Let me start by apologizing for not posting these yet. I’ve made these countless times since I first discovered them last May. They are a staple in our freezer and I’ve made them in a variety of sizes ranging from small dinner rolls to medium sized sliders to large hamburger buns.
This recipe couldn’t be more simple. Dump all of the ingredients (which are few) into a bowl and after kneading for a few minutes you’ll have an easy-to-handle ball of dough. After two rises, you then quickly boil the rolls and bake them in the oven. The pretty criss-cross design is simply from slicing a shallow “X” into the dough before baking. Really, it’s that easy.
I love these because they are soft and chewy with a salty and somewhat crispy outer shell. If you like soft pretzels, these rolls are right up your alley. Next week I’ll share a hamburger recipe using these buns. Can you wait?
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- 2 1/4 cup flour
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter , melted then cooled to room temperature
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1 egg , beaten
- Kosher or pretzel salt to top rolls
In a large mixing bowl, combine the water, yeast, flour, butter, sugar and salt. If using a stand mixer, use the dough hook attachment to mix the ingredients, then knead at medium-high speed for 1 minutes. (This will help develop some gluten.) If not using a stand mixer, you can also do this by hand or with a hand mixer fitted with the dough hooks. Shape the dough into a ball and place it back into the mixing bowl. Cover with clean kitchen towel and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Separate into 4 to 5 equal portions if making hamburger sized buns or 8 to 10 equal portions if making dinner rolls. Form into balls by pulling the sides to the center and pinching to seal. Place the formed rolls, seam side down, onto a parchment or silicone mat lined baking sheet. Cover with the towel and allow to rise again for 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 425F degrees. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a large sauce pan, then add 1/4 cup of baking soda. Boil each roll for 1 minute, flipping over halfway. Place the boiled rolls back onto the lined baking sheet, seam side down. Brush the tops with beaten egg, then lightly sprinkle with salt. Slice a shallow "X" into the top of each roll, then bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
Serve warm or at room temperature. You can also freeze for later use in a freezer bag once cooled to room temperature. Microwave for 30 seconds to thaw. (If not consuming the same day they are baked, freeze right away to preserve freshness.)
Source: Adapted from The Craftinomicon