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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Honey Wheat Sandwich Buns

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I've tackled a few different yeast breads, including challah, cinnamon rolls, and focaccia. And yet, for whatever reason, the thought of making rolls or buns from scratch intimidated me. But when I found myself with a free Saturday afternoon, I decided to bite the bullet and go for it.

These buns were made for a friend's birthday party (you'll have to check back tomorrow to see what we filled them with!), and I was worried about debuting my first shot at homemade rolls. Visions of hockey pucks filled my mind as I tended to the dough. Thankfully, my worrying was put to shame and we didn't have to make any last minute runs to the grocery store for back-up buns!

These buns are sturdy enough for a variety of sandwich fillings. They have a touch of sweetness from the honey and are dense but not heavy. They certainly require a little more work than running to your local bakery, but I get great satisfaction from making things like bread from scratch.

One note, I doubled the below recipe to make 20 sandwich buns (I've frozen half of them for a later use). Next time, if I choose to double, I will make two separate batches of the dough. It was a LOT for my mixer to handle and the dough took awhile to come together. I suspect this wouldn't be the case if I had made one batch at a time. Overall however, this recipe has a lot of steps but isn't hard to follow and the dough is quite easy to work with!

One Year Ago: Whole Grain Waffles

Honey Wheat Sandwich Buns
from Annie's Eats

-1 1/4 cups milk, warmed
-2 1/4 tsp instant yeast (1 package)
-2 cups bread flour (plus 1/4-1/2 cup more)
-1 cup whole wheat flour
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 egg, at room temperature
-1/4 cup honey, plus 1-2 tbsp divided
-2 tbsp butter, melted
-sesame seeds

1. Stir yeast into warm milk to dissolve.
2. In a stand mixer bowl with the paddle attachment, mix the flours and the salt to combine.
3. Mix in the milk, egg, and honey (still with the paddle attachment) on low speed until dough is formed.
4. Switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed. Dough should be smooth and tacky (not sticky). Add 1-2 tbsp of bread flour at a time as needed, until the dough clears the sides of the bowl.
5. Remove dough from mixer and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Turn dough in bowl to coat with oil before covering with plastic wrap. Allow to rise until it doubles in size (1 1/2-2 hours).
6. After rising, remove dough from bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Punch dough lightly to deflate before dividing into 9-10 equal sized pieces. Shape each piece of dough into a flattened round (3-4 inches across). Place dough pieces on a parchment or silpat-lined baking sheet. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise for 1 hour.
7. Preheat oven to 350F. Place melted butter and 1-2 tbsp honey in a small bowl and mix before lightly brushing the tops of the rolls. Sprinkle sesame seeds atop rolls, if desired. Bake for 14 minutes, rotating the pans after 7 minutes. Finished rolls will be golden brown.
8. Remove rolls from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.