The perfect Kaiser buns for the Ultimate Homemade Hamburger!
The quest for the best recipe for Kaiser buns has taken a good portion of 7 months. Not tenacious daily testing, but several trials, adjustments, revisions and comparisons to get to our family favourite Kaiser. Gorgeous dough. Gorgeous flavour. Chewy crust and a fine crumb. Light. Lively. Perfect for a Sunday dinner or as the foundation for that perfect homemade hamburger.
I will also show demonstrate how to shape what I call the “cheater Kaiser”: a good start for a beginner as getting the dough rope length can be challenging.
The beauties on the table last summer: plain, and my personal favourite, speckled with black sesame seeds!
Preparing the Dough
Weighing the flour and egg whites on the Thermomix lid in advance of the preparation process….
This is the first bread I have ever incorporated egg whites into. Yet, after reading, making and testing so many recipes, this is one aspect that I felt really added to the texture of the final product for the kaiser. The TM5 whips whites effortlessly: 3.5 minutes at 37 degrees C on speed 3 with the new whisk enables a greater loft and that is what I am looking for.
No bother cleaning the bowl. In goes the yeast with the sugar, water and milk at 37 degrees C again. If the milk is out of the fridge, good idea to bring it to room temperature in the TM bowl, before adding the yeast.
A portion of the flour is mixed in with the sponge to provide enough structure to fold in the whites and maintain some of the loft.
Egg whites are folded in a couple of times by hand, then gently increasing the mixing speed, they are folded into dough, finishing without completely breaking them down, as in the last photo, above.
The remainder of the flour is added, mixed in, then kneaded in the bowl.
It is a stickier dough, but only momentarily.
A thin skiff of flour on the hand that will receive the dough from the bowl is all it takes to ensure no sticking.
The bowl is turned upside down with my floured hand catching the dough as it releases from the blades.
Lovely. A thin skiff of flour on the counter sometimes helps to form this dough into a ball for proofing, but the flour on my hand was enough for this dough.
Most doughs I make leave the bowl almost clean, but when there is a sticky dough like this one that leaves a residue of valuable dough in the bowl, I place the lid back on, whir it from 0-7 for 5-10 seconds and the dough flies off of the blade to the side of the bowl where it is easy to gather and add to the ball in the proofing bowl.
Dishwasher safe, yes, but I don’t use the dishwasher for my bowl as it will discolour the black handle, over time. In this case, a little soaking to break down the dough, then empty the sudsy water, refill the bowl by half with a squirt of dish soap and 8 seconds at speed 8 should leave it clean and shiny after a hot water rinse and a drip dry.
Oiled bowl, dough ready for proofing.
Proofing the Dough
Humidity and warmth are the needs of any living bread dough. I find my microwave the perfect environment in our Winter climate. A glass of water heated for one minute leaves a steamy warm humid little incubator to proof the dough. Remove the glass and close the door quickly to maintain the heat and humidity necessary to form the structure necessary for a lovely bun. Look at how much the dough has risen in an hour!
Respect the growth inside of the dough. Don’t punch the life back out of it that it just took an hour to grow! Gently use a D-shaped spatula to loosen the dough from the sides of the bowl, have a skiff of flour on the counter ready, then invert the bowl and plop the dough onto the lightly floured surface.
Shaping the Traditional Kaiser Bun or Roll
Gently weigh the dough. Mine was 1550 grams. The recipe makes dinner sized Kaiser buns, so dividing 1550 by 18 means that each portion of dough should weigh about 85 grams. I portioned mine by eye, and checked using the scale on the TM. If using for hamburgers, I would suggest making 15 buns at 100 grams each.
I did use a ruler the first few times to get a feel for the length of each rope necessary to tie a knot in it and form the traditional Kaiser or rosette shape.
Knot in the middle, right end goes under and is secured, left end goes over, is pushed into the middle, and secured.
Ah, the satisfaction of creating such a beautiful little bundle.
I prefer “no tongue in the middle” of my kaiser buns. Can you see where I did leave the “tongue in the middle” of three of them, above? I was deciding my preference, at this time.
Thankfully, most “tongues” are no longer visible, anyway. These lovely shiny beauties have been brushed with egg.
The “Cheater Kaiser” Shape
Roll out a rope of dough.
Make a loop instead of a knot, tuck one end over and one end under, and secure both.
Somewhat similar in appearance to a cloverleaf roll, but not baked in a muffin tin…. and not formed with three balls of dough.
Still a beautiful looking and delicious dinner bun. Not the traditional Kaiser shape, but if they are too difficult for you to master, try this shape, instead!
I used a whole egg, beaten well, to brush onto each bun. This provides the characteristic Kaiser sheen.
I love sesame seeds on my buns, and the black makes a nice contrast.
Alas, Vanja prefers his plain. What a surprise, eh?
The crumb is very fine in this bun. Perfect served warm or cold for dinner. Melted butter on a warm bun? MMMMMmmmmm!
Or sandwiching that special homemade hamburger. This recipe for Ultimate Homemade Kaiser Buns is “the one”. I have decided. Now, of course, I would love you to try it, and chime in. Let me know what you think!
The Ultimate Homemade Hamburger Kaiser Buns
- 875 g flour
- 100 g egg whites or whites from 3 large eggs
- 200 g or 1 cup water
- 350 g milk or 1 ½ cups
- 10 g or 1 tablespoon sugar
- 20 g dry yeast or 2 tablespoons
- 30 g or 2 tablespoons unsalted butter , room temperature
- 10 g or 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 egg white , beaten with cold milk, for egg wash
- sesame seeds
Weigh 875g of flour; set aside
Place egg whites into TM bowl, insert butterfly; whip until stiff for 3 minutes at 37C, speed 3.5
Remove from TM bowl
Scale water, milk, sugar and yeast into TM bowl; heat for 5 minutes at 37C, speed 3 - OR if milk is cold, place all ingredients, but yeast into TM bowl for 5 minutes at 37C, speed 3, then add yeast and go for 5 minutes again at 37C, speed 3
Scale butter, salt and 375g of flour into TM bowl; mix to combine for 15 seconds, speed 4
Place egg whites into TM bowl; gently fold into yeast mixture with spatula, then for 10 seconds from speed Soft Stir to speed 3.5 (speed soft for 1 second; speed 0.5 for 1 second; speed 1 for 1 second; speed 1.5 for 1 second; speed 2 for 1 second; speed 2.5 for one second; speed 3 for 1 second; speed 3.5 for 3 seconds)
Scale remaining flour into TM bowl; mix for 10 seconds speed 3.5 to speed 6, watching through hole in lid, until dough comes together
Set time to 3 minutes and speed on knead; prepare proofing bowl with a light coating of oil
Remove dough from TM bowl and place in proofing bowl; cover with damp towel and proof for one hour or until double in size
Divide dough into 18 equal pieces; 100 grams each
Use rope instructions
Preheat oven to 425F
Let rise 20 minutes; lightly brush the rolls with egg wash; sprinkle with sesame seeds
Put a tray of ice cubes quickly in a shallow pan on the bottom shelf of oven; immediately put the rolls in
Bake 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown; remove and cool on racks
This recipe was made in the TM5. The most flour I used in my TM31 was 750grams effectively. I did use a kilo of flour with success, but definitely had to be there. If you don't know how to make bread by hand, I suggest you alter the recipe to 750 grams flour for the TM31. It is a 14.3% difference.
Ingredients for TM31
86g egg whites
17g dry yeast
26g unsalted butter, room temperature