The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

double knotted rolls

dmsnyder's picture

You could call it "FICTION." (Fraternal Inspiration to Cook The Identical Offerings Nightly) But it's true. Brother Glenn and I end up baking the same breads or cooking the same dishes more often than one would expect by chance alone. 

My barbecued beef sandwiches are, strictly speaking, not identical to Glenn's. He used leftover rib roast. I used braised brisket. He made hoagie-type rolls from the Vienna Bread dough in BBA. I made double knotted rolls from the Medium Vienna Dough in Inside the Jewish Bakery. I served mine with baked yams and Curtido, a South American version of cole slaw.

The ITJB Medium Vienna dough was bulk fermented to triple (2 hours at 78 degrees F).

Yup. That's tripled.

Even though this is a rather low-hydration, stiff dough, full fermentation yields a roll that is light, airy and tender with delicious flavor, yet firm enough to not get soggy and fall apart when used to make a saucy sandwich. I scaled the rolls to 4 oz, 3/4 proofed them, egg washed twice, sprinkled with sesame seeds and baked them at 350 degrees for 17 minutes.

The brisket was prepared as follows:

2 lbs lean brisket, well-trimmed of fat.

3 cups sliced onions

4 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 medium carrots cut in 2 inch pieces

1 bay leaf

1/2 cup of dry wine (red, white or a mixture)

Water to just cover the other ingredients.

Note: No salt. The sauce provides plenty of salt and spice.

Place all the ingredients except the water in a heavy dutch oven with the brisket fat-side up. (I used a Le Creuset oval enameled cast iron oven.) Pour in enough water to barely cover the meat. Cover tightly. Bring to a boil on top of the stove then place in a pre-heated 350 degree F oven and bake until the meat is fork-tender (about 3 hours). Bake uncovered for the last 30 minutes or so to brown the meat and reduce the gravy somewhat.

Transfer the contents to another container to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, skim off any visible fat. Slice the brisket thinly, across the grain of the meat. Mix about a cup of barbecue sauce (I like "San Francisco's Original Firehouse No. 2 Bar-B-Que Sauce.") with a few tablespoons of gravy (without the veggies) to thin it in a cookpot large enough to hold the sauce and sliced brisket. Simmer partly covered on top of the stove to thoroughly heat the meat.

Heap meat and some sauce on rolls and serve immediately with side dishes of your choice.


This week, I also made Hamelman's "Sourdough Seed Bread." I hadn't made this one in quite a while. It was even better than I remembered. Highly recommended!


Submitted to YeastSpotting


dmsnyder's picture

Three years ago, I made Double Knotted Rolls from a formula provided by nbicomputers, AKA Norm Berg, AKA co-author with Stan Ginsburg of Inside the Jewish Bakery. (See: Norm's Double Knotted Rolls) We enjoyed these rolls a lot, especially for sandwiches made with leftover Thanksgiving turkey.

When I received my copy of Inside the Jewish Bakery yesterday, I had already planned to make these rolls today. However, the book had no specific recipe for these rolls and no indication which of the three formulas for rolls should be used for them. I was pretty sure it would not be the "Light Enriched" dough, because that is the one used for Kaiser Rolls, and Norm specifically distinguished between the "soft roll" dough formula and that used for "hard rolls," like Kaiser Rolls. That left two formulas. Neither was the formula I had used in 2008, but I decided to use the "Sweet Egg Dough," because that looked closest. Here is the result (in photos):

Rolls shaped and ready for proofing

Mixing followed the general instructions for mixing roll dough, and it worked well. Instructions (in Norm's words) for shaping can be found in this topic: Double knot roll. There are numerous YouTube videos of this technique, many erroneously presented as the method for shaping Kaiser Rolls. In addition, both Hamelman's Bread and Greenstein's Secrets of a Jewish Baker have good roll shaping illustrations. I scaled the rolls at 3 oz, with one bit of dough left over to make a sort of Figure Eight Roll.

Rolls proofed and egg-washed

Inside the Jewish Bakery has an enlightening discussion of how different degrees of proofing were used for different products made with the same dough. For the Double Knotted Rolls, a 3/4 proofing is necessary to get the right crumb texture.

These rolls can be baked plain or with poppy seeds or sesame seeds. (Onion rolls are a whole other genre!) My wife much prefers sesame seeds. I can go with sesame or poppy.

Rolls proofed, washed and seeded. Ready to bake.

I baked at 350 F for about 15 minutes. The rolls were slow to brown. Next time, I'll use the oven's convection setting, probably at 330 F.

Baked and cooling

These rolls were less rich than I remember, but still very good.  Next time, I believe I would return to the formula Norm provided in 2008. Who's counting calories?


Submitted to YeastSpotting

dmsnyder's picture

Double knotted rolls - shaped  Double knotted rolls - shaped 

 Rolls proofed 
Rolls proofed 

 Double knotted rolls - Baked 
Double knotted rolls - Baked  

Norm's formula for these rolls is here: 


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