Bread Baking: Overnight Buns

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[Photograph: Donna Currie]

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When bringing buns over to someone's house for dinner, I like to bring fresh ones. Baked that day. They don't have to be warm, but if I'm going through the trouble of making homemade bread, I want them to be good, not day-old.

But sometimes the whole process of kneading, rising, shaping, rising, baking doesn't fit neatly into the hours before we're going out. What's a baker to do? Make an overnight recipe, of course.

I usually make just one loaf or a dozen buns, but if I'm bringing them to a dinner party, I want to have enough for both dinner and leftovers for the host. So this one makes a whopping 24 buns.

These were baked on a half-sheet pan, so they snuggled together during rising and baking. If you prefer buns that remain separate instead of the pull-apart kind, you'll need two baking sheets.