Homemade sesame buns are SO WORTH IT. There is a massive difference between fresh, soft homemade hamburger buns and the who-knows-how-old-these-are, what-is-even-in-these buns from the bread aisle in the store.
When these came out of the oven, I debated if tears were warranted. They were so golden-brown, eye-pleasingly round and beautiful.
I used to be so scared of any recipe that contained yeast. I had quite a few bad experiences with the stuff-dough I worked long and hard on that never rose or was dense as an old piece of stale bread after baking. But now, I can’t get enough of it. I love the feeling of working with dough…kneading, forming it and watching it rise. I feel a sense of pride when it works out, because I know it was a little extra work to make it but it paid off.
A whole new world of delicious possibilities have opened up to me since I got over my fear of yeast. These are a great starting point if you haven’t worked with a lot of yeasted dough before, because they’re easy and don’t take much effort to form them. Plus they are so impressive when they come out of the oven that you will for sure feel a sense of pride!
The first time I made these I used a muffin top pan as the original recipe calls for-you can do this if it’s easier for you, but I found the strange shape they formed after baking slightly off-putting. Free-hand forming is definitely my preference.
You can make a batch and throw some in the freezer to have homemade buns any time you need them. I’ll throw a few recipes at you that specifically use these buns so you have even more of a reason to make them! Now that you’ve had a chance to bathe in their beauty, make them for yourself and try holding back your tears.
An easy recipe for homemade soft sesame buns!
- 3/4 cup (170 g) lukewarm water (105 to 110°)
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons (28 g) butter, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons (25 g) sugar
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder, optional
- 2-1/2 cups (326 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg, plus a splash of cool water
- 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
- Flaky sea salt
To make the bun dough: Combine all of the dough ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix, starting on low speed, and gradually increasing the speed to medium, until a soft dough is formed, about 5 minutes. It will still be slightly sticky, but should pull off the side of the bowl when kneaded. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and bring into a ball by hand, kneading a few times until the dough is no longer sticky. Place in a lightly greased bowl, covered with a towel, to rise in a warm place for an hour; the dough will be doubled in volume.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and flatten slightly to form a rough rectangle. Cut into 6 pieces, each weighing approximately 3-1/2 to 4 ounces. Roll each piece into a ball and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet or in a greased hamburger bun pan, flattening the dough slightly with your hand. Cover with a towel and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, approximately 30 minutes.
Mix together the sesame seeds and a generous pinch of flaky sea salt in a small bowl. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the egg and water thoroughly so it is a homogenous mixture. With a pastry brush, gently pat the egg wash on the top and sides of one bun; use the side of your mixing bowl to remove the excess egg wash from the brush before doing this. Generously sprinkle the sesame seed mixture all over the bun. Repeat with the remaining buns.
Towards the end of the proofing time, preheat the oven to 375°. Bake the buns for 15 to 18 minutes, until they are golden brown and the sesame seeds are lightly toasted. Cool on a wire rack.
Inspiration: Seeded Hamburger Buns on kingarthurflour.com