When I was a young child and went to my grandparents for Shabbos, I’d stay through Sunday and leave in the afternoon. One of the highlights of those Sundays was the fresh Kaiser roll my grandfather would lovingly prepare for me for breakfast with smoked fish, lettuce, and tomatoes. Creating this recipe, I revisited those warm, wonderful memories. To add a little panache to the humble Kaiser roll, I made them onion flavored. The result: a crusty, chewy, can’t-have-just-one roll!
Place water, yeast, and sugar in a small bowl. Let sit for a few minutes, until yeast is bubbling. Meanwhile, place flour, oats, salt, and onion powder in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix together.
Add proofed yeast, oil, and two tablespoons sautéed onion. Knead together for about seven minutes until a soft dough forms.
Place in a greased bowl. Cover with a plastic bag and tie closed. Place in a cold oven (no pilot light). Put another bowl near this one and fill with boiling water. Close the oven door (this is essentially like a closed box filled with steam) and let dough rise for 45 minutes.
Remove dough from oven and punch down.
Divide into 10 even pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and flatten a little. Cover and let rise for 40 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). Cut a shallow “x” in the top of each roll. Brush with egg white. Carefully place remaining sautéed onions on each roll, pressing down gently. Sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden.
Photography: Hudi Greenberger
Styling: Janine Kalesis