Before I found this recipe, we never seemed to have buns on hand. We always had slicing bread, and occasionally pita, and we would generally make do with those when we had hamburgers or anything else that required buns. One night we were completely out of bread, though, and we knew there was no time to pop a loaf in the bread machine (since bread takes about 5 hours to rise and bake in our bread machine). Amazingly, earlier in the week I had seen a recipe for “40 minute buns” on The Kosher Foodies.
*As a total aside, you’d think I didn’t live in a city where I could walk downstairs and find some buns or rolls or some kind of bread at pretty much any hour of the day or night within a one block radius. But that’s just not the kind of girl I am.
Having made many kinds of bread in the past, I have to admit that I didn’t quite believe that the recipe would really work. I thought it would take longer than specified, or that the buns wouldn’t really rise. I was wrong to be skeptical. These are the best buns I’ve ever eaten, and some of the best bread I’ve ever baked. Fluffy, yet substantial, flavorful, beautiful, and best of all quick.
Now if 40 minutes still seems like too long on a busy weeknight, just make a batch or two and freeze them for later. We do this regularly, since we only use a few at a time. Then we always have them on hand for just about any kind of filling imaginable. And if we run out, it takes practically no time to whip up a new batch.
Sometimes we make them smaller for little slider buns (16 per batch), and other times we make them larger for really hearty sandwiches (8 per batch). But usually they are somewhere in the middle, and we get about 10-12 per batch. I would not, however, recommend trying to make them in shapes other than spherical. It just didn’t work well the two times we tried it (though you may have more luck). It’s worth it to roll them into pretty good balls, so they don’t have crags running through them.
This recipe is tailored to bread machines on the dough cycle, but it will work if you’re kneading manually too. For a more straightforward manual approach, see “40 minute buns” on The Kosher Foodies.
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 egg (room temperature is best – submerge a cold egg in warm, not hot, water for about 5 minutes if you need to bring it up to temperature quickly)
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 – 3.5 cups all purpose or bread flour – you can include a bit of whole wheat flour but no more than 1 cup
- 2 tbs active dry yeast or bread machine yeast
- If using a bread machine, add all of these ingredients to the bucket part of your machine, in the listed order. When adding the yeast, make a little divot in the flour to cradle the yeast in. Set the machine to a dough only (no bake) cycle, and make sure not to let it rise for more than 30 minutes in the machine.
- Lightly flour the pans you plan to bake the buns on, or line with a silicon baking mat. Pull the dough out of the machine, or bowl, onto one of the pans, and separate into two parts. Keep splitting the dough until you have the desired number of segments (see above the recipe).
- Roll each segment into a ball and place evenly apart on the baking pans.
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
- Cover with a towel and allow to rise for 10 minutes.
- Remove the towel and bake for 10-15 minutes (on the lower end if the buns are small, on the higher end if the buns are big). Buns should be golden brown.
- Allow to cool and either enjoy while warm, or allow to cool completely and freeze in freezer safe bags to enjoy later.
We put beef burgers, turkey burgers, veggie burgers, portobello caps, sloppy joes, chicken salad, eggs and/or cheese. The list is really endless – anything you would want on a bun. They really stand up well to moist ingredients, which I am always grateful for, since I like pickles or kimchee on just about every sandwich.
About this author: I'm a New Yorker who would rather cook than go out to restaurants. Sometimes I think I may be in the wrong city for that. Then I remember the exotic ingredients I'd be hard-pressed to find if I lived somewhere else. My cooking style is an eclectic range of everyday-American, Italian, middle-eastern, with extensive forays into Japanese cuisine, and some pit-stops into Indian and African cuisines. I love to try my hand at recreating dishes I taste. While I enjoy most anything with a flavor, from high cuisine to instant junk food, I have a soft spot in my belly for home-style cooking no matter the geographic or ethnic origin. Read more from this author...