Warm Milk – 200 ml
Active Dry Yeast or Instant Yeast – 2 1/4 Tsp
Unsalted Butter In Pieces, Softened – 11 Tbsp (160 grams)
Granulated Sugar – 1 tbsp
Large Eggs – 3
Fine Salt – 1 tsp
White Bread Flour (All-Purpose Flour Works Too) – 4 1/2 cups (600 grams)
Egg Yolk – 1
Milk – 2 tsp
(Mix Egg Yolk with Milk for Egg Wash)
Sesame Seeds – 2 to 3 tbsp
- Sprinkle the yeast over the milk (all of it, 200 ml) and set it aside for 5-10 minutes for the yeast to activate and dissolve.
- Meanwhile, cream softened butter (not melted) and sugar together with a mixer in a separate big bowl, until light in colour, about 3 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time. If the eggs are not at room temperature, they might separate from the butter – but don’t worry, as soon as the flour goes in, everything will come together again.
- Add the yeast-milk, salt and about half of the flour. Mix with your mixer on low speed for 1 minute until well combined.
- Add the rest of the flour and stir with a cooking spoon until the ingredients come together. Knead the dough with your hands either directly in the mixing bowl (less messy) or on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes until smooth. For the first minutes, the dough will be very sticky, but it gets better after a while. Please don’t add any additional flour as the buns will get tougher. After the first rise, the dough is a lot easier to handle.
- Put the dough in a big clean and oiled bowl, and let it rise covered with a lid or cling wrap at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 1-2 hours, depending on the room temperature.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it into 24 equal pieces (a scale helps a lot).
- Shape each piece of dough into a smooth, tight round ball and place them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, 3 inches apart. Let the buns rise covered with a tea towel until puffy, about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Instead of covering the balls with a tea towel, you can spray them with a spray bottle filled with water (or brush them with water) to prevent them from drying out.
- When puffy, brush the buns in batches of 3 at a time with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. The sesame sticks better on recently brushed (= wetter) buns.
- Put them in the center rack of the preheated oven (I use rack 2 to 4 from top) and bake them for about 20 minutes at 375 F (200 C) or until golden brown. I always bake one sheet at a time when using an oven with a top/bottom heating element and 2 sheets at once in fan-ovens. Transfer the buns immediately to a cooling rack. Transfer the buns immediately to a cooling rack.
- When cooled completely, slice the buns in half horizontally and toast before assembling. For big batches, I use the oven broiler.