One of my new roommates has a collection of cookbooks, one of which is The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. I decided that I needed to try at least one of the recipes, and soon!
I settled on the Kaiser roll recipe since I had a family cookout coming up. This was the first time that I had made a bread that required the addition of pre-fermented dough. The process took almost 24 hours, but it was not difficult. Much of that time is spent ignoring the dough while you do other things not related to bread-making.
I need to practice my technique on twisting the Kaiser rolls into their distinctive shape. I made 6 rolls, and the first ones were pretty sad. They almost came out more like doughnuts than rolls, but I sooned learned how to loop the dough in a tighter knot.
Sadly, I followed the directions to flip the roll upside down half way through the rising time. I think this may have only been intended for rolls made with the dough cutter rather than looping. This flattened my beautifully knotted rolls, and they lost their distinctive shape. I did my best to fix them, but I was only moderately successful.
The biggest concern I had about making homemade hamburger buns was the integrity of the bun. I was pretty confident that the bread would taste alright–I mean, the recipe does include egg in it, which is a sure sign of a delicious, soft bread–but I was afraid it would be too soft or crumbly to support a hamburger and toppings or hold up to all the handling that is involved with eating food by hand.
These rolls had wonderful integrity. In fact, they may have had a little too much integrity. When I tried to slice them open after allowing them to cool, the electric bread slicer kept skipping off the top of the bun rather than slicing through it. After using just a little more force, I was able to slice the bun open.
As for the taste, they were good. The toasted sesame seeds on top were my favourite part. (Isn’t that how it always goes: your favourite part is the part that took the least amount of time or effort?) I may have baked mine for a little too long, since they were a little harder/crustier than I would have preferred, but overall they were enjoyable. I was pretty happy with them, especially considering it was my first time making them.