Are you having trouble getting the kaiser rolls you make at home to taste like real, bakery-made kaiser rolls? Well, one option is to just visit the bakery instead. But you could also try implementing some of the tips below, which should help improve the taste and texture of your kaiser rolls.
1. Use high-quality bread flour
Not all flour is the same. All-purpose flour is lower in protein than bread flour, so when you make rolls or bread with it, your product tends to be overly soft without as much developed gluten. Bread flour is significantly higher in protein and will lead to a much more authentic kaiser roll. Make sure you buy from a good brand, too. The lower-end, store brands may not have as much protein as the higher-end flour brands. It's worth paying a few more dollars per bag of flour if your rolls turn out that much better.
2. Make sure you're kneading enough
Kneading by hand is tiring, which is why a lot of home bakers give up on kneading sooner than they should. However, plenty of kneading is necessary in order to develop the gluten in your kaiser rolls. Kaiser rolls that have been under-kneaded will be too dense and not chewy enough. Make sure you knead your dough for at least 10 minutes. If kneading by hand for this long is too hard, consider buying a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment that will knead for you.
3. Let the dough rise a bit longer
If the air bubbles in your kaiser rolls don't seem to be large enough and your bread is a bit too dense, then you need to let it rise longer. Most recipes will tell you to let the dough rise for an hour initially, but this is often not long enough if your kitchen is a bit chilly. Two hours is a safer bet. Once the dough has been shaped into rolls, let it rise for another 45 minutes before baking.
4. Put a pan of water in the oven
Bakery kaiser rolls have that nice outer crust because professional ovens can spray water inside of the baking chamber, creating steam. Your home oven doesn't release its own steam, but you can mimic this effect by placing a pan of water in the oven before you bake the rolls. The steam released from the water will help create a nicer crust on your rolls.
Implementing the tips above should improve the quality of your homemade kaiser rolls. Have fun baking!