Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Beef on Weck, Part 1: The Kummelweck Roll – You’ll Be Thirsty for More

Welcome to the first of a two-part series on one of this country’s most delicious unknown sandwiches, the "Beef on Weck." This simple, but brilliant creation features thinly sliced, horseradish covered, roast beef, piled high on a freshly baked kummelweck.

The roll's fragrant caraway seeds and coarse salt are a perfect accent, and when you add a steaming ramekin of fresh beef jus for dunking, you’ll understand why this is the pride of Western New York. Sorry, chicken wings.

As legend has it, a pub owner in Buffalo, New York created the sandwich, hoping the salty rolls made by a local German baker would help increase drink sales. That sounds about right, and I do have it on very good authority that beef on weck works well with beer.

So, even if you’re not into roast beef, I still recommend you give these great sandwich rolls a try soon. And, if you are into roast beef sandwiches, I invite you to stay tuned for what I believe is America’s finest example. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 12 Kummelweck Rolls:
1 envelope active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1 cup warm water (105 F.)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg white
1 generous tsp honey
*3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour total (use 1/2 cup with yeast and water to start recipe)

* I mentioned a dough tip during the video, and that has to do with not adding all the flour at once. I like to add about 80% of the flour called for, and then continue adding small amounts as the dough kneads, until I have the perfect texture.  You want a soft, fairly sticky dough that pulls off the sides of the bowl clean.

For the topping:
1 large egg white beaten with 2 tsp water
coarse grain sea salt
caraway seed

- Bake at 425 F. for 18-20 minutes


Dauss said...

Think you've got the wrong video for this post Chef John, I'm seeing the bay scallop chowder on this post.

Unknown said...

Can I make this in my new food processor?(wore out the last one). Look forward to part 2.
As always the best!

Unknown said...

Dauss - it loaded just fine for me.

Chef John - I can't wait to make these with the beef when you post it.

Thanks for making us better cooks.

scruffy said...

I'm sorry but I have to dissappoint you Chef John, there is no word for cliffhanger in German.
How to pronounce "Kümmel". Just hit the little speaker button.

Dan said...

These look a lot like the rock salt hard rye rolls I grew up with in Milwaukee, and can't find anywhere else. Would your recipe work with rye flower too?

foodie80 said...

Hi Chef John. Thanks for your great clips. I´m from germany and it´s called Kümmelwecke. And we actually don´t have a word for cliffhanger so we use the same word as well.

Jenny said...

German person here to tell you that it really is Kümmel (like you said it the second time). These rolls look great. I'll be making some pulled pork soon and I would like to make some homemade rolls to go with it. Any recommendations on which kind of roll to make? I always make your Hamburger buns for burgers and everyone loves them. I was thinking about just making the Hamburger buns again, but a roll similar to this one here might be better.
Can't wait for part two, it looks so yummy. Btw I think we don't actually have a word for cliffhanger..it's one of those things where we just use the english word :D sorry to disappoint

Tibbs said...

Is there no salt in the dough at all?

Also could you tell us weight for the flour, or at least how you get the flour into the measure (dredge, pour etc)?

Quite why people use volume measurements for compressible materials is beyond me. :(

The Heimish Chef said...

Very disappointed that you are using volume instead of weight for a bread recipe. Can't remember the last time you did that :)

Chef John said...

Yes, there is salt called for in the dough ingredients, check again!

Also, they don't weigh the flour in Buffalo. They add it until they have the perfect feeling dough. They believe if you can't make a roll without specific weighs, you shouldn't be baking.

Btw, maybe mix in a "thanks for the video" before starting to complain. Seriously, what happened to common courtesy?

Chef John said...

Monika, yes, you can use a FP if it has a dough attachment, but I think the stand mixer does a better job.

Chef John said...

Rye flour could work, but I've never tried! You'd probably need to mix with AP or it would be too heavy I think.

ET said...

Chef...very disappointed that you created this recipe, tested it, filmed it, narrated it, and posted it on your site (for free) so that I could easily make these rolls in my own kitchen.


Food Junkie said...

All I can say at this point is "where's the beef?" Looking forward to part 2 and thanks. I really tried but I can't find anything to be disappointed about here.

Aaron said...

I know it may not help much but please remember that for every complaint posted here there are hundreds or maybe thousands of us who love and appreciate the hard work and creative genius that goes in to these videos.

