I've been making bread for years. Dinner rolls for years. Pizza crusts for years. Bread sticks for years. But until recently, I'd never tried making my own buns. Somehow, it was just easier to spend a couple of dollars at the store to buy them rather than making them.
However, it has become difficult the last few years, to find buns I've been satisfied with. The quality seems to be lacking. Who wants to eat a bun that feels like mush in your hand, never mind in your mouth? Not to mention just about every brand now seems to need high fructose corn syrup to make their buns with. HFCS has been on my 'avoid list' since before the media came out with a negative stance on it. Like a lot of processed sweeteners, HFCS and my body just don't get along. I'd rather not have a headache every time I want to eat a hot dog or hamburger with a bun, thank you.
So, I finally got desperate enough to look for a recipe for buns, and give making them a try. And, like a lot of things I was afraid to do until I did it once (using my pressure canner, making refried beans from scratch, canning corn, roasting a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, shooting a gun, fixing a car without my DH there to show me how, kayaking. . .), making buns is not difficult. Actually, it's rather easy. Not scary at all. I can't believe I didn't try it years ago.
The recipe is simple:
1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup butter
Place those three in a small saucepan and heat on low until the butter is melted and the mixture reaches 120 degrees.
4 1/2 cups flour
2 Tbsp sugar
2 1/4 tsp yeast (or one packet)
1 1/2 tsp salt
Mix 1 3/4 cups flour and the rest of the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the warm milk mixture and the egg. Stir well and add the rest of the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring between additions. Knead the dough about 5 minutes, then divide into 12 pieces.
Roll each piece into a 6" x 4" rectangle. Then roll into a 6" long bun, and seal the ends. Place on a greased baking sheet. Allow to rise 20 minutes, then bake 10-12 minutes at 400 degrees. Remove from baking sheet when done and allow to cool on cooling rack before cutting 2/3 the way through each bun.
Great texture, hearty and filling, and no headache!