Servings: 4-5 hamburger sized buns, or 8-10 dinner rolls
2Tablespoonsunsalted butter, melted then cooled to room temperature
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.)