What’s great about these buns is you can make them in just over an hour, it’s not an all day affair rising and punching down dough. You can make these buns with either white or whole wheat flour. I normally use white flour but today I thought I would try whole wheat flour and see how they turned out(I prefer the white buns- the whole wheat were kind of heavy and dry, but healthier). There are different ways to bake these buns off. It’s a nice small recipe, 12 small buns or 6 medium sized buns.
Portion the dough evenly into 12 pieces, roll into round balls and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet(if you want bigger buns just cut into fewer portions(bigger buns), I do that often-the baking time will need to be longer-5 minutes longer for 6-8 buns). Other options after rolling the dough into 12 round balls is place next to one another into a buttered, 9×9 glass or ceramic dish or place each dough ball in a buttered muffin tin. There is a pictures showing this. What’s great about this recipe is there is only one rising for 45 minutes, but you need that dough to be in a warm place. If you have a proofing function on your oven, use it.
Prep and rising time: 55 minutes
Cooking time: 15 -20 minutes
Yield: 12 small buns
1 package active dry yeast or 2 1/4 teaspoons
1 1/3 cup of very warm milk but not hot- 105 degrees to 115 degrees F- measure with digital thermometer if you have or just heat the milk in the microwave for about 1 minute 15 seconds. If the milk is too hot, it will kill the yeast and if too cool, the yeast will not grow.
3 – 3 1/2 cups of white or whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons of oil ( add less oil if you like but the oil makes the dough more supple)
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons melted butter for brushing the buns with before you bake them and for brushing the baking dish or muffin tins.
Sea salt for garnish
1. Dissolve yeast in warm milk in electric mixer bowl for around 3 minutes.
2. This recipe can be made by hand if you don’t have an electric mixing bowl. Using your paddle attachment, add 1 cup of flour and mix until you have a smooth mixture, about 1 minute. Scrap down the sides of the bowl. Then add the rest of the flour, along with the oil, salt and sugar. Once the dough has come together, change from the paddle to the hook. Mix the dough until it is smooth, about 3 minutes. You can also knead by hand, it’s a little more work and you will have to knead longer, do so until the dough is smooth in texture, about 7 minutes.
3. Cover dough with plastic wrap and place in a warm place for about 45 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size. You will know it has proofed or risen enough, if when you stick your finger in it, the impression stays, it won’t disappear or fill in on itself.
4. When finished rising, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
5. Punch down the dough, fold over itself a few times and remove from the bowl. Divide into 12 equal pieces, using a pastry cutter, roll into 12 balls or less. Like I mentioned in the introduction, use a parchment paper lined baking sheet, buttered muffin pan or buttered heat proof dish as options. I like to use a dish and place the buns very close to one another in the pan, making pull apart buns.
6. Place the raw dough rounds in one of the above receptacles, brush with the melted tablespoon of butter and a sprinkling of sea salt or seeds of some sort, like sesame or poppy, and place in the oven(make sure the oven is at 400 F) and bake for about 15 minutes, or until the buns are nice and brown. If you decided to make 6-8 larger buns, bake for 5 minutes more, a total of 20 minutes.
7. When you use whole wheat flour(heavier), you will find the buns don’t increase in size very much while baking, but if 15 minutes is up and they are nice and brown, they are finished baking. Don’t worry they will be cooked in the middle.
8. Serve warm if you can.
They freeze well, just make sure the buns are completely cool before you freeze them and put them in a sealed bag or container. The whole wheat buns are a little denser in texture that the white buns.