Bodega style Kaiser rolls

NYC bodega style kaiser rolls are a perplexing delicacy because they’re usually kind of stale but always exactly what you need. They have a nice chew and are the perfect carrier for your favorite breakfast sandwich. Instead of going to the corner deli, make your own and start perfecting your BEC.

I usually make 8 rolls which are smaller than the bodega version but the perfect size for a weekday breakfast sandwich.

photo of completed recipe: NYC bodega style kaiser rolls are a perplexing delicacy because they’re usually kind of stale but always exactly what you need. They have a nice chew and…
  • You'll be eating in: 4.5 hours, including rising

  • Active time: 25 minutes

  • Yield: 6-8 medium rolls


  • 360

    grams flour

  • 4

    grams instant yeast

  • 7

    grams salt

  • 35

    grams canola or vegetable oil

  • 150

    grams water

  • 80

    grams milk (or 80 grams water and 8-10 grams powdered milk)

  • 5

    grams diastatic malt powder (optional)

  • cornmeal for dusting


  1. Mix the dough

    Combine all of the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Mix on low speed until combined. Increase speed to medium (6) and knead for 5 minutes.

  2. Bulk ferment

    Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let ferment for 2 hours at room temperature or in the fridge overnight. The dough should double in size. If refrigerating, remove from the fridge about 1 hour before shaping.

  3. Shape

    Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle it with cornmeal. Split dough into 8 equal pieces (about 80 grams each) and shape into rough balls. Shape the ball with this star shaping method, make knots (pictured), or use a kaiser roll stamp. Place the shaped rolls upside down (this helps maintain the shape/design as they rise) on the baking sheet and sprinkle with additional cornmeal. Cover with a damp towel or another upside down baking sheet.

  4. Rise

    Let the rolls rise again until puffy, about 90 minutes but maybe shorter or longer depending on the temperature of your room (bread will rise faster in hot rooms and slower in cold rooms). Test it by poking your bread - if the indent doesn't immediately spring back the bread is prooved enough. Preheat the oven to 400°.

  5. Bake

    Flip the rolls over. If you prefer a crustier crust, spray the rolls with water. Bake at 400° for 15-18 minutes until the bread is lightly golden brown.

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Either of the rises can be done in the fridge (will take much longer) which could help time things better for freshly baked rolls in the morning.


Traditional German Kaiser rolls usually include malt powder which adds flavor and color - these don't have that because I'm going for the Americanized deli version and I read that malt is often missing on this side of the pond. If you have malt powder and want to add some, you can add 5 grams to the dough.

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