Feb 24, 2013

Kimmelweck Rolls

Kimmelweck Rolls

Kimmelweck Rolls are a staple in western New York state, particularly in the Buffalo and Rochester areas. They are essentially a Kaiser roll with caraway seeds and salt on top. they are used to make "beef on weck," a sandwich filled with thinly sliced juicy roast beef.

Kimmelweck Rolls

I'm not sure what the magic is, but these rolls have an amazing flavor. They also fill your house with a wonderful aroma when they are baking.

Kimmelweck Rolls

I used fleur del sel for the salt topping, but I'm sure kosher salt would do.  I recommend getting the barley malt syrup rather than honey. It does make a difference (at least to me).

This recipe can be found here, and the source cited is The Neighborhood Bake Shop: Recipes and Reminiscences of America's Favorite Bakery Treats by Jill Van Cleave.

Kimmelweck Rolls

Makes 8 rolls


2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 C warm water (95 to 110 degrees F)
2 T vegetable oil
1 T sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp barley malt syrup or honey
2 large egg whites
3 to 3 1/4 C bread or high gluten flour
1 T water
Course sea salt and caraway seeds


  • Stir 1/4 cup of the water and all of the yeast together and set aside for about 5 minutes.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the rest of the water, oil, sugar, salt, barley malt syrup, and one egg white. Stir.
  • Add 1 1/2 C of the flour and the yeast and water mixture, and combine with a large spoon. 
  • Add another 1 1/2 C of flour and mix with the spoon to combine. 
  • Move the bowl to the mixer (you can also knead by hand) and knead with the dough hook for 5 to 7 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic, tacky but not sticky. Add more flour only if the dough is too sticky. 
  • Form the dough into a ball, and place it in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for about an hour, until doubled. 
  • Deflate the dough and allow it to rise, covered, for 30 minutes more.
  • Scale the dough into eight equal pieces. 
  • Shape each piece into a ball, and then slightly flatten the ball.
  • Place the pieces on a parchment lined or greased baking sheet, spray with spray oil, and cover with plastic. 
  • Allow to rise for 30 minutes while preheating the oven to 425 degrees F. 
  • Whisk the second egg white with the tablespoon of water and brush the rolls with the mixture.
  • Cut crescent shaped slits into the tops of the rolls (see photo). 
  • Sprinkle the rolls with the sea salt and caraway seeds and mist with water. 
  • Bake the rolls for 5 minutes then mist with water again (do this quickly so as to not let too much heat escape from the oven).
  • Bake for another 20 minutes, until browned. 
  • Cool on a wire rack. 

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  1. Hi Karen,

    I have not tried using barley malt syrup for my bread baking. After reading your post, I'm curious to see the difference between this and honey :D


    1. Hi Zoe, I'm not an expert, but I think the barley is less sweet, but a little richer in flavor. I'm just guessing here =)

  2. You make such preeeeetty rolls and breads .. I know I keep saying that but I am in awe.. I made a no knead bread this weekend and it came out looking like "the blob" lol .. I need a tutorial from you.. great job!

    1. You are too kind. I'm sure it tasted good. Once you slice it no one can tell that it was a blob. I've had a few blobs and "pancakes" myself.

  3. What gorgeous little rolls! I can think of all sorts of delicious things to eat them with :)

    1. Thank you! They are pretty tasty. I had never heard of them until someone posted the recipe on the Artisan Bread Bakers Facebook page.

  4. Barley malt syrup is a new one on me. But these look so amazing that I'm tempted to try them when the weather cools down. Where can I find that syrup?

    1. Sometimes it can be near the honey, agave, and other liquid sweeteners. Also in Whole Foods or even health food stores. These are good!

  5. I am going to try your recipe this weekend. Looks great!!! But how do you cook the beef. I am from western NY (Beef ' Barrel) who have their own carving stations but do not have a clue what a home cook should use. Any suggestions?

    1. I'm not an expert, but I'm thinking that this roast beef along with an au jus would be really good. http://www.karenskitchenstories.com/2013/10/the-french-baguette-and-un.html

    2. Thanks Karen. The rolls came out perfect!! I used fillet mignon (spelling!!!) slice thin on a slicer with au jus. Perfect. Thanks again.

  6. Beef brisket is another good choice...with a barbecue sauce to accompany. Makes an awesome sandwich.


I love comments and questions and read every one of them.