December 7, 2011

Perfect Dinner Buns

I've done it!  I've finally made the buns I dream of!  The holy grail of bun-dome if you will.  I've made many a bun recipe in the past few years and tinkered with this one too, but my results were always dry or flat. It's finally right, the buns are light, fluffy and perfectly moist.  There is a crackly, fully risen, golden brown crust and each bun begs to be devoured in the next few hours.  They are great for breakfast loaded with preserves, perfect along side a bowl of soup for lunch or made into a quick bun-wich with a grainy mustard, sharp cheddar and salty sliced ham.  But as all bun lovers know, there is nothing better than the pure bliss of a well constructed, tooth-some, fluffy bun slathered with butter at dinner.  I've made it, I love it and now you can too.
A little creme fraiche and fruit punch jam anyone?
Perfect Dinner Buns

Makes: 20
Source: adapted lightly from here

635g (5 cups) bread flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
38 g (3 Tbsp) sugar
2 tsp instant yeast
1 egg, lightly beaten
57 g (1/4 cup) butter, sliced into 4 pieces
3/4 cup hot water, 3/4 cup lukewarm water
1 egg, beaten with 2 Tbsp water for egg wash

Mix flour, salt, sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Whisk together.  In a large bowl combine butter with hot water, whisking until the butter is melted.  Add the lukewarm water.

With paddle attachment mix the wet and dry ingredients together.  Change to the dough hook and mix on low for 6 or 7 minutes, turn to second speed for an additional 3 minutes. (8-10 minutes total)  The dough should just stick to the bottom of the bowl, if it is to dry add a little water and if it is to wet add a little flour, 1 Tbsp at a time.

Dry out the large bowl used to melt butter/water and spray with oil.  Transfer smooth dough to the bowl and cover with a towel.  Place in a warm area until dough doubles in size, 1-2 hours.

Once the dough has risen press down and begin dividing into 20 pieces, 2 oz each.  Shape each piece of dough into a boule, a smooth round ball.  Place on a lined baking tray with a 1 to 1 1/2 inches in between each ball. (The touching once risen keeps them from drying out, if they all bake individually they are more like slider buns.)

Cover the buns with a dry towel and once again rise until doubled in size, about an hour.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Brush buns with egg wash and bake for 15-17 minutes, until they look done.  Let cool for at least 10 minutes before digging in.  

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