Many Americans do not feel as though a meal is complete without some type of bread. While there are many different choices available when it comes to bread products, few have as interesting a history as the kaiser bun.
These rolls are unique in both composition and appearance, and taking the time to learn about the characteristics that set the kaiser bun apart will help you better appreciate these rolls in the future.
What's in a Name?
One of the characteristics that sets a kaiser bun apart from other rolls is the segmented, star-shaped pattern that makes the top of the roll look like a crown. It is this royal appearance that led to the adoption of the name "kaiser."
Although the bun originated in Austria, it can trace its name back to the Roman Empire. The family surname of Caesar (made famous by Julius Caesar, one of the most well-known men to rule Rome) has become a generic term for emperor or ruler. "Kaiser" is an adaptation of the word "caesar," with Germanic and Norse influences slightly altering the pronunciation.
The next time you devour the crowned top of a kaiser bun, know that you are eating bread whose name embodies royalty in every sense of the word.
Oh, Sweet Fermentation!
Kaiser buns are created using a unique baking process known as sweet fermentation. Developed by Austrian bakers, sweet fermentation relies on high-quality flour and yeast (much like other breads), but the process requires that no old dough be used.
By perfecting the sweet fermentation process, Austrian bakers introduced a roll into Viennese society that did not have the acidic taste found in other breads of the time. The slightly sweet taste left behind by the sweet fermentation process propelled the kaiser bun to popularity, with even the much-loved ruler Franz Joseph I enjoying a kaiser bun with his morning meal.
Enjoying Kaiser Buns
Today, kaiser buns can be found in the display cases of most bakeries. The versatility of these regal buns helps them maintain their popularity, with the kaiser roll making a great hamburger bun, sandwich bread, or toasted treat with fruit preserves.
Kaiser buns also keep extremely well. When frozen, kaiser buns can remain fresh for up to three months. If you are looking for a versatile bread with a unique taste and history, look no further than the kaiser buns sold at your local bakery. Look for them in a shop like the Klosterman Baking Company.