Still, some people need to learn some manners and I am glad that you feel free to let them know when they are out of line.

Anonymous said...

Chef John, thank you so much for all you do. Your voice always cheers me up. It is a shame you have to put up with the jerks and their jerky comments. Honestly, I think if I were you I would consider putting a paywall on the blog. The jerks could still be jerky in the youtube comments but you (and the rest of us nice, grateful people) could have fun over here in peace. Thank you for brightening my days.

The Heimish Chef said...

Hey, I put a smiley face at the end of my complaint. Doesn't that qualify? In all seriousness, though. Thanks for all the vids. Foodwishes has become a regular feature for me and my family. My 2 yr old nephew asks if we could watch foodwishes!!!

The Heimish Chef said...

Wow! My original comment was meant 99% jokingly. Chef john has always said to use a scale when making bread so I was teasing. Hence the smiley face. I apologize to everyone especially chef john for the misunderstanding.

Sand said...

I discovered this site accidently and have been using it daily ever since to prepare meals. My husband thinks I'm a genius because we almost never have the same thing twice. Thanks Chef John

Dan and Hilary said...

Buffalo native living in Ireland wants to say Thanks for an awesome demo! I have never baked bread before, but I am up for the challenge and yearning for the beef.

This sandwich is such an Underdog and you would be amazed at how well these are prepared throughout my beloved Buffalo at even the most unassuming neighborhood bars. Such a classic old school sandwich! Thanks for sharing this with your loyal viewers.

Unknown said...

Hi Chef John. Apologies for the lack of thanks to start off with - love both you and your blog, so I took that as an implicit comment I didn't need to make.

Thank you for these great recipes. I've made loads of them to great success.

Unknown said...

These are in the oven right now. They were like little cheeks on the pan when all of a sudden, I made an X with scissors and they started to deflate! I let the dough rise twice before making them into rolls. After 7 minutes in the oven, they puffed again! Magic! And they look just like yours and it smells amazing1 Ohhhh! Did I ever tell you I love you before? That's the only thing on my mind besides thank you thank you thank you (you can edit the number on thank you by 10 at least!).

suz_flausa said...

Chef John,
Thanks for this recipe and ALL of your recipes! It has become commonplace in my family to find our meals through your videos and blog! I love cooking for my family and you have made it a lot easier to please!!
We love to sit as a family and watch your videos deciding what food adventure we want to go on! Our kids now love to cook with us.
Keep up the great work and keep those recipes coming!!

- Cain family

Chef John said...

Thank you! Great to hear!

Unknown said...

Very nice recipe and awesome vid.
"Weck" or "Wecken" is a german term used for a roll in southwest Germany. There are different Terms for rolls in Germany, depending on the region, like Brötchen, Semmel, Schrippe...
I really liked your video, especially the advice to spray water ont the rolls. The waterspray, combined with the eggwhite will helpt getting a crispy crust on the rolls.
The main difference between "american" bread and "german" bread is the lack of a crspy crust in american breads. You can get a crispy crust, if you use more flour in your dough. If the dough does not feel sticky to the touch anymore, you will get a crispy crust for sure.
Greetings from Germany

p.s.: you pronounced Kümmel (caraway) correctly. ^^

Unknown said...

After months of coming across this recipe on your site, I finally made it. I didn't have sirloin roast, I had chuck (there was oven time involved). I didn't have beef broth I had chicken stock. Hmm.... I cooked the beef, made the jus, and as I sliced the - well, dry looking - beef, I put it back in the jus and kept it warm.
It was the best thing ever!! I made the rolls, I made the beef, I served it for dinner and the family loved it!!
I spent a few years in upstate New York (Binghamton, spiedies - which I will have to make from your recipe and I can't wait) and I love your upstate NY recipes.

cappy102 said...

One chilly January day, years ago, I was in Buffalo. This was before it had wings. A cafe menu listed 'Beef on Weck' which, being a west coaster, I'd never heard of. When I asked the waiter what it was, she looked at me like the alien that I was. I spelled it...WECK, and she said, "Oh, that's a local radio station."

This is the first time I've actually seen a recipe for this sandwich. Thanks!

Unknown said...

My last name - Wacasey - is a derivation of the German word Weckesser, which means...roll (or weck) eater!

THANK YOU Chef John for this wonderful recipe. I'm gonna try it tomorrow!