Vienna rolls are easy to love. These tender knots of yeasted bread are filled with delicious butter and are about the best thing you can serve as a part of your dinner.
These beautiful dough knots do require a bit of preparation, but they are so worth it.
If you scroll down and look, this recipe seems deceptively long and perhaps a little intimidating, but it’s actually quite simple. All we have to do is: make the dough, enrich it with butter, and tie in knots. That’s not so hard, right?
If you start the dough now, you can have the best bread rolls by dinnertime…so what are you waiting for?
How To Raise The Dough
The most important element is properly raised dough. If you somehow fail this, you will end up with firm and sad-looking knots, instead of cotton-like soft buns, filled with air bubbles.
To get your dough raised properly use the freshest yeast. By this I do not mean fresh as in not expired, but rather a yeast that is freshly opened and is not waiting in the cupboard to be used since last year!
People often forget that yeast is an active and live culture and if it stands too long on the shelf, it may lose some of its properties. So, when making anything that calls for the yeast, always use a freshly opened yeast.
I used instant yeast, but you can go with active yeast. This yeast has to be combined with sugar and warm milk and left aside for 5 minutes. Once it is foamy you can use it.
The benefits of the dry yeast are that you can directly combine one with the flour and add hot water. The effects will be the same, so use whatever you want and feel comfortable with.
So, to get the dough right, I use a full tablespoon of yeast and 2 tablespoons of sugar. The sugar will activate the yeast, and give a nice and very subtle sweet flavor to the dough.
When I say subtle, I mean really subtle. So do not worry about ending with sweet Vienna knots!
How To Shape The Knots
This was a bit confusing to me the first time I saw it. I’m not sure why, but when you look at it from a distance the first time, it somehow looks a bit difficult to shape your knots.
But I assure you, there is nothing strange or tough in making these knots. Once the dough is raised, simply divide it into portions, and roll each portion into a 6 to 7-inch long log shape. Then, tie each log into a knot.
Yes, it is very easy! I am still wondering why they looked so confusing before, and I bet you will, too.
“Do I Need This Much Butter?“
I shared this recipe with my friend, and she asked me: “Do I need this much butter?”
If you are wondering the same, well, the answer is simple: yes, you do. Butter is the key element of these Vienna knots.
The raised dough is very important for the fluffiness, but to get that amazing buttery taste, well, you need to use butter! Also, the butter will make the dough silky and extra smooth, so it is a good idea to use it anyway.
If you are trying to make vegan Vienna rolls, however, you can skip the regular butter, and use a vegan butter instead. At the same time you can also use unsweetened plant or nut milk instead cow’s milk, and olive oil for brushing the rolls before baking.
Making Vienna Rolls
Before we get down to the recipe, let’s take a quick overview of the process. This way, there won’t be any surprises later.
The first steps are very basic: combine flour, instant yeast, sugar, and salt. Then you pour in warmed milk and combine all until the dough comes together.
Knead the dough and let it rise. It usually takes an hour in warm place.
If the dough will not rise, there are two likely reasons: you used old yeast, or the room is not warm enough. I like to leave my dough in the kitchen, since it it is the warmest part of my house.
Once the dough is raised, punch it down to remove air and start adding in the butter. At first, the dough will act like it cannot absorb the butter, but keep kneading it. At some point – it will not take long – the dough will become sticky.
Again, continue kneading until you have a smooth ball of dough. Add the butter again and keep kneading until you have used all butter. It is important to add butter gradually, not in large pieces all at once. Otherwise it may be too difficult to work it all in.
Divide the dough into balls, shape each into a log, tie them into knots, and then let them rise for another 30 minutes. Heat up the oven as you brush the rolls with raw egg. Bake and serve warm.
How To Make Simple Vienna Rolls
In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour, yeast, sugar and salt.
Make a well in the center.
Pour in milk and start stirring until the dough comes together.
Knead the dough until a ball is formed.
Cover the dough with a kitchen cloth and place at warm place. Let the dough rise for 1 hour.
Punch down the dough and start adding butter, just a little at a time.
Knead in the butter until you have a smooth dough. At the beginning it will be sticky, but keep kneading and it will become smooth.
Divide the dough into 12 pieces and shape each into ball.
Roll each ball into a 6 or 7 inch long “log” shape and tie into a knot. Arrange the knots on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
Let the dough rise in knot form for another 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 F.
Just before the knots are done rising, beat eggs with a pinch of salt.
Brush the knots with the egg mixture and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve knots warm.
Note: You can sprinkle the knots with sesame or poppy seeds after brushing with the egg.
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp instant yeast
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 1 ¼ cup milk, hand hot
- 4.5oz. butter, room temperature
- 1 egg
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour, yeast, sugar and salt.
- Make a well in the center.
- Pour in milk and start stirring until the dough comes together.
- Knead the dough until a ball is formed.
- Cover the dough with a kitchen cloth and place at warm place. Let the dough rise for 1 hour.
- Punch down the dough and start adding butter, just a little at a time.
- Knead in the butter until you have a smooth dough. At the beginning it will be sticky, but keep kneading and it will become smooth.
- Divide the dough into 12 pieces and shape each into ball.
- Roll each ball into a 6 or 7 inch long "log" shape and tie into a knot. Arrange the knots on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
- Let the dough rise in knot form for another 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Just before the knots are done rising, beat eggs with a pinch of salt.
- Brush the knots with the egg mixture and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Serve knots warm.
You can sprinkle the knots with sesame or poppy seeds after brushing them with the egg mixture.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 knot
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 239Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 380mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 6g
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