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Kajzerki Polish Vienna Roll Recipe

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Freshly baked Polish Vienna rolls on a glass serving plate.

The Polish Vienna roll is one of the most delicious breads that you will ever taste. It is known by many names, the Polish Vienna roll is also called the kaiser roll and kajzerki. 

The Germans have their own version of this which they call kaisersemmel or emperor rolls. It gets this name because the top of the bread resembles a crown.

While kajzerki is famous in Poland, it is interesting to note that the recipe actually originated from Austria. Its roots can be traced way back to the 18th century. It is believed that the dish was named after the Emperor Fran Joseph of Austria. The word ‘kaiser’ is German for ’emperor’ which was a designation given to anyone who held a post above the king.

The incisions on top of the bun give it a very pointed look which is similar to that of an emperor’s crown. This probably how the kaiser roll got its name.

Kajzerki Polish Vienna Roll Recipe

Part I – Knead The Ingredients

Add 4 cups of all purpose flour, 1 ½ tbsp. of instant yeast, ¾ cup of warm water, 2 tsps. of salt, 1 tsp. of sugar and 1 egg to a large bowl. Knead all the ingredients together. You can either use your hands or a food processor for this step. The idea is to activate the gluten in the flour which will give you the lovely texture that the kaiser rolls are so famous for.

Knead the dough for the Polish Vienna roll.

Part II – Place The Dough In A Big Bowl And Cover It

Use a nice big bowl for the next step. Keep the dough in the bowl and cover it with a clean kitchen cloth. The big bowl is essential to accommodate the rising dough. The general rule is that the dough will double in size so make sure that the bowl is large enough for it.

Part III – Move The Bowl To Warm Spot

This is one of the most important steps in the whole recipe. Make sure that you keep the bowl in a nice warm and draft free spot. The warmth encourages the yeast to multiply and the Polish Vienna roll dough to rise. The process takes roughly an hour. The rule of thumb is that the dough should double in size. 

Part IV – Form The Rolls

In order to form the rolls, first divide the dough into 9 equal parts. Roll each of the 9 parts into a ball. You can either use your hands or a flat floured surface for this procedure.

The best technique for this procedure is to stretch the dough out and then press it in the middle. This way, one side of the roll will be completely smooth and the other side may be slightly uneven.

Form the Polish Vienna roll
Form the Polish Vienna roll.

Part V – Place The Rolls On A Baking Tray

Line a baking tray with parchment paper. This will ensure that the Polish Vienna rolls don’t stick to the baking tray. Place the rolls on the parchment paper. Make sure that the smooth side of the roll is placed facing up. The uneven side will be placed on the bottom. This way, the rolls will have a nice neat look when baked.

Place the kaiser rolls on the parchment paper.
Place the kaiser rolls on the parchment paper.

Part VI – Cover The Rolls

Use a clean kitchen cloth and cover the rolls. Leave them in a warm spot for 30 minutes. The dough will rise again. The kitchen cloth will prevent the dough from drying in the meantime.

Part VII – Preheat The Oven To 392 F

Part VIII – Make 2 Or 4 Incisions On Each Bun

In order to give the kaiser roll the characteristic shape you will need to make incisions on the bun. 2 to 4 incisions will do. Kaiser rolls with incisions develop the characteristic crown shape that gave the bread its name.

Brush the buns with melted butter or egg wash. This will give it the nice crispy top that Polish Vienna rolls are famous for.

Make incisions on the bun.
Make incisions on the kaiser roll.

Part IX – Bake For 20 Minutes

Place the rolls in the oven and bake them for 20 minutes. The buns will develop a lovely brown color. The crust of the Polish Vienna roll will also be nice and crisp.

Perfectly baked kaiser roll
Perfectly baked kaiser roll.

FAQ About Polish Vienna Roll

What Makes Polish Vienna Roll Different?

Polish Vienna rolls are usually round, which is a bit contrary to the name. They are hard on the outside and soft on the inside. The characteristic shape that is made by making incisions on the bun gives the top a lot of surface area to turn crisp. It gives it a really nice texture and kids in particular enjoy this a lot.

How Are Polish Vienna Rolls Served?

Polish Vienna rolls are nice and firm. Many people often refer to them as hard rolls because of the crispy top. The rolls work well if you want to make sandwiches. Aside from this, kaiser rolls are also served as an accompaniment to soups and salads. You can even use them alongside a nice hearty stew.

My Kaiser Rolls Did Not Rise Well. What Should I Do?

If the kaiser rolls do not rise, the problem lies with the yeast. Make sure that you check the expiration of the yeast before you use it. Also make sure that you store the yeast well. If all this is in order, then the temperature may not be ideal. 

In order for the yeast to work well, it needs a warm temperature. I suggest placing the covered bowl next to a stove that is being used. This will encourage the dough to rise faster.

Yield: 9 rolls

Kajzerki Polish Vienna Roll Recipe

Freshly baked Polish Vienna rolls on a glass serving plate.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 cups (480g) of brad or all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tbsp of instant yeast
  • ¾ cup of warm water
  • ½ stick of warm butter (65g)
  • 2 tsps of salt
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • 1 egg

Other

  • melted butter or egg wash to brush the buns

Instructions

  1. Knead all the ingredients for 10-15 minutes. Do it with your hands or food processor.
  2. Place the dough in a big bowl, then cover it with a clean kitchen cloth.
  3. Move the bowl into a warm, draft-free place. Wait for 1 hour until the dough doubles its size.
  4. Start forming your rolls. Divide the dough into 9 pieces. Form the roll in your hands or on the flat floured surface.
    The best technique is to stretch the dough, then press it in the middle. One side of the roll should be completely smooth. The other may be uneven.
  5. Place the rolls on the baking tray lined with parchment paper. Smooth side on the top, uneven on the bottom!
  6. Cover the rolls with a clean kitchen cloth and wait for another 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 392°F (200°C).
  8. Make 2 or 4 incisions on each bun. Brush the bund with melted butter or egg wash.
  9. Place the rolls in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

9

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 145Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 610mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 4g

These data are indicative and calculated by Nutritionix

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