

What is the difference between a Kaiser bun and a hamburger bun? ›

Kaiser buns are usually larger in diameter than standard hamburger buns, which gives you ample room for bigger burgers and more toppings. The aforementioned texture also holds up better to juiciness and condiments than most other buns. They can absorb plenty of moisture without getting soggy and falling apart.

Are Kaiser rolls for burgers? ›

Kaiser roll: Versatile beyond sandwiches, used for burgers, sliders, breakfast sandwiches, or simply enjoyed with butter and toppings.

Are Kaiser rolls good for sandwiches? ›

These deli-style bulky rolls are perfect for overstuffed sandwiches.

Is a kaiser roll hard? ›

Kaiser rolls are yeast-risen bread rolls, typically made of white wheat flour. They are large and round, crisp on the outside, and soft on the inside, They have a five-point pinwheel design on top, which is meant to represent a crown.

What does a kaiser roll taste like? ›

The exterior is crisp and tan colored, with a soft white inside. The flavor has a nutty grain taste and pleasant hints of yeast. Kaiser rolls can be served room temperature or hot.

How do you toast a kaiser roll? ›

Split kaiser rolls and spread cut sides and outside tops and bottoms with mayonnaise. Working in batches, place cut-sides down on a rimmed baking sheet and broil until golden brown and toasted, 30 seconds–1 minute (watch closely). Flip buns and toast, cut-side up until golden, 30 seconds–1 minute.

What is the difference between a kaiser roll and a bulkie roll? ›

They are either plain or topped with poppy seeds. They are similar to and sometimes equated with kaiser rolls, but kaiser rolls are noticeably sweeter.

What is a kaiser roll in English? ›

Meaning of kaiser roll in English

a round bread roll with a thick crust that usually has five lines cut into the top forming a star shape: We bought some kaiser rolls from the local delicatessen.

Do Kaiser rolls go bad? ›

When does kaiser roll expire? Unopened store-bought Kaiser rolls can last for about 2 to 3 days at room temperature, and another 2 days if stored in the refrigerator. If sealed and frozen, they can last a good 2 to 3 months.

Why are my Kaiser rolls dense? ›

I think it is pretty imperative to make them with bread flour, as it helps keep the insides nice and chewy and light longer - when I tested them with straight All Purpose Flour the rolls ended up being a bit denser than what you would find in a bakery.

Can you freeze Kaiser rolls? ›

Kaiser rolls can be frozen. Simply wrap each roll in foil, then place into an airtight container or freezer bag up to 1 month. To use, simply remove as many as you need from the bag and set on the counter, where they will thaw in about 30 minutes.

What kind of bun is usually used for hamburger? ›

A crusty, crisp round roll, Kaiser buns originate from Austria but are loved worldwide for burgers. It's harder on the outside but soft inside, and sometimes topped with seeds. Kaiser rolls are smaller than other rolls, but can still hold a meat patty well.

Is a Kaiser roll considered white bread? ›

Kaiser rolls are yeast-risen bread rolls, typically made of white wheat flour. They are large and round, crisp on the outside, and soft on the inside, They have a five-point pinwheel design on top, which is meant to represent a crown.

What is the difference between Kaiser roll and Telera roll? ›

They are all baked to be soft inside with a crispy crust. The Kaiser roll usually contains egg or egg white. Telera is usually a bit less crusty than the bolillo, although that will very much depend on where you are. They are usually interchangeable.

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