Kaiser rolls aren't one of the bread-baking experiences on my bucket list (not that I have one), but this BBA Challenge was fun anyway. The only challenge is in the shaping, and that turned out to be much easier than I'd thought.
This is a recipe that needs some planning because it uses a pâte fermentée that is mixed up the day before (at least), let rise for a while, then refrigerated to gain flavor. On baking day that dough is brought to room temperature and mixed in with the rest of the ingredients, which included an egg to make this a lightly enriched dough. I used half whole-wheat flour for the main dough, though the pâte fermentée was made with all bread flour. I also added in a little gluten after my dough had trouble with the windowpane test after an initial kneading.
After the first rise came the shaping. I reviewed the section in BBA, plus looked at the site Chris had used, but really I think the BBA was clear enough on its own for me. Roll a rope of dough (longer than either set of instructions suggested--maybe 12" for my smaller rolls), make an overhand knot, then let each end make one more wrap around the loop in the same direction it had been going. You should end up with a little nub sticking up in the middle of the roll from the end that was coming up through the middle on that pass, and when the roll is flipped halfway through the second rise there should be another nub on that side. Well, most of mine had that--a few sort of melded into a vaguely pleated roll.
I did find the instructions to flip the rolls over halfway through the rise odd, and wish there was reason given. Does it keep the roll a little flatter?
My 9 smaller-sized rolls were done in 20 minutes total, nicely brown and at temperature. They've got a nice flavor and good texture, and I like the whole-wheat in there--these should be great for sandwiches. As soon as Passover ends I'll be handing most of these off to the folks next door. I suspect these would be popular even without the "I'm sick of matzoh" effect.