"There is also something therapeutic about making bread. I am not sure what it is. It's a strange dichotomy - the fear and the comfort." ~Kristen from Picky Cook
Yeast is intimidating...Or yeast can be intimidating. The whole process of waiting for the dough to double in size can be nerve wracking. Rise dough, rise! Rise. Rise...Is it rising? Has it doubled in volume?
The whole process of making bread can be stressful and time consuming. And there are hurdles to overcome before you can enjoy the final product. First you have to proof your yeast (pretty easy as long as your yeast is fresh), then you add the ingredients to the bowl to make the dough (still pretty easy), then you have to let it double (nerve wracking and time consuming but not hard) then comes the hard part (for me at least). You have to knead the dough, which is not difficult, but I tend to over-knead which results in a tough brick of dough**, which means it was all a waste of time, efforts and money and you don't even know it til after you've baked it!
You invest so much time and effort and you want it to turn out and it doesn't always. But when it does, it's so gratifying! And the aroma that the yeast creates is almost magical. Honestly, it's one of my favorite smells. Do they make a candle that smells like fresh baked bread? If they did, I'd buy a bakers dozen!
These buns were good. The original recipe holders claimed they were slightly sweet, but they didn't seem at all sweet to me. They were soft and light, but sturdy. Oddly enough, they were very similar to store bought commercial buns, only a lot fresher and without the chemicals and preservatives. They cut very easily and toasted up nicely. I froze most of them (pre-sliced) and we enjoyed them on several occasions. Hubby thought they were a nice treat.
- 1 1/4 cup milk
- 1 pkg. instant yeast
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 3 T butter, melted, divided
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 3 3/4 cup bread flour
Heat milk to about 105 degrees. Mix milk, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer (or a mixing bowl if not using a mixer). Let the yeast proof until foamy. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and then the egg and mix thoroughly. Then add 3 cups of the flour. Beat with the paddle attachment until the dough comes together. Switch to the dough hook and add another 1/2 cup of flour. At this point, start kneading. Add flour as necessary to make a slightly sticky dough. Knead for 5-10 minutes or until soft and elastic.
Place into an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until double. Punch down the dough and roll out until it’s about 3/4 inch thick. Cut into 3 inch rounds and place onto an ungreased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until double. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. When ready to bake, brush the buns with the remaining melted butter. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately transfer to a cooling rack.
Makes 8-10 buns
**NOTE: When I rolled out the dough and cut the buns out (with a floured glass), I got 9 buns. But then I rerolled the dough to make more buns and it didn't work out so well. The last 2 buns (I made 11 total) were flat and saucer-like. I ate them with salted butter. Good but not appropriate for pulled pork sandwiches.
There's a burger joint in Texas called "Buns Over Texas" and when your order is ready for pick up at the counter, they call you over the intercom and say "Monica, Your buns are up!"