Vienna Hard Rolls

READY IN: 4hrs 20mins
YIELD: 12 rolls




  • Mix warm water and yeast in a large bowl. Allow to stand until yeast is dissolved, about 5 minutes.
  • Add to the yeast, next 1 cup water, sugar, salt and shortening. Stir well.
  • Continuing to stir, add next 2 to 2 1/2 cups of flour. Mix until thoroughly blended.
  • Fold the beaten whites into the soft dough. The dough will be very wet and sticky at this point and have a "blob-like" consistency.
  • Gently stir in the flour for stiffening, use more or less as needed, until dough is still soft but no longer wet.
  • Sprinkle part of the kneading flour on a cool, flat surface. Turn dough out, sprinkle with flour and knead until smooth and elastic, about 7 minutes. Sprinkle remaining flour over the surface of the dough as you knead until all stickiness is gone.
  • Oil a large bowl well, turn dough into bowl, coat with oil and cover with a muslic cloth.
  • Let rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until double.
  • Push the risen dough down gently in the middle, let sit for a few minutes, then turn out onto a clean, cool surface and knead very gently for about a minutes. The dough will change consistency just a little in that time. Don't add any more flour and don't overwork the dough.
  • Let the dough rise again for another hour, until doubled.
  • Again, press the dough gently, don't punch it. Let it rest for about 5 minutes then turn out on a clean surface. Divide into whatever portions you need, 6 for long "hoagie-type" rolls, 12 for smaller 2 1/2 buns.
  • Form dough as desired.
  • Let the formed dough rest on the work surface, covered with a clean towel for up to 10 minutes, while preparing cookie sheets. Transfer dough to baking sheets which have been dusted with cornmeal. Cover with cloth and let rise for another hour, until doubled.
  • While your dough is resting, preheat oven to 425.
  • Put a 13 x 9 inch metal (DON'T USE GLASS!) baking pan on the bottom rack of the oven while preheating.
  • When oven is hot, pouring boiling water into pan in bottom of oven and immediately place a baking sheet of rolls onto the middle rack.
  • Lightly beat the yolks and milk, set aside.
  • After rolls have "popped", brush the tops with the yolk/milk mixture, return to oven.
  • Bake at 425 until golden brown and crusty, about 20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and cool on wire racks.