Bread with a meal, is a standard. Although it is served in many forms, from quick fruit breads to artisanal sourdoughs, a soft white roll is still the standard. I’ve rolled thousands of buns in my time, and still end up with a cramped wrist. To avoid this and to increase the amount of soft uncrusted bread I came up with this simple recipe that makes 36 pan buns. These work well as small sandwiches, are great with stews & soups, but are fancy enough to accompany a holiday dinner. Thinking on it, split a bun, spread one side with cranberry sauce, the other with mayonnaise, and wedge in some sliced turkey, yum!
2 c milk – I use 1% (½ c + 1½ c)
½ c sugar (1T + remainder)
2 T yeast
½ c butter
2 t salt
7 c unbleached flour
Heat ½ c milk until just warm.
Pour into a mixing bowl and add in 1T of the sugar, and the yeast. Whisk to combine. Let proof.
Heat remaining 1½ c milk with butter until butter has just melted. It should be no warmer than 110 – 120°F / 43 – 49°C
In a medium sized bowl, whisk the eggs, the remaining sugar and the salt.
Slowly add in the milk & butter while whisking.
Gently whisk this into the proofed yeast mixture.
Whisk in 3 c of the flour.
Using the dough hook (or by hand), knead, adding in the remaining flour until you have firm dough that cleans the sides of the bowl.
Let rise, covered in a greased bowl for 1 hour.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes.
Whisk 1 egg yolk with 1 T of tepid water, and brush lightly over the tops of the buns (you don’t need to use it all).
Bake at 400° for 20 minutes
Options: lightly sprinkle with poppy seeds or sesame seeds after brushing with yolk, but before baking.