If you’ve learned anything from reading my blog…
I hope part of that, is that I enjoy not only good, healthy food…but EASY good, healthy food. For so long, the art of bread making has eluded me. I would make a few good loaves here and there, and then the next ten I make are complete duds. So, naturally, I was hesitant to attempt yet another bread recipes. More specifically, a yeast roll recipe. You see, I’m sorta known around my house as making the best burgers ever. Seriously. It’s been the one thing I’ve always made well, since the Mountain Man and I got married. And I’ve just been perfecting it over the past 9 years. The only problem we ran into, now that we are trying to remove as much processed foods from our lives, is finding a hamburger bun we could eat, that wasn’t loaded with processed sugars.
So I hit my go-to place for recipe inspiration…Pinterest.
I found recipe after recipe of homemade hamburger buns, but they all called for ingredients I didn’t have on hand, or the prep time took much longer than I cared to attempt. Thanks, but no thanks. Then I stumbled upon this one from Dana over at 3 Boys Unprocessed, and it may just be our go-to hamburger bun (or garlic knots, breadsticks, etc) recipe! Although she doesn’t use whole wheat flour (this bummed me out at first, but let’s face it…if you want a really fluffy bread, you gotta use bread flour), you can still choose good bread flour options. I went with King Arthur Organic Bread Flour, since we already love the King Arthur whole wheat flour.
So I encourage you to put your fears aside! What Dana says rings true…if you follow this recipe, your rolls will turn out perfect, just as pictured! The pictures you see, are from the very first attempt I made at this bread, and I am beyond thrilled! Little Miss T, J-Man, and Mountain Man loves them, too. So there’s that.
Let’s talk about temperature.
This is a crucial part, as water that is too hot will actually kill the yeast. If you feel the water and it is just slightly warmer than luke warm, you’re good. Also, the temperature in the room where the bread is rising makes a difference as well. If you’re house stays on the cool side, it might be a good idea to turn your oven on low and set the bowl where the dough is rising, on top of the stove.
*Quick side note: I know it will be tempting to skip the egg wash, but don’t! This is how you achieve that gorgeous golden color on the top without sacrificing fluffiness inside. I promise, this extra step is totally worth the extra 3 minutes.
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 2 Tbsp unsalted (softened) butter
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 2 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cup warm water
- 4 1/4 cups bread flour (plus more for dusting)
- 1 Tbsp poppy seeds
- 1 egg (whisked with a little water added in for egg wash)
- Place 1/4 cup warm water in a mixing bowl - sprinkle with yeast. Set it aside for 5 minutes, to allow the yeast to activate (it should start to foam up, or at least look wet).
- Add honey, salt, butter, and additional 1 1/4 cup warm water to the bowl. Turn mixer on low, and slowly add in the 4 1/4 cups bread flour. You will have a sticky ball once it's all combined.
- Turn the ball of dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead it until it is soft and smooth.
- Lightly grease the outside of the ball with olive oil, and place it back inside the mixing bowl. Cover and let stand for 1 hour.
- Press ball of dough down gently and roll it into a log. Cut the log in half, then cut 4-5 rolls out of each half (depending on what size rolls you need).
- To shape each roll, pull the side of the dough down and seal at the bottom.
- Press roll firmly against a floured surface with the palm of your hand, while rolling the ball of dough in a circular motion. (It's ok if the rolls aren't perfect! This is truly a very forgiving dough!)
- Place rolls on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper, and allow to sit for an extra 45 minutes.
- Brush with the egg wash, sprinkle with poppy seeds, then place in a 400 degree oven for 15-17 minutes (15 minutes was perfect for mine!) or until golden brown.