Spring has been a long time coming this year, even after our relatively warm winter, but the sun is shining, the birds are singing, the trees are covered in vibrant green leaves and the grass is full of yellow and purple flowers. I love spring – it’s just so pretty!
These sandwich buns have such a light, soft crumb and rich flavour. As much as I adore a crusty bread with a chewy crumb, these are an ideal vehicle for your favourite sandwich fillings or burgers.
Note: All ingredients should be at room temperature.
250g (about 1 cup) mature 100% hydration starter
150g (scant 2/3 cup) whole milk
25g (5 tsp) water
15g (3 1/2 tsp) granulated sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
45g (3 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
450g (3 2/3 cups) all-purpose (plain) flour
8g (1 1/3 tsp) fine salt
extra milk for brushing
extra flour for dusting
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the starter, milk, water, sugar, egg and butter. Add the flour and mix well, then add the salt.
Knead with the mixer’s dough hook for about 5 minutes or by hand for about 8 – 10 minutes, until the dough is soft and elastic.
Scrape the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it rest in a warm place for 3 hours, stretching and folding every 45 minutes.
After the last stretch and fold, gently cut into 8 equal portions, pull them into balls, pinching them tightly closed underneath and put them seam-side-down on a well floured baking tray. Cover them loosely with plastic wrap and let them proof in a warm place for about 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 230°C (450°F).
Lightly brush the buns with extra milk and sprinkle with flour.
Turn oven down to 200°C (390°F) and put the buns on the centre shelf. Bake for about 20 minutes, until browned and they sound hollow when tapped underneath.
When done, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.