A while ago, I bought a three-pack of pizza yeast to test it. After making one pizza crust with it, I decided that I wasn't interested in making another. The package very clearly said that this yeast wasn't designed for bread-baking. So of course, I took that as a challenge. Yeah, I'm a risk taker.
When I used it for pizza dough, the pizza yeast made the dough rise super-fast, but it didn't have the flavor or texture that I wanted in my pizza crust. It also wasn't what I wanted in a loaf of bread.
I figured that not only could I fix the flavor with a little honey, but I could take advantage of the quick rise at the same time. While these buns don't rise quite as fast as pizza dough, they only rise once, and they're done a lot faster than if you use regular yeast.
Tips on Making this Recipe...
by hand-kneading »
in a stand mixer »
with a food processor »
This dough is sweet enough that you could use it for cinnamon rolls, but without the cinnamon/sugar combo these resemble dinner rolls I've had at some barbecue restaurants. So going sweet or savory is up to you.
Note: If you don't have pizza yeast, you can use instant or active dry yeast. In that case, let the dough rise once in the bowl, then punch it down and form the rolls and let them rise a second time before baking.
About the author: Donna Currie has been cooking for fun and writing for pay since the days when typewritten articles traveled by snail mail. When she combined those talents in a food column for a newspaper in her area, she realized that writing about food is almost as much fun as eating. She launched the blog Cookistry and has now joined the Serious Eats team with a weekly column about baking.
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 package pizza yeast*
- 13 1/2 ounces (about 2 1/2 cups) bread flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
Heat milk to boiling in a small saucepan, then pour it into the bowl of your stand mixer. Add butter and honey. Stir occasionally to encourage the butter to melt. When the milk has cooled to lukewarm, add yeast and about 1/3 of the flour and stir to combine.
Let the mixture sit until it bubbles, just a few minutes. Add the rest of the flour and the salt and knead with the bread hook until the mixture is smooth an elastic. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and sprinkle some cornmeal on a baking sheet. (I used a quarter-sheet pan because I wanted the buns to touch during baking so the sides would be soft. Use a larger pan and spread the buns out if you don't want them to touch.)
Turn the dough out onto your work surface and divide it into 15 pieces. Form each into a ball and place them seam-side down on the baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until doubled, about an hour. When the buns have risen, bake at 350 degrees until golden, about 25 minutes.
*If you don't have pizza yeast, you can use instant or active dry yeast. In that case, let the dough rise once in the bowl, then punch it down and form the rolls and let them rise a second time before baking.