I may have mentioned before that my initial experience with yeast wasn’t a very pleasant one, but certainly it was memorable and a lesson learned for me. I could not let one mistaken recipe stop me from making yeast breads forever, could I? There’s just something about home-baked bread that draws me in and leaves me with such a desire to make them. I don’t know if it’s the challenge of making breads with the magic of yeast, or the fact that I just simply love bread. With my previous bread-making failure at the back of my mind, I huffed in some courage, pulled up my sleeves, and grabbed some flour. It was time to get rolling.
I could honestly tell you I’ve grown extremely attached to this particular recipe. I’ve made it twice in the last few weeks already, and it will be hard to persuade me to try another sausage bun recipe anytime soon. And it’s not only because it produced some deliciously gorgeous buns. Most people, in any aspect aside from baking, would care only about the result, but the process is equally as important to be able to tell whether something is as successful as it seems.
I made the dough and rolled it with my brothers and it was so easy to handle a child could help you do it. The whole process was very simple, though you would need a little bit of patience as you wait for the dough to rise and the gluten to relax. And once you put it in the oven and let it bake, pulling them out all golden and picturesque shall be such a rewarding feeling. Putting it in your mouth and munching away shall be even more so! Although I would advise that you wait a few minutes before eating them once they come out of the oven as the buns will be really hot and really soft. Once you allow it to cool however, it produces this slight crunchy shell.
You can experiment with different kinds of sausages and hotdogs, really. But I would suggest using bigger, fatter ones. If you want to use the thin ones, you could perhaps divide the dough into 18 instead of 16, just so the ratio of the bread to the hotdogs remains equal. Otherwise, the hotdogs may just get completely covered by the bread.
adapted from Mangio da Sola | Makes 16 buns
400 grams bread flour
100 grams all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon instant yeast
100 grams caster sugar
1 teaspoon salt
220 milliliters warm water, 110° F
75 grams unsalted butter, softened
16 hot dogs or sausages
1 egg, beaten [with]
1 tablespoon water
Sesame seeds or sea salt, for topping
1. Line two baking sheets with silicone mats or greased parchment paper.
2. Mix bread flour, plain four, yeast, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Slowly pour in the water. Using the paddle attachment, knead the dough until gluten is formed.
3. Switch to the paddle attachment. Add butter and knead until dough becomes smooth & elastic, about 3 minutes. Leave aside to proof until double in bulk, about an hour.
4. After dough has risen, weigh and slice dough into equal weights (about 50 grams), and shape it until it looks roughly like a ping-pong ball. Leave aside to rest for 15 minutes.
5. Next, roll the dough into individual long rod shapes and allow them to rest for 5 minutes to relax the gluten. Roll out each log again and gently stretch them into thinner, longer logs. They’ll need to be long enough to wrap around your sausage, so make them a bit more than double the length of the wiener or sausage. You can either roll the dough into a long even rod and wrap it around the sausage.
6. Wrap the log around the sausage and try to leave both ends on the bottom (see photos above). That way, you can easily form a better seal by pressing the dough-wrapped sausage down on the ends. You’ll want to place the shaped buns on your greased baking sheets.
7. Cover the tray with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and leave for final proofing until the wrapped dough doubles in size, about 30 minutes. Halfway through the final proofing, set two racks in the middle of the oven and preheat at 350 °F (180 °C).
8. Once the wrapped dough finishes the last rise and starts looking puffy, brush them lightly with the egg wash and sprinkle sesame seeds and/or sea salt, if using, on top. Brush them again with egg wash.
9. Bake the buns for 20 minutes. Switch the baking sheets from top to bottom and vice versa, then turn up the oven to 400 °F (200 °C) and bake for 8 minutes. Finally, turn the oven back down to 350 °F (180 °C) for about 5 more minutes, or until the buns become golden brown. Let cool for about 10 minutes. These buns are best served warm, but they may be toasted and enjoyed the next day when kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
For this recipe, weighing the ingredients is highly advisable rather than measuring by cups.
Just writing about these buns makes me want to make them again. Funny things is, although everyone keeps saying how I make too many buns for only 7 people in the house, the buns disappear within a day anyway. No use beating around the bush: They are reeeeeally good. And almost foolproof, I think.