Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bread Baker's Apprentice 16/43: kaiser rolls

I feel like I'm becoming a broken record on this Bread Baker's Apprentice business:

"I do not wish to overstate it, but really, this is (so far) my favorite recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice, hands down."

"And? This focaccia is good. Damn good."

"However, were I not about to fly about as far as one can fly without starting back the other way, I'll tell you what I'd be doing: I'd be baking more English muffins. Because Reinhart's recipe is e-asy. Easy! And the resulting muffins -- especially if fork-split, toasted and slathered with a teaspoon of homemade blueberry jam -- are so much more delicious than anything anyone named Thomas ever baked."

"But as it is, Reinhart's cinnamon buns are so amazing I don't know if I'll ever have a need to go back. You live, you learn. You bake a better cinnamon bun."

"Trust Peter on this one: a long cold fermentation engenders amazing bagels, bagels that are good enough to turn a person with tepid feelings about bagels into a person who has to eat the entire batch, like, now."

It makes one wonder if I possess the ability to be critical.

To be fair, I wasn't a huge fan of Reinhart's French bread, strawberry-walnut celebration bread or corn bread. I mean, they weren't terrible, but they weren't favorites either. Chalk it up to Reinhart's overall brilliance, however, that I am only lukewarm on three of the 16 breads I've baked so far. I'd say that's a winning percentage.

Thus it logically follows that I found today's bread -- kaiser rolls -- to be absolutely amazing. You can quote me on that.

Reinhart's kaiser rolls are easy to make and they bake into large, well-risen rolls that are tender and airy on the inside, crusty and textural on the outside. They look really, really pretty and they taste even better. The only complaint I can possibly muster is that the recipe only makes six rolls. Six rolls! Six rolls disappear in no time. A word to the wise: make two batches. Or four. Or six, like I did.

I used my kaiser rolls as the foundation for savory, salty fried egg sandwiches. I also used them for hot turkey sandwiches, which I slathered with homemade thousand island dressing studded with my homegrown and canned dilly beans. Those two lunches were two of the best lunches I've had since Mom and I ate fish and chips at Fort Denison and enjoyed pies from Harry's Cafe de Wheels in Woolloomooloo. Which is saying a lot.

Meanwhile, what does it say about me that far more often than not I'm hesitant to move to the next Reinhart recipe, preferring instead to stay where I am, baking the current bread over and over again? Maybe it says that I am a whore for yeast, especially tried-and-true yeast. Maybe it says that I am easily pleased (though ask Husband, and you might get a different answer to that question). But then again maybe it says that I know a good thing when it comes along (again, see: Husband).


The Bread Baker's Apprentice challenge asks that we do not post Reinhart's recipes. But you all have the book by now already, so no biggie. Turn to page 175 to start making kaiser rolls over and over and over again.

PS. I'm submitting these kaiser rolls to Yeastspotting, because I'm so proud of their deliciousness that I wish to share them with the whole yeast-loving world.


Anne Marie said...

I could use some of your rolls right now. I am impressed at how frequently I really like the recipes but there have been some that I will never make again. Beautiful rolls.

Mimi said...

Your kaiser rolls turned out so pretty. They were especially pretty with eggs in the middle, yummy!

Tia said...

Omg those look fantastic! Awesome, my mouth is watering. Yummy!

misterrios said...

Wow, they turned out awesome. Love the knotting and the sesame seeds.

Jeff said...

Like the knotting idea. We ended up buying some kaiser press that did absolutely nothing.

There are very few recipes in the book I have not been impressed with either too.

Dianne said...

Thanks, all, for your kind comments!

Jeff, I thought about getting a kaiser press, but decided to go with the knotting. I figured, at the very least, the rolls would still taste great, even if the look wasn't perfect. But it worked so well I was glad I didn't seek out special equipment!