This classic milk dough makes soft and tender dinner rolls or hamburger buns. Easily freezable. And your house smells like comfort and joy.
I love the smell of fresh-baked bread it reminds me of childhood and my mother and being warm when it’s cold outside. And as the year comes to an end I want to surround myself and remind myself of the things that bring me joy: family, friends, hot black coffee, morning sun bright on the tops of trees bare branches, the crimson flash of hummingbirds outside my kitchen window, golden sandwich rolls still warm from the oven.
Lately I’ve found myself making buns rather than loaves of bread, partially it’s to have the smell of the holidays on not holiday days but it’s also a nice thing to always have around. They keep well in the freezer and when I’m making the Mr’s lunch (yes I do that, but he sends me a thank you text every single day and that makes it easy) I just assemble the sandwich on the still frozen bun and it’s thawed and good to go by the time he finally gets around to lunch.
Soft and Tender Sandwich Rolls
Like I’m apt to do for most baked goods I sub a bit of whole wheat pastry flour for AP (all purpose). It adds flavor without changing the texture.
- ¼ cup warm water
- 2 ¼ tsps (one packet) instant yeast
- 1 TBS sugar
- 1 TBS salt (I use kosher, so perhaps a bit less for regular grain)
- 3 TBS melted butter
- 1 cup warm milk
- 1 egg
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- about 3 cups AP flour
- In a large mixing bowl combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until yeast is foamy- about five minutes
- Add butter, salt, milk, and egg. (I usually melt the butter in the milk as I heat it, either on the microwave or on the stovetop) Whisk to combine. Add flour one cup at a time stirring until combined.
- Either turn on to a floured surface knead until smooth and no longer sticky, about 6-8 minutes. Or mix in a stand mixer until the dough pulls away almost completely from the sides of the bowl. Resist the urge to add more flour, this dough will be sticky until it is not (sorry that’s the most helpful descriptor I could come up with). I use a kitchenaid and it almost always takes about two minutes longer to pull away from the bowl than I think it should.
- Form the dough into a ball and put in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled, about an hour.
- Punch down dough turn unto floured surface. Divide into 9 pieces and shape into balls.
- Place about five inches apart on a greased or parchment lined baking sheet and then then flatten each ball until it is a little less than an inch thick and about five inches across, you know, bun size.
- Cover and let rise for about 30 minutes.
- For a glossy top lightly brush the rolls with an egg wash or heavy cream.
- Bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
- Allow to cool for at least ten minutes before serving. If freezing pre-slice if you’d like and then freeze as soon as possible after the buns are completely cooled because fresher into the freezer makes fresher out of the freezer.