With the New Year starts a few changes around our house. My oldest son decided to take a few years off from University to figure things out and has started working full time. My younger son has already been working full time with my husband until he figures out what he wants to do. So now I’m home alone and it feels really weird to be here by myself, with everyone else off at work. I’m lucky because I work from home, so now with no one else here during the day, and once my work day ends, it gives me more time to bake.
We started the year with my older son’s 22nd birthday, for that I made the usual cheesecake. But with work starting back up this week, I decided to try something new.
This recipe actually popped up on my Facebook feed and I figured, what the heck, if it doesn’t work no big deal. Turns out everyone loves it, actually they love it so much I’ve already made 2 batches this week.
The original recipe came from Robin Hood Flour. I made a couple of very slight changes.
To start off with, place 1/2 cup warm water, 1 tsp. sugar and 1 Tbsp. active dry yeast into your mixing bowl and allow this to proof for 5 to 10 minutes.
Once the yeast has proofed, add in another 1 cup of warm water, 2 Tbsp. packed brown sugar, 2 tsp. salt and 3 cups of flour.
It’s at this point I realize I only took photos of certain things. Oops, it’s still early in the year and I’m a little out of practice taking pictures of everything. I’ll do better next time.
Using the dough hook, mix all the ingredients together, if you notice the dough is still really sticky, slowly add in another 1/2 cup of flour. Turn mixer to speed 4 and knead the dough for 7 minutes. Once the 7 minutes is up, remove the dough from the mixing bowl and shape into a ball, place in a well greased proofing bowl, turning to coat in the oil and cover with plastic wrap and allow rise for 1 hour, until doubled in size.
Now if you’re not OCD like me, you can just divide the dough into 16 portions, or if you’re like me, you get out your digital scale and carefully divide the dough into equal portions.
Next up, shaping the buns. Take one piece of the dough and press it into a disc in the palm of your hand.
Using your other hand, slowly gather up the sides, pinching into the centre.
Next, take the ball of dough and place on the counter (make sure the counter is clear and dry – no flour) and cup your hand around the dough ball and slowly pull towards you, with rotating the ball of dough.
Once you have shaped all the buns, place them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Using a pair of scissors, cut a cross into the top of each bun (this is easier to do with scissors than a knife) and then cover the buns with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
While the buns are rising for the 30 minutes, I start to pre-heat my oven to 375°F and also, get my pot of water onto the stove, just on low heat to warm the water so it’s ready for when I’m ready to start boiling the buns.
Once I’m ready to start boiling my buns, I turn the heat up on the water to get it boiling and add in the baking soda and honey (be careful when adding the baking soda as it will foam up).
I boil the buns 4 at a time, 45 seconds per side, remove from the water using a slotted spoon, making sure to drain on a towel and then place back onto the parchment paper. Once you have completed 8 buns, brush the buns with an egg white that has been whipped with a splash of water. And then sprinkle with sea salt.
Place in your preheated oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes (mine took 22 minutes), rotating the pan half way through.
About 10 minutes before the first pan comes out of the oven, I started boiling the second pan of buns (I simply turned the heat down on the water so it didn’t continue boiling and then when I needed it again, I just turned the heat back up).
Once the buns come out of the oven, remove the buns to a cooling rack. There will be some sticking (I suppose you could spray your parchment paper with oil, but I’m not that smart).
These can be stored in an air tight container or Zip Loc baggie for a couple of days. Enjoy.
(Makes 16 – original recipe from Robin Hood)
1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
2 tsp. salt
3 to 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 Tbsp. baking soda
1 egg white, whisked with a splash of water
- Place in mixing bowl 1/2 cup warm water, 1 tsp. sugar and 1 Tbsp. active dry yeast. Allow to bloom for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Add to yeast an additional 1 cup warm water, 2 Tbsp. brown sugar, 2 tsp. salt and 3 cups flour.
- Using the dough hook attachment, mix ingredients together. If you notice the dough is still really sticky, slowly add in the additional 1/2 cup of flour. Turn mixer to speed 4 and knead for 7 minutes.
- Remove dough to a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1 hour, until doubled in size.
- Once doubled in size,, punch dough down and divide into 16 pieces.
- Shape into balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cut, using scissors, a cross into the top of the buns.
- Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Prepare pot of water.
- Once the 30 minutes is up, increase heat on pot of water to bring to a boil. Add in baking soda and honey (add in as little or as much honey as you wish – approx. 1 to 2 Tbsp.). One sheet pan at a time, drop 4 buns into boiling water and poach for 45 seconds per side. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon, and repeat with remaining 4 buns.
- Brush the boiled buns with an egg white (whisked together with some water) and sprinkle with salt.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pan half way through.
- Remove from oven and place on cooling rack. Repeat with the second sheet pan of buns.
- Allow to cool to room temperature. Store in an air tight container or Zip Loc bag.