¼ cup very warm (not hot) water
1 Tbsp active dry yeast
½ tsp honey or sugar
2 cups filtered hot water (not boiling)
⅓ cup melted butter or coconut oil
½ cup honey
2 tsp sea salt
7-9 cups whole grain flour (whole wheat, Kamut, spelt)- sprouted flour is best
Step 1- Proof the yeast, by mixing the 1/4 cup warm water, yeast and 1/2 tsp honey/sugar in a small bowl. Let it sit for 5 minutes while you move on to the next step.
Step 2- In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups hot water, melted butter/coconut oil, honey and salt.
Step 3- Then add 3 cups of the flour and mix well. Lastly, add the yeast mixture and mix well again.
Step 4- Add some more of the remaining flour, until dough is thick enough to turn out onto a well-floured surface. Begin kneading, using more of the remaining flour as needed to keep it from sticking. Knead for about 10-15 minutes, until the dough is smooth and begins to resist your kneading (a test is this– if you push the dough in with your fist or finger, it will begin to spring back out at you).
Step 5- First rise. Lightly grease a large bowl (I usually use extra virgin olive oil), shape dough into nice ball and turn it a few times in the bowl, to cover it with oil. Let it sit there, covered with a cloth, in a warm place until it doubles in size. Usual takes about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, but it’s fine if it takes longer.
Step 6- Second rise. Punch the dough down gently, turn it around and re-shape into a ball, then put it back in the bowl and cover it with the cloth. Allow it to rise again until doubled, about 45-60 minutes.
Step 7- Punch dough down gently once again, then take out and place on counter (with flour under it) and cover with a cloth. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare your pan by greasing it (a 8×8 square pan works well, but you can also use a 9×13). I like to save my butter wrappers in the fridge to use for greasing baking pans.
Step 8- Shape the buns. First, divide the dough in half. Each half will make about 1 dozen buns, depending how big you make them. Smooth your dough and turn begin to pinch off small pieces of dough, about the size of a mandarin orange. Literally push the dough between your forefinger and thumb, closing your fingers until the dough is actually pinched right off of the larger piece. Continue to do this until you fill your pan.
Step 9- Cover pan with a cloth and allow to rise again, until buns are just a little bit smaller than desired size (remember that they will rise again slightly with the heat of the oven). I will let mine sit anywhere from 10 minutes to another 30-40 minutes.
Step 10- Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, until just golden on the top. Remove from oven and flip buns onto wire racks to cool.
Another option if you don’t need that many rolls for your dinner is to make only half of the recipe into buns. The other half can be made exactly the same but shaped into a bread loaf and baked for 35-45 minutes instead.
I chose to use my other half to make a pizza crust to serve for dinner the night I made these. After the 1st and 2nd rise, roll out the pizza dough to desired thickness (we like it thinner- about 1/2 inch or less), place on a greased pizza sheet or stone, and bake for 15-20 minutes at 325 (longer for a thicker dough). Then cover with pizza toppings, and bake for another 10-15 minutes to heat and melt cheese.
This recipe sounds very long and drawn out, but it’s really just 10 minutes here, 10 minutes there, over the course of half a day. I don’t find it nearly as time consuming as it sounds like it is. The longest part if the mixing and kneading, and I like to put on a favorite CD or a sermon mp3 on my iPhone to help pass the time enjoyably.
These buns are moist, lightly sweet and truly amazing with just butter. If you can serve them warm, that’s even better!
The Have a Healthy Holiday event has begun! You can check out each of the participating blogs to see what fabulous recipes they’re posting up over these 3 days, as well as check back here each day for a new recipe (upcoming… pumpkin pie and garlic mashed potatoes!). Don’t miss the Twitter party happening this Wednesday, where we’ll be talking holiday food, giving our prizes and much more!