This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please visit the disclosures and privacy policy page.
Jul 28, 2020

Kimmelweck Rolls

Kimmelweck Rolls are a staple in western New York state, particularly in the Buffalo and Rochester areas. they are used to make a regional sandwich that is filled with thinly sliced juicy roast beef, topped with horseradish sauce, and dipped in a delicious au jus.

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.

As mentioned, kimmelweck rolls (sometimes also called kummelweck rolls) are served primarily in Western New York State and are used for making these beef on weck sandwiches.

The rolls can be compared to kaiser rolls, but they are topped with kosher salt and caraway seeds.

Kimmelweck rolls with caraway seeds

Ingredients you will need to make kimmelweck rolls:

Unbleached bread or high gluten white flour is best for making these rolls. If you only have all purpose flour, you can try adding a tablespoon or so of vital wheat gluten.

The recipe also calls for a small amount of barley malt syrup or honey. I made these with barley malt syrup, (affiliate link) which I keep in the refrigerator for baking bread, especially kaiser rolls, bagels, and pretzels.

You will need two egg whites, one for the dough and one for brushing the tops of the rolls. I saved the egg yolks and used them in this delicious brown bread ice cream.

You'll also need kosher salt or coarse sea salt and well as caraway seeds for topping the rolls after brushing them with egg whites.

Kimmelweck rolls cooling on a wire rack

How to make kimmelweck rolls:

First, you "bloom" the yeast in some of the water.

Next, in your stand mixer (you can also knead this dough by hand), you add more water, oil, a bit of sugar, salt, the barley malt syrup, and one egg white.

After that, you add some of the flour and the yeast mixture and mix with a spoon or dough whisk. Next, you add the rest of the flour and stir it in.

The next step is to knead the dough for several minutes until is is smooth and tacky. If it's too sticky, you can add more flour by the tablespoon. The bulk rise should last about 90 minutes.

Finally, divide the dough, shape them into balls and flatten them and let them rise again before topping with the salt and seeds and baking them.

Kimmelweck rolls on a wire rack

Rather than setting up your oven for steam, you can mist these rolls with water before loading them into the oven, and then mist them one more time in the oven after 5 minutes of baking.

This recipe was given to me by a bread baking friend who lives in the Buffalo area. While he made his own adjustments, he cited the original source as the 1997 book The Neighborhood Bake Shop: Recipes and Reminiscences of America's Favorite Bakery Treats by Jill Van Cleave.

Update: This post was originally published in 2013, and has been edited with new information and a recipe card.

Kimmelweck rolls close up

Kimmelweck Rolls

Kimmelweck Rolls
Yield: 8 rolls
Author: Karen Kerr
Kimmelweck Rolls are a staple in western New York state, particularly in the Buffalo and Rochester areas.


  • 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry or instant yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (95 to 110 degrees F)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon barley malt syrup or honey
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 13 1/2 ounces (3 cups) bread or high gluten flour
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Course sea salt or kosher salt and caraway seeds


  1. Stir 1/4 cup of the water and all of the yeast together and set aside for about 5 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the rest of the water, oil, sugar, salt, barley malt syrup, and one egg white. Stir.
  3. Add 1 1/2 C of the flour and the yeast and water mixture, and combine with a large spoon.
  4. Add another 1 1/2 C of flour and mix with the spoon to combine.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Deflate the dough and allow it to rise, covered, for 30 minutes more.
  8. Scale the dough into eight equal pieces.
  9. Shape each piece into a ball, and then slightly flatten the ball.
  10. Place the pieces on a parchment lined or greased baking sheet, spray with spray oil, and cover with plastic.
  11. Allow to rise for 30 minutes while preheating the oven to 425 degrees F.
  12. Whisk the second egg white with the tablespoon of water and brush the rolls with the mixture.
  13. Cut crescent shaped slits into the tops of the rolls (see photo).
  14. Sprinkle the rolls with the sea salt and caraway seeds and mist with water.
  15. 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).
  16. Bake for another 20 minutes, until browned.
  17. Cool on a wire rack.
Fat (grams)
Sat. Fat (grams)
Carbs (grams)
Fiber (grams)
Net carbs
Sugar (grams)
Protein (grams)
Sodium (milligrams)
Cholesterol (grams)
kimmelweck, kummelweck
New York State
Did you make this recipe?
Tag on instagram and hashtag it #karenskitchenstories
Created using The Recipes Generator

Would you like to comment?

  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.

    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.

  7. Only one thing wrong with this recipe. You use egg wash (egg yellows only mixed with a tad of milk and spread it on the top of the roll then sprinkle Coarse salt and carroway seeds on top. Put back under broiler for only about two to three minutes until the top turns brown. The salt and the seeds will stay on the roll much better and the top will be a darker brown. This is the key to a perfect "Weck" roll.

  8. I knew I would find them LOL. They look so delicious.

  9. I'll take one of these (with the beef) for lunch please. :)

  10. I've never heard of these rolls but I can totally see myself eating a roast beef sandwich on one! YUM!

  11. Would it be possible to use sourdough starter in this recipe and if so, what adjustments would be needed?

    1. I'm sure it would be possible. Just use baker's percentages to create a formula.

  12. I always use barley malt syrup when making bagels, both in the dough, and in the poaching liquid.

  13. Aw man, I am out of barley malt. But that sandwich sounds so good!

  14. Yes! Love Weck! This is a staple food here in Buffalo and your rolls look perfect. Beef on Weck is one of my favorite things to order at pubs and local restaurants.

  15. My goal this month, is to make these with some Everything Bagel Seasoning! Let's just hope my yeast doesn't decide to throw a tantrum!!!

  16. I am seriously down for anything with caraway seeds on top. These are just wonderful looking!

  17. Your bread is always beautiful and this is no exception. Looks delicious and the sandwich made with them sounds tasty too.

  18. These rolls sounds delicious. What sounds extra yummy is the sandwich they are used to create! Yum!

  19. my local supermarket (Wegmans) sells these and we love them! I didn't know the story behind them. Thanks for the recipe, now I can make them myself!

  20. I have two copies from your recipes- one says first rise is about one hour - the other says 90 minutes. I almost threw the dough out, thinking the yeast must not have been good! Also is the oven temperature supposed to be 425 the whole 25 minutes? Just caught them before they burned too seriously - still had 8-1/2 minutes on the timer. Taste is fabulous - I’m having a big party and making a bunch of rolls, so glad to get the recipe figured out ahead.

    1. It's a total of 90 minutes, deflating at an hour. Also, on the temp, every oven is different and it's good to keep an eye on it. If it's getting too dark, you can lower the temp or tent with foil. I'm so glad it all worked out!

  21. Hey Karen, what are the measurements for the salt and caraway seeds? Please let me know. Thanks.
    I hope to make these rolls for a Super Bowl Party.

    1. Those are toppings so you can use as much or as little as you want.


I would love to hear from you! If you comment anonymously, be sure to leave your name in your comment.