Baking History

A Taste For The Past

Vienna Rolls (bbd #06)

Posted by bakinghistory on January 31, 2008

Three dainty shapes for buttery and crispy Vienna rolls
BreadBakingDay #6 Eva from Sweet Sins is the host of bread baking day #06, for which she chose “bread shapes” as a theme.
I found three interesting ways to shape Vienna rolls in an old professional bakers’ manual published in London in 1909. I scaled down the recipe given in the book—which originally called for 17 lb of flour—but I left it otherwise unchanged. The rolls bake beautifully crispy on the outside and have a nice layered interior.
Clockwise from the bottom in the picture are shown the cannon roll, the horseshoe, and the twin or double roll.
Thanks Eva for choosing a great theme and thanks to Zorra for initiating bbd!
From the original recipe by Charles & James Scott
In: “Vienna Bread: Instructions and Recipes”, 1909—UK
1 cup (228 ml) warm water
1 cup (228 ml) whole milk
5-1/2 cups (770 g) bread flour
0.55 oz (15.6 g) fresh yeast (or 1-3/4 tsp (7 g) active dry yeast or 1 package)
1-3/4 tsp (10.6 g) fine sea salt
1/4 cup (50 g) unsalted butter, cold
Egg wash (1 yolk mixed with 1 tbsp water)
Scald the milk with the salt and set aside to cool to lukewarm. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water (100°F–38°C) and set aside for about 5 minutes, until foamy. Add yeast water to flour and mix, then add the milk. Knead until the dough develops and feels satiny, smooth, and supple. You might need to add a little more water if the dough seems too dry or a little flour if it is too sticky. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes at room temperature, covered, then place it in a lightly buttered covered container and let it rise in the refrigerator overnight.
Take the dough out of the refrigerator and flatten it in a rectangle 1/4-inch (0.5 cm) thick, with a rolling pin, on a lightly floured surface. Do not knead the dough. Dot the surface of the dough with thin slices of cold butter, 100_6311.jpgthen fold into thirds (business letter fold). Roll the dough again and fold in thirds two more times, letting the dough rest a few minutes every time. The same as you would do with croissants dough.
Once the dough is ready, with sharp scissors or a dough scraper cut 1-1/2 oz (45 g) portions of dough and shape the rolls as shown in the following illustrations from the book.
(click on the thumbnails to enlarge)
For the Cannon Rolls
canno-roll-1.jpg cannonball2.jpg cannonball3.jpg Flatten a round portion of dough (1-1/2 oz–45 g) to resemble a “8” shape. Roll the rounded sides to enlarge them, then roll each side toward the center. Finally invert the roll so that the center strip is on top.
For the Horseshoe
horseshoe1.jpg horseshoe2.jpg horseshe-3.jpg horseshoe-4.jpg Flatten a portion of dough (1-1/2 oz–45 g) into a round, then roll it into a sharp oval shape. Roll it up starting at one of the narrow ends, then elongate the rolled up dough rolling it under the palms of your hands, making sure the ends are well tapered. Finally curve it into a round, resembling a horseshoe.
For the Twin or Double Roll
Simply divide one portion of dough (1-1/2 oz–45 g) into two smaller balls, then join them together.
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C), place the formed rolls on two baking sheets and gently brush them with egg wash. Let the rolls rise, covered, until they are light. Bake them crisp in a dry oven (no steam). Let the rolls cool on a rack.
This is how the interior should look; it is important not to knead the dough after the turns vienna-roll-3.jpg (click on the thumbnail to enlarge)
Note: this dough, minus the butter and the turns, can be used, as said in the book, to make Kaiser rolls.

18 Responses to “Vienna Rolls (bbd #06)”

  1. Susan said

    Wow, the cannon rolls are outrageous! I love the old illustrations.

  2. bakinghistory said

    Hi Susan! I just visited Wild Yeast and saw your gorgeous couronne.

  3. ejm said

    Oh well done!

    I love that the original recipe called for 17 lbs of flour! That recipe must have been for a HUGE bakery.

    Susan is right! The cannon rolls are outragious. They’re my favourites.


  4. I love the old illustrations, great job!

  5. zorra said

    Looks delicious! Where did you find this old book?

  6. Thanks for downscaling and testing this old recipe, you did a great job! The illustrations are really nice.

  7. theinversecook said

    Great find! Rolling in a relatively small amount of butter seemed to make all the difference there.


  8. bakinghistory said

    @ Elizabeth: yes, the cannon rolls shape was what made me decide to try this recipe, they are unusual—at least I had never seen that shape before

    @ Ulrike: Thanks!

    @ Zorra: Thanks. This book is also available online, the original is in the library of a University—I don’t remember which one right now, but if you google the title you will find it.

    @ Petra: Thanks! I thought it would be nice to show the pictures form the original, they are very well done.

    @ Nils: Thanks. Yes, the amount if butter seemed just right, they taste buttery but they are not too rich and the texture was really nice.

  9. sciopina said

    Simply Fab? But where you do get theese fantastic recipies?
    The illustrations are so beautiful..
    I’ d love to have some rolls..look so fluffy gnammy..
    have a nice we

  10. bakinghistory said

    @ Sciopina: Ciao! Old books are around in libraries and archives, many are digitalized, and they often contain great recipes that are worth recreating–good we to you as well 🙂

  11. Louise said

    Good morning Manuela,
    Just dropped by to see what was cooking. Boy, how ambitious of you to take on such a recipe. These rolls look fabulous! Another GREAT job!

  12. I love that you found different ways to shape the rolls in an antique baking manual – what fun! The old manuals had pretty explicit directions, sometimes better than today. The Cannon Rolls are excellent!

  13. bakinghistory said

    @ Luise: Good morning! And thanks :-).

    @ T.W.. In fact, so far I have never found a recipe from an old cookbook or manual that failed when I tried to recreate it. While in fact some of the current ones have sometimes failed despite the modern appliances, oven thermometers, and color pictures.

  14. Eva said

    Sorry, I didn’t get your email but I’ll include you in the round-up asap!
    Your rolls look fabulous and seem to be a healthy alternative to croissants!

  15. bakinghistory said

    @ Eva: Thanks! And thanks for hosting I really loved the theme you proposed. 🙂

  16. Susan94 said

    Gorgeous rolls. Do you bake and cook full time? I am a sahm and love to bake and cook and love to read blogs of other people making food (or crafts, quilts, sewing, etc). 🙂 Anyway, I grew up in my dad’s bakery and these remind me of the croissants he used to make but these are definitley easier. I also love the shapes and the drawing of how to do it.

    I stumbled across this blog when I came across your candied oranges photo. I made them and wanted to email you the photo of them but didn’t know how to attach here or do I have to email them to you.

  17. Susan94 said

    Oh wait I didn’t see the part where you have to roll the dough with butter in it 3 or 4 times. Then it is like making croissants. I still want to challenge myself to try it. LOL

  18. bakinghistory said

    @ Susan: Thank you! I am just an amateur baker and cook 🙂 , and I am very interested in history, including food history. I’d love to see the picture of the candied orange peel, you can email it too me here: xxgcvqu02(at)sneakemail(dot)com.

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