Once upon a time I dated a woman from Buffalo, NY. It didn’t work out. We both went happily on with our lives afterwards, so I guess in a real sense it actually did work out. Anyway, the point here is that I’ve spent some time in Buffalo. I’m not one of those people who cares to hear jokes about the place. It has problems. Every place does. Given how I feel about food — I’m all in favor of it — that shouldn’t be a surprise. They do food well in Buffalo.
I’ve talked about my reverence for wings before, but there’s something Buffalo that’s really much harder to find outside western New York: Beef on Weck. It’s basically a hot roast beef sandwich on a kimmelweck (sometimes spelled kummelweck) roll. All great cities have a great roast beef sandwich. The Philly Cheesesteak. The Chicago Italian Beef. The Buffalo Beef on Weck. You know Buffalo Wild Wings? Ever wonder why its nickname is “BW3” when there are only two “W”s in “Wild Wings”? The third “W” stood for “Weck.”
The big thing is the roll. Kimmelweck is a chewy white roll with a crusty outside that’s topped with a mixture of salt, caraway seeds, and pumpernickel flour. And I mean chewy. The recipe I used calls for half high-gluten flour and half bread flour (which is higher in gluten than plain AP). The only tweak I made to the recipe is adding a tablespoon of granular lecithin. I pretty much put at least a tablespoon in any bread I make because I like what it does with the texture of the bread. It makes the crumb very fine.
I made the dough in my bread machine using a straight dough setting. I think next time I’ll program the machine to do the 10 minute knead, 10-minute rest, 10-minute knead sequence the recipe calls for. I think if I do I’ll get a little more chewiness (though what I got was very good). I also think I’m going to make twelve rolls from the batch rather than the six the recipe calls for. They were good, as I keep saying, but they were also really big. I can easily see making these my go-to buns for whatever I need buns. Insert your own joke here. I also need to do something about that topping. More seemed to end up on the pan than on the buns when it was all over.
These wound up being dinner last night with some smoked chuck roast I did on the Egg the other day. They were lunch today. Carla had her last one with butter with some soup. I had another sandwich.
I love it when a recipe works. Practice makes perfect, though.