The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Kaiser vs Challah

janij's picture

Kaiser vs Challah

So I am dying to make some good hamburgers.  And I want nice white buns for them.  Just a little sweet but not overly so.  Something that will stand up to a juicy beef burger with all the fixings.  So I was thinking about making Kaiser rolls, since my stamp just arrived.  However, in BBA the recipe calls for barley malt syrup or diastatic barley malt powder.  I have neither and am not sure where to get them.  Can I leave it out?  But if I do then there is nor sugar.  So I was thinking about using Challah dough for the rolls.  I ahve never made Challah.  From what I have read though it should be about the flavor and texture I am looking for.  The other thing I was thinking was using Mark's Portugese Sweet bread recipe.  but I would need to scale it in half.  For those who make Challah, would it work and be about the same?  Or where can I find the malted barley stuff?  Or what is the Portugese Sweet bread like?  Any input would be appreciated. :)

Kent's picture

Mark's Portuguese Sweet Bread recipe is great. I have made the recipe three different times and the family can't get enough. Had a smoked brisket sandwich with the lone survivor for lunch today.

You can use molasses in place of the malt. I bought my malt powder at a brew supply store.

foufou's picture

malted barley (diastatic and non-diastatic) is available for purchase from King Arthur 

bakermomof4's picture

I am not sure about the Challah, but the Portuguese Sweet Bread, or Massa Sovada as it is called in Portuguese, is tradtionally served for dessert or sometimes breakfast. I do encourage you to make this bread as it is one of the favorite breads of my family, about using it for a sandwich or hamburger it depends if what you are looking for is a sweet enriched bread.

dmsnyder's picture

Another recipe you could use for hamburger buns ... I know it's a radical idea, but it might work. At least it got very positive reviews from those who tried it ...It's a Hamburger Bun Recipe!


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and I think they're right.  Kaiser rolls may be too stiff for a Hamburger.

klmeat's picture

barley malt syrup can be found in a health food store ,I tried a kaiser roll recipe , the rolls were very dense ,but had a great taste

janij's picture

I think I will try the Challah dough but stamp them like Kaisers.  Then I will make the portugese sweet rolls but not for this.  I was not sure just how sweet they are.  BBA doesn't show a crumb shot of the kaisers so I was unaware that they were dense.

jleung's picture

and be similar in terms of sweetness, but the challah (depending on your recipe) would probably be more eggy in taste than the portuguese sweet bread.

As others have said, you can find barley malt syrup at health food stores, or you can try using the equivalent amount of honey, molasses, brown rice syrup or brown sugar as a substitute in a pinch.

Susan (Wild Yeast blog) posted a hamburger roll recipe that is really good.

Good luck!

janij's picture

But I want white ones this time not WW.  I may run by the brew store today and see if U can get the malt.  I am going to use the Challah from BBA.

louiscohen's picture

I haven't used it yet.  I understand that it brings some sweetness but also contains lots of enzymes that help break down the starch in flour into simpler sugars that a) yeast can digest b) taste good and c) increase browning in the crust.

It's often (but not always) seen in formulas for bagels.

Would some people who use it like to tell us more about it - what's the difference between using diatatic malt and, say, molasses? 


janij's picture

We made the hamburgers tonight and here the the rolls we had.  I made challal dough out of BBA and made 4 oz rolls and stamped them with my kaiser stamp.  Need to work on the stamping.  But the rolls were good.


localgrace's picture

Exactly what recipe did you use or where can I find it. The rolls look delicious!!

janij's picture

I used the Challh recipe out of Bread Baker's Apprentice.  Scales to 4 oz rolls.  If you don't have the book let me know and I will post the formula.  They were tasty.

localgrace's picture

I don't have the book but I saved you the trouble by finding it on the Internet. Thanks. I'll try them next time.

janij's picture

You won't be upset.