August 28, 2010

{recipe} Mom's Homemade Buns

Weekly Test Recipes - week 32!  And it's a special one this week :)

My Mom was always baking bread.  It seemed every Saturday she was making bread, or buns, or kolaches, or raisin rolls, or caramel rolls, or muffins, etc.  The house always smelled soooo yummy!  My favorite thing she baked was homemade buns.  All my sisters and I had to have sandwiches on Mom's buns for our high school graduations.  They made the best Broiled Buns (family recipe - I'll share sometime :).  Whenever we took road trips (even if it was just a two-hour trip to the Twin Cities), we packed a lunch for the car, preferably with homemade bun sandwiches.  They are yummy, they freeze well, and they say 'home' to me.  This week I decided to attempt to make them myself.  I was a bit nervous, because I've heard some bad stories about baking bread - that there's a knack for it, that it can end up like bricks.  I've never been so worried baking something before.  It was very important to me that these turned out edible, and as close to Mom's as possible.

3 c. lukewarm water
2/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. yeast
½ c. vegetable oil
1 tsp. salt
~ 8 c. flour

Combine water, sugar, and yeast. Add oil and salt. Gradually add enough flour to make dough stiff enough to handle. You don't want it to be sticky when you touch it, but don't want to add too much flour or you'll get dry rocks instead of buns. 

dough all mixed up - before first rise

Let rise, punch down, and let rise again. Shape and place on greased cookie sheet. Cover and let rise to about double. Bake @ 375* for 10 to 15 minutes.

after rising on the pan, ready to go in the oven.  these are not dough cookies, as my brother-in-law asked the first time he saw Mom baking buns

I made half of the above recipe and got 18 buns.  I also used half wheat flour and half all-purpose flour.  Any additional flour added to make the dough stiff was all-purpose.  The rise times were much longer than I expected, but make sure you don't rush the rise.  It took 7 hours from the time I mixed the dough together to the time they came out of the oven.  I'd say each rise (the bowl rises plus the time for buns to rise after being shaped on the pans) took a good couple hours each. 

fresh out of the oven

I had 9 buns on each pan, and baked the first pan for 15 minutes.  They came out a bit darker than I wanted and the tops of the buns seemed rock hard when they came out of the oven.  I was crushed.  I thought I had failed, or maybe just overbaked them.  So I baked the second pan for 10 minutes and they looked much better, but still came out a little crusty on top.  However (hallelujah!), the buns softened up as they cooled.  Success!!  I had made yummy buns just like Mom's!!  You have no idea how happy this makes me!!!  These are definitely going in the regular rotation.

Tradition growing up was to put a slice of Velveeta in a fresh-outta-the-oven bun and let me melt until yummy.  So of course I did just that!  Cheese bun!  Mmmmmmmmm....

Rating: EXCELLENT and comforting.

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