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Kimmelweck (german Kaiser Rolls, Brotchen or Weck)
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Proof yeast. Add shortening, sugar, salt and 3 cups of the flour. Beat with dough whisk or heavy spoon for 2 minutes. Fold egg whites into yeast mixture. Gradually add flour 1/4 cup at a time, until dough forms a mass and begins to pull away from bowl. Turn onto a floured surface. Knead, adding more flour as necessary, for 8-10 minutes, until smooth and elastic with bubbles. Place in oiled bowl, turn to coat, and cover with damp towel. Let rise until double, about 1 hour. Punch down, cover and let rise again until double (about 45 minutes.) Punch down and turn out onto lightly oiled surface. For Kaiser or Weck: Divide dough into 18 pieces. Use rolling pin to flatten each piece into a 7 inch circle. Fold left side to center to form a flap. Halfway down flap fold again to center to form another flap. Repeat all the way around to make overlapping flaps. Lift the first flap to ease the last flap underneath. Press center to seal the dough. Place rolls upside down on a well-greased baking sheet, 3 inches apart. Let rise 30 minutes, turn right side up, let rise 15 more minutes. For Brotchen: Divide dough into 24 pieces. Shape each into an oval about 3 1/2 inches long. Place on well greased baking sheet. If your oven will not fit all at once, prepare half at a time, keeping rest covered for 15 minutes. Flatten tops slightly. Cover and let rise 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 425. Put a shallow pan on the bottom shelf of oven. Lightly brush the rolls with egg wash. Sprinkle with seeds or coarse salt if desired. Place 1 cup of ice cubes in the heated pan in oven. Immediately put the rolls in and bake 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown (internal temp will read 190). Remove and cool on racks. NOTES : Kaiser and Brotchen are made from the same dough, but shaped differently. Kaiser has the 5 sided pinwheel design, Brotchen are smaller and oval shaped. In Buffalo, NY Kaiser rolls are glazed and sprinkled with salt and caraway seeds, called Weck Rolls.
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