Buns are a crackerjack package for the bread lover – with the crust, crumb, toppings, as well as portion-control built right in. There’s none of the waiting that cooling down an entire loaf entails, nor the agony of cutting it into shipshape slices. It’s a cinch – the oven timer rings, the puffed-up balls plop onto the cooling rack, a kiss of butter melts in and the bustling baker can quietly munch through a test sample with none being the wiser. If there’s a cookout in the offing, fresh-baked buns are what the juiciest patties want to be seen wearing, not those squishy and insipid store-bought counterparts that seem rather out-of-date in comparison, pun unintended. Have some buns leftover? Toast ‘em up for crunchy Paninis or better yet, stuff ‘em with our No-Mayo Egg Salad or Rainbow Chicken Salad for a portable lunch. And after all this talk in honor of the buxom beauties, we now present our very own recipe for soft, yet sturdy, Seed-Spangled Buns, which stars a mix of seeds that add a nubby texture to the yeasty insides and tiny spurts of flavor on the crust.
1 Cup warm water (approximately)
2 Teaspoons active dry yeast
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Cups all-purpose flour
1 Cup whole-wheat flour
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1½ Teaspoons salt
¼ Cup cracked flax seeds or a mix of other seeds
¼ Cup whole seeds – for topping (we used sunflower, millet, poppy, fennel, nigella, chia)
Dissolve the sugar and the active dry yeast in the warm water and wait for it to froth up. Combine with the flours, butter and salt in a large bowl, and mix well with a sturdy wooden spoon. Cover the shaggy mass and allow it to rest for 15 minutes, and then knead for about 10 minutes, folding the dough over and pushing away until it is smooth and supple. Knead in the cracked seeds. Roll the dough into a ball, place in a lightly greased bowl, cover and let it rise until puffy and doubled, about an hour.
Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into 6-8 parts, depending on the size of buns that you would like. Roll each part into a ball, stretching the dough and tucking at the bottom to achieve a smooth and taut top. Flatten the balls by pressing hard between your palms and lay them on a greased baking sheet. Cover with greased plastic wrap, and leave to rise for about 45 minutes in a warm place, until they are quite puffy. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 375°F. Brush the buns with milk or egg-wash and sprinkle the seeds on top. Bake the buns for about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Transfer immediately to a cooling rack. You know the rest of the drill..
Our Seed-spangled beauties are heading over to Monthly Mingle – Yeasted Dough hosted by Kulsum of Journey Kitchen. Monthly Mingle is a monthly themed food event started by Meeta of What’s for Lunch Honey.