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~ Caraway-Seeded Salt-Crusted Kummelweck Rolls~

6a0120a8551282970b01b7c7cad1ee970bNothing is more important to a well-constructed sandwich than the bread or roll it gets served on -- the shape, texture and taste all play a role in the production, and, all affect the end result. While it's not against the law to make substitutions, name one kid that wants their PB&J served in a pita pocket.  The thought alone brings tears to my eyes.  When it comes to run-of-the-mill family-friendly sandwiches like the patty melt, club, sub or sloppy Joe, we all know exactly what bread product to buy, and, we have zero trouble finding it at our local grocery store or any typical market in America.  That said, if you're planning to make, for example, a Chicago-style hot dog, finding poppyseed-crusted hot dog rolls outside of Chicago is next to impossible.

Buffalo's famous "beef on a weck" requires a kummelweck roll.

IMG_3417Buffalo-NY's famous kummelweck roll is a round, crusty, medium-textured Kaiser-type roll topped with caraway seeds and coarse salt.  In German, "kummel is the word for "caraway" and "weck" means "roll".

If you are planning to make their famous "beef on a weck" sandwich outside of the Buffalo area (which I am), you know it's next to impossible to find these rolls.  As the name implies, "sliced, slow-roasted beef served on a kummelweck roll", without the roll you're not eating a real-deal weck sandwich.  Why?  It is the roll that gives this sandwich its distinctive taste and name.  Click on the Related Article link below and read ~ Road Trip:  Buffalo NY's One & Only -- Schwable's ~ to learn  more about their iconic sandwich. 

For the same reason I learned to make Chicago-style hot dog rolls (exasperation and desperation), I persevered to make my own version of the kummelweck too.

A bit about my method and recipe:  Written for the food processor, the dough gets mixed and kneaded in less than two minutes -- what's not to love about that.  My Cuisinart DLC-X processor, with its 20-cup capacity, allows me to make big batches of everything imaginable, so, if you don't have a large-capacity food processor, cut the recipe in half and make it in two quick batches.  Once baked, the texture of the rolls will be much like a Kaiser:  crusty on the outside and firm enough on the inside to hold up to the sliced beef and its juices without getting soggy (meaning:  the roll isn't going to fall apart as you eat the sandwich).  I love the taste of caraway seed, and, a while back, I started putting some into the dough as well as sprinkling them on top, because I really, REALLY like the way their flavor gets incorporated into each and every bite.  

IMG_3334For the rolls:

6  cups all-purpose flour

4  packets granulated dry yeast

1  tablespoon caraway seed

2  teaspoons sugar

2  teaspoons fine sea salt

2-2 1/4 cups very hot tap water

no-stick cooking spray, for preparing food storage bag

For the topping:

1  extra-large egg white beaten with 1 tablespoon water

coarse sea salt and additional caraway seeds

IMG_3342 IMG_3343~ Step 1.  In the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, using a series of 10-15 rapid on-off pulses, blend together the flour, yeast, caraway seed, sugar and salt.

Note:  When making any type of dough in a food processor, always pulse the dry ingredients before adding any of the wet ingredients.

IMG_3353 IMG_3349~ Step 2. With the motor of the processor running, slowly pour the hot tap water through the feed tube into the dry ingredients.  Stop adding water when a ball of dough forms. Continue kneading the dough in the processor for about 40-45 seconds. This means the ball of dough will revolve/spin around in the bowl.

IMG_3360 IMG_3356                                              ~ Step 3. Spray the inside of a large 1-gallon food storage bag with no-stick cooking spray.  Carefully (do not cut yourself on the sharp steel processor blade) remove the ball of dough from the processor and place it in the IMG_3364prepared bag.  Allow dough to rise, in bag, about 45 minutes.  Using a pair of kitchen shears, cut the bag open to form a flat, greased work surface.  Punch the dough down and knead it briefly to form a ball.

Tip from Mel:  As the dough rises in the bag, the yeast creates heat and humidity inside the bag.  This is a perfect environment for rising all sorts of bread and pizza dough!

IMG_3373~ Step 5.  It's time to divide the dough into 12 parts and roll each part into a ball.  The best way to do this is with a kitchen scale.  I have 47 ounces of dough today, which means each one of my rolls will weigh just under 4 ounces.

IMG_3379~ Step 6.  As you work, place rolls on a 17 1/2" x 12 1/2" baking pan lined with parchment paper that has has been sprayed with no-stick.

~ Step 7.  Cover the rolls with a cotton, flour-sack-type kitchen towel and set aside to rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

IMG_3396 IMG_3388The rolls will have doubled in size and will be touching each other.  

~ Step 8.  In a small bowl, whisk together the egg white and water. Using a pastry brush and a light touch, paint tops and any exposed surface with egg-white wash. Sprinkle tops of all with coarse sea salt and caraway seeds.

IMG_3398~ Step 9.  Bake rolls on center rack of preheated 375 degree oven for 16-18 minutes.  The tops will be nicely-golden brown and will sound hollow when tapped with your knuckle.  Remove from oven.  Using a gentle shake and a quick tug on the parchment paper, immediately IMG_3405transfer all of the rolls, as an attached group, from the pan to a large cooling rack.  Discard the parchment paper immediately after the transfer is complete.  This is easy to do, it will just slide out from underneath.  Cool completely prior to separating the rolls (although they are delicious served warm).

Meet the weck:  crusty on the outside, tender on the inside:

IMG_3430Where's the beef on a weck?  Stay tuned for my next post!

IMG_2384Caraway-Seeded Salt-Crusted Kummelweck Rolls:  Recipe yields 1 dozen sandwich rolls.

Special Equipment List:  large-capacity food processor; 2-gallon food storage bag; kitchen shears; kitchen scale (optional); chef's knife; 17 1/2" x 12 1/2" baking pan; parchment paper; cotton, flour-sack-type kitchen towel; fork; pastry brush; cooling rack

6a0120a8551282970b01b8d1566abe970cCook's Note:  The beef-on-a-weck sandwich is always served with a bowl of jus, grated horseradish, a big scoop of potato salad and a pickle.  Almost any potato salad recipe will do -- everyone has a favorite.  That said, I wanted to come up with a special potato salad to accompany the weck sandwich. Click into Category 4, 10, 17 or 26 to get ~ Roast Beef Eaten' Horseradish-Mayo Potato Salad ~.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2015) 


I will use this recipe for my buffalo chicken sandwich.

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