These buns are truly the best buns ever. When I made them for the first time about five years ago, I wrote, in caps, at the top of the recipe “BEST BUNS EVER.” They are delicious toasted with butter. They make a perfect match for burgers and also look amazing in (grill) stripes. They are awesome with leftover Smoked Maple-Glazed ham (linked) sandwiches (wrap them in foil sheets and bake for about 5 minutes to melt the cheese) and top with Sweet Mustard Dip (linked).
I’ve also used these buns with Western North Carolina Smoked Pulled Pork (linked) Sandwiches, topped with sauce and homemade slaw. Make these buns any size – small for baby or bridal showers with cheese, ham and/or chicken salad, or make them XXL for your favorite grilled concoction. Either way, they have an awesome texture, taste and appearance. Basically, if there was a bun Olympics, they would score a: 10 for texture, 10 for ease, 10 for appearance and a 10 for taste. Meaning they are gold medal-worthy buns.
Top them with sesame seeds, ground flaxseed or kosher salt, and poppy seeds are also really delicious.
To toast or not to toast . . . that is the question.
These buns are tasty, the perfect texture, perfect presentation, grillable, and can easily be shaped to serve any purpose - from baby or bridal showers to 1/2 lb. burgers.
- warm water - 2 cups
- warm milk - 6 Tbsp
- instant dry yeast - 4 tsp
- sugar - 5 Tbsp
- eggs - 3 large, one for the bun tops
- bread flour - 6 cups
- all-purpose flour - 2/3 cup
- salt - 1 Tbsp
- butter - 5 Tbsp, softened and cut into small cubes
- sesame seeds, poppy seeds, kosher salt, ground flaxseed - toppings (optional)
In a measuring cup, combine 2 cups of warm water, the milk, yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, from 5 - 10 minutes. Beat two eggs.
In the bowl of the mixer, combine both flours and the salt. Add the butter to the flours and salt and combine using a pastry cutter. Work until coarse crumbs appear.
Stir the yeast mixture and the beaten eggs into the flour. Knead with the dough hook for about 5 - 7 minutes. The dough should be very slightly sticky - do not add too much additional flour or the buns will be tough and dry.
Oil a large bowl and shape the dough into a large bowl, flipping to coat. Cover with wrap and let rise in a warm draft-free area for 1- 2 hours or until doubled.
Line a half sheet pan with parchment or silicon baking mats. Shape the dough into balls, flouring hands occasionally if the dough is a little sticky. Arrange the buns on the pan, leaving about 2 inches between them.
Cover the buns loosely with plastic wrap and let them rise again for about 1 - 2 hours.
Set a pan of water on the floor of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Separate the egg yolk from the white and add about 1 Tbsp of water to the egg white. Paint the tops of the buns and add sesame seeds, coarse salt, ground flaxseed or poppy seeds.
Bake about 15 minutes, turn the baking pan if the buns are not browning evenly.