Combine the ◆ ingredients together in a bowl and mix them. [If you are using a bread machine: put all the dough ingredients into the machine and run it on the dough course. Skip down to step 8.]
Dissolve the yeast in the water, and add it to the bowl. Knead for about 5 minutes until the starts to come together. Add the butter.
Knead for another 5 minutes. The butter should be fully incorporated into the dough, and the surface of the dough should be smooth.
[First proofing] Gather the dough into a ball, place it in a bowl, and cover it with plastic wrap. Let it rise in a warm place for 40~60 minutes.
Check the dough after 40 minutes. It should look like this.
[Resting] Divide the dough into 8 pieces and shape them into smooth balls. Let them rest for 10 minutes. While resting, cover them with a slightly damp tea towel, so they don't dry out.
Make sure the dough is shaped into a neat ball. use the ball of your hand to slightly flatten the ball into the proper shape for a kaiser roll. Create crown-shaped imprints in the dough using the side of a fork.
Press sesame, poppy, or other seeds into the tops of the dough balls, if you want seeded rolls.
[Second proofing] arrange the dough on a parchment lined baking sheet, and let the dough rise in a place that is about 38℃
When the rolls have risen, spray them lightly damp with water, and bake them in a 200℃ oven for 15~18 minutes.
[Advanced shaping technique] You can also shape the bread using your fingers. This method may not leave clean lines, like you see with the fork above, but I encourage you to challenge yourself and try it.
Story Behind this Recipe
I wanted to make my favorite German bread at home, so this recipe is a reproduction of the kaiser rolls I always buy.
Kaiser is German for emperor. It is said that this bread is modeled after the Austrian emperor's crown. If you have difficulty making the imprints in the bread, feel free to omit this step, and continue on with the other steps. Please take care to knead this bread while it is still warm. Don't let it cool. I used Type 550 flour, which is bread flour and all-purpose flour mixed in a 1:1 ratio.