Norm's Onion Rolls
Norm's Kaiser Rolls: These Kaiser Rolls (AKA hard rolls, vienna rolls, bulkies) were made with the same dough used for onion rolls.
I didn't grow up in New York. We did have a Jewish Bakery in Fresno when I was younger. They got me addicted to Sour Rye and Jewish Corn Rye and pumpernickel and cheese pockets. They made onion rolls, too, but I never liked them much. They were fluffy with a boring crust and no "tam."
The carryings on about how wonderful onion rolls used to be by folks on TFL who hail from NYC and environs made me think maybe I'd missed something, so when Norm posted his formula, I thought I should try making them. I got distracted by other baking projects, but the recent postings about these rolls re-activated my intention to make them. Thanks to Eric, Elgins, RFMonaco and Eli. I am delighted to join you!
These onion rolls are, as Norm said, "only onion rolls." Yeah. Like a stradivarius is "only a fiddle."
Kaiser rolls are made from the same dough as onion rolls. What is most different is the elaborate shaping. Ever since I read Greenstein's description of the old-time bakers sitting around the bench "klopping" hundreds of vienna rolls every night for the breakfast rush, I've wanted to try doing this. Well, the rolls are delicious, with a substantial crust and sweet, chewy crumb. We had them tonight with "hamburgers" made with ground chicken. These are not your fast food joint's soggy, tasteless buns. What they really need is a pile of thin sliced juicy roast beef, or roasted brisket, better yet, or maybe chopped liver.
My klopping needs some work. They will be prettier next time, but I can't really imagine them tasting better.
The hamburger was good. But the best part of dinner was dessert - An onion roll sliced in half with sweet butter.
FYI, all the rolls were scaled to 2.55 oz. I think this was just right for the onion rolls. Next time I make Kaiser Rolls, I think I will scale them to 3 oz.