Kaiser roll is a crusty round bread roll, originally from Austria, but due to those 51 years our country spent in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, this bakery product often appears on the Hungarian dining tables as well. Kaiser rolls are thought to have been named to honor Emperor (Kaiser) Franz Joseph I of Austria, but according to other interpretations the word kaiser comes from the name of a baker called Kayser, who was the supposed contriver of these embellished buns.
Kaiser roll’s typical feature is that the top of the bread rolls is divided in a symmetric pattern of five segments, separated by curved superficial cuts radiating from the centre outwards. The easiest way to make this decoration is to use a special kaiser roll stamp, however, if you don’t have that utensil (and seriously, who has it?), there’s a fancy shaping technique that you have to use to get that little nub on top of the roll.
Kaiser rolls are made from all-purpose flour, which has lower gluten content and tend to make drier, more crumbly bread rolls; in order to improve the quality of the flour I also add gluten to the flour. Gluten absorbs moisture and adds elasticity making the finished product light and fluffy.