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Kaiser Roll Vs. Portuguese Roll

Bread rolls accompany various dishes and are often a key ingredient in making sandwiches. 

Popular varieties include bread rolls like kaiser rolls and Portuguese rolls which are commonly used in diverse sandwich recipes.  

These bread rolls are characterized by a firm and crisp texture, and they contribute to the creation of sandwiches with a delightful crisp crust. 

Despite their similar taste and texture, kaiser rolls and Portuguese rolls can be easily distinguished by the distinct shapes and patterns adorning their surfaces. 

While they are interchangeable, they offer visually unique options for making sandwiches. 

In this post, we describe the features distinguishing these bread rolls. 

What is kaiser roll?

Kaiser roll is also known as a hard roll or Vienna roll. 

It is an Austrian bread roll dating back to the 1700s, and this bread roll was named to honor the Kaiser. 

Kaiser roll is round with deep lines dividing its surface into approximately 5 sections, resembling flower petals.  

This hard and chewy roll is used for sandwiches by street vendors and can be enjoyed with stews.  

The dough, made from flour, water, sugar, salt, and yeast, may include milk.  

It can be leavened with either yeast or sourdough. Sesame or poppy seeds are often brushed on the surface.  

The traditional technique of shaping kaiser roll involves forming a square, bringing each corner to the middle to create a unique pattern.  

Alternatively, a stamp or superficial cuts can be used.  

After shaping, the rolls undergo proofing before being baked and are available in grocery stores and bakeries. 

What is Portuguese roll?

Portuguese rolls are popular light and airy bread rolls originating from Portugal.  

These bread rolls are also known as papa secos. 

They are recognized by their distinctive oblong shape. These rolls have a crispy crust and a fluffy interior.  

Portuguese rolls are commonly made with ingredients like flour, sugar, salt, butter, and water, they are also yeasted. 

Bakeries and grocery stores all over Portugal offer these rolls. These rolls can also be found globally, particularly in areas with a significant Portuguese population.  

The crusty exterior, often dusted with flour, contrasts with the soft and airy inside.  

Apart from being enjoyed as breakfast rolls, they are utilized in different dishes, including traditional Portuguese sandwiches like the Francesinha, where the bread rolls are stuffed with cured meats.  

With their torpedo-shaped design, these rolls are a staple in Portuguese cuisine, cherished for their delightful texture and versatility.

Difference between kaiser roll and Portuguese roll


The two bread rolls can be identified by their shapes. 

Kaiser rolls are typically round in shape while Portuguese rolls have an oblong shape  


Kaiser rolls have a unique pattern, the shape of petals on the bread separated by cuts. The surface is divided into four or maybe five sections that resemble the petals of a flower. 

On the other hand, Portuguese rolls feature a single vertical slice of the surface on the bread.