Fresh Baked Buns
Back in 2008 I uploaded a photo of my freshly baked buns so I could compile a post later. Later never came and this draft picture file just sat there waiting and waiting for me to post it! I loved finding this old draft file because it makes me smile to think of my crazy busy life back then as I was balancing life with teenagers and elementary kids, soccer, baseball, cheerleading, dance, band, choir, football, getting to them to their part time jobs and more, as well as my job at the museum.
I made homemade bread and buns often back then as homemade not only tastes better, is healthier and MORE FILLING than the airy store bought versions. I've posted my favorite "go to" recipe many times over the years but I'm going to post it again so this poor little photo can come out of draft mode and into the year 2016.
The difference in how you make and bake these determines their look. I placed these close together in the pan when raising so the edges touched and they were tender and to be pulled apart. I also often make these into individual buns by placing them farther apart. I also make loaves of bread, bread braids and cinnamon buns from this same recipe.
Classic White Dough
12 oz. warm water
1 1/2 t salt
2 T butter
4 c unbleached bread flour (or use all purpose if that is what you already have)
2 T dry milk powder
2 T sugar
1 3/4 t yeast, dry
Either place this in a bread machine (in the order your machine requires) and run on the dough setting or place into a large KitchenAid style mixer with a bread dough hook and knead/mix for up to 10 minutes or use an electric mixer and place the water, salt, sugar and yeast in first; let it set and proof for about 2 minutes and then add the butter, dry milk and flour.
Let your dough set for about 10 minutes after kneading to rest. Remove the dough from the machine or the mixer bowl. Divide it in half. Then each half into half. Then each of those halves into half. This is how you will get fairly equal sized balls. If making rolls to go with a meal divide them until you have golf ball sized balls. If using for hamburger buns, stop dividing the dough when they are double that size so they will be large enough for the hamburger patties. Roll in your floured hands and place on greased or parchment lined baking sheets. Letting them rise a bit will give you a taller fluffier bun but you can also bake them right away if you are pressed for time and don't mind a dense roll. Bake at 375F for approximately 15 minutes but this can be up to 22 minutes depending on the size buns you make, the thickness of your baking sheet and your oven. When they are golden brown remove them, brush the tops with butter for a softer bun and let cool to warm to serve as rolls or cool completely and serve as hamburger buns.