Poppy Seed Kaiser Rolls

Supposedly invented in Vienna and named for Kaiser Franz Joseph, these rolls make the perfect foundation for your favorite sandwich.

Serves: 8Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 3 hours 35 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 8


  • 1 1⁄4 cups plus 1 Tbsp. water, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 3⁄4 tsp. active dry yeast (1 package)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 1⁄8 tsp. coarse salt, divided
  • 5 cups bread flour
  • 3 Tbsp. poppy seeds


  • In a large bowl, combine 1 1⁄4 cups water, sugar, and yeast. Stir to dissolve and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  • Add 1 egg, oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and enough bread flour to create a firm dough. Add flour only to reduce stickiness. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead 8 to 10 minutes. Return to bowl, dust the top with flour, and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap. Rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
  • Line 2 baking pans with parchment. Turn risen dough onto a floured surface. Shape into a rope, about 3 inches thick. Slice into 3-inch pieces, then roll each into a tight ball. Place on prepared pan, dust with flour, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and rest for 10 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Using a rolling pin, roll buns into flat 1⁄2-inch-thick disks. Mix remaining egg with remaining 1⁄8 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon water, and brush onto surface of disks, reserving egg wash that remains. Fold edges of disks into the center, making 5 folds in all (creating a pentagon-shaped roll). Place on prepared pans and proof 15 minutes.
  • Gently brush proofed rolls with remaining egg wash, sprinkle with poppy seeds, and bake until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool completely.