Nice Buns!!

by bakelikeacook

buns

Nice buns….Oh please!  This is a family site!!  So get your mind out of the gutter and start thinking about baking!!

There really isn’t anything better than something fresh and hot from the oven–and bread is no exception.  So you have never made it before?  No problem.  This recipe is really quite easy and straight forward.  But it takes too long and you can’t fit it into your day you say?  Well I put notes at places in the recipe where you can stop and refrigerate the dough so you can really tailor it to fit your day.

Bread making can be quite rewarding.  Probably what deters most people from bread making is the time factor and the fear of working with yeast.  The temperature of the water does play a role in how fast your dough will rise, but really you should just keep in mind not to use water or liquids that are above 140F since this will kill the yeast and your bread will turn out flat.  I feel like bread making can be the bridge between baking and cooking.  After all, a great pizza needs a great crust and a great sandwich or burger deserves a great roll.  By the way–make this recipe and scale the pieces at 3.5 oz or 100g and they make great rolls for sandwiches, sloppy joes, etc!!

So the following recipe I give you is a favorite of mine.  I scale these to the size of dinner rolls, but feel free to make them different sizes and shapes.  I have made them every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas since I was 14 {just a few years ago ; ) }.  Sometimes I will swap out the potato for sweet potato or pumpkin (see note at end).  Tomorrow stay tuned for a more in depth description of bread making.  But for now, you probably can’t wait to get your hands on these buns…..

Potato Brioche Rolls

2 packages dry active yeast

1 cup mashed potato

1/2 cup reserved potato water, heated to 110 F

1 cup whole milk, heated to 110F

2 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

6 1/2-7 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2t salt

3/4 cup soft unsalted butter

Combine the warm potato water, milk and yeast, mixing well to dissolve yeast.  Allow to stand for 5 minutes.  Add the mashed potato and eggs, then all the dry ingredients on top.  Mix well with the dough hook on medium speed on a stand mixer until a moist smooth dough forms, about 5 minutes.  The dough should be soft and moist.  It does not need to completely clear the sides of the bowl.

Add the soft butter and mix until just incorporated.  Butter or use pan spray to lightly grease a large bowl.  Scrape the dough into the greased bowl.

With greased hands, pick up the dough and turn it over so that the top of the dough is greased as well.

Cover with plastic wrap (and tea towel if desired) and place in a warm draft free place until double in size.

***At this point, you can also allow the dough to rise in the refrigerator, up until the next day.  the dough can be scaled while cold as well***

Fold the dough in on itself a couple times to gently deflate.  Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface.  Using a bench scraper, divide the dough into 30g (just over 1 oz) pieces.

If you don’t have a scale, flatten the dough into an even square or rectangle and cut into even sized pieces.

Roll the pieces into smooth balls (I use the palms of my hands).

Place the pieces onto a half sheet/jelly roll pan, lined with parchment or a silpat liner.  Line the rolls up on the tray–if you make them this size, I have them 6 across, 8 down.  Lightly spray the tops with nonstick spray and gently & loosely cover the top with plastic wrap.

***At this point, you can cover the rolls and refrigerate up until the next day.  The final rise will take longer***

Place the rolls in a warm place to proof.  I like to put them in a sunny window.  Preheat the oven to 375F.  When they have filled the pan, brush the tops gently with melted butter and sprinkle with whatever you desire (I use flaky Maldon salt or fleur de sel and sesame seeds).

Bake until beautiful golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.  Brush with melted butter out of the oven.  Serve warm and be prepared for lots of compliments.

Tips from A Cook: if using fresh yeast (my preference!), use 2-0.6 oz packages.  If you want more whole grains, swap out some of the flour for whole wheat and sprinkle the tops with wheat germ–delicious!!  If you don’t have potatoes, use pumpkin or sweet potato!  It makes a beautiful color and they are wonderful for the holidays.  If you use pumpkin, you may scale back on the liquid initially since it is wetter than potato.  Brush the tops with cinnamon butter–delicious!!!  This dough also makes delicious monkey bread and cinnamon buns!!!

Relax!  It’s just baking!!

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