A friend of mine took me to the Flour Bakery in Boston, where I fell in love with the pastries. This bun dough recipe comes from bakery owner Joanne Chang’s cookbook, Baking with Less Sugar. I’ve made this dough a few times now, and even though I always freak out over how sticky and gooey it is, it’s always turned out well. I’ve used it for sweet rolls so far (still tweaking that recipe), but I plan to try it with savory filling as well.
From Baking with Less Sugar
Yield: Enough dough for 8-12 buns
1 cup (240 g) water, at body temperature
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast OR 0.1 oz (3 g) fresh cake yeast
2 1/2 cups (350 g) all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup (50 g) olive or other mild vegetable oil
- Lightly oil a large bowl and set aside.
- Fit a stand mixer with the dough hook.
- In the mixing bowl, put the water and yeast and let stand for 20-30 seconds.
- Add salt and flour to mixing bowl.
- Turn mixer on and off on low speed a few times until the flour is mixed into the liquid.
- Mix dough on low speed for 10 seconds. It should look shaggy.
- Add oil and mix on low speed for 4-5 minutes. The dough will be sticky with an elastic and stretchy consistency. If it is significantly stiffer, mix in 2-3 tablespoons water; if it is significantly looser, mix in 2-3 tablespoons flour. (My dough always turns out extremely sticky and gooey even after adding the extra flour.)
- Scrape dough into the oiled bowl using a rubber spatula.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit in a draft-free, warm place (ideally 78-82ºF) for 2-3 hours. (I put mine in my oven with only the pilot light on.) The dough will roughly double in volume.