homemade buns

My youngest daughter just came back from a girls scout camp. And guess what? She wants to "cook out". I had some sausages in the fridge but no buns. And anyway in the stores I can't find any buns made without high-fructose corn syrup. So let's bake some. The Big Sur Bakery recipe will do the job (even though it's for hamburger buns). And yes, the recipe did it! Deliciouuuus!!!

homemade buns
(from The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook)
(cut and paste from this blog)

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast (from 3 packets)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for the bowl
3 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 egg
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1. Warm the milk in small saucepan over low heat until it's a yeast-friendly 105-115F (40-45C), then turn off the heat, pour the yeast over the milk, and stir to combine. Set it aside for a few minutes, or until it's foamy.
2. Meanwhile, use some of your spare softened butter to butter a large bowl, and set it aside.
3. In another large bowl, combine the yeast mixture with half of the flour, and stir to combine. (If you're using a stand mixer, do this with the dough hook on low speed.)
4. Once the mixture is relatively uniform, mix in the softened butter, then the sugar, salt, egg, and remaining flour. 
5. Beat (or turn the mixer up to medium) for a couple of minutes, then turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead for a few minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. (Alternatively, turn the mixer up to high speed, and beat for another couple of minutes.)
6. Place the dough in the greased bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Let it rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size, which should take 45 minutes to 1 hour.
7. Turn the dough back out onto your floured surface, and divide it into 6-8 pieces, depending on how big you want your buns. Cover them with a kitchen towel while you take them one at a time and roll them into a neat little ball. Once you've rolled all of the pieces, let them rest under the towel for 10 minutes to relax the gluten.
8. At the end of the 10 minutes, use a rolling pin to flatten the balls slightly into little rounds. They will expand during the second rising, so err on the small side. 
9. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, place the rounds of dough on the parchment. Either cover the dough with a large sheet of plastic wrap or place the entire pan inside a large plastic bag and tie it closed. An oven bag works for this, if you have one, or simply a (clean) trash bag. Place the pan back in a warm spot, and let the buns rise until they've once again doubled in size. This should only take 30-45 minutes, so keep an eye on them.
10. While they're rising, preheat the oven to 375F/190C
11. Remove the plastic wrap or bag from the pan. Brush the buns with water and sprinkle them with sesame seeds.
12. Bake the buns until they are puffed and golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

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