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.
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.
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.
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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