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.
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- 3 cups (about 16 ounces) bread flour
- 1/2 cup semolina flour
- 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
- 1/4 cup instant mashed potato flakes
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- White rice flour as needed
Combine water, honey, instant yeast, bread flour, semolina flour, dry milk, and potato flakes in bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough hook. Knead on low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Add salt and butter and continue kneading until completely incorporated and dough is smooth, shiny, and elastic. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 45 minutes. Line a half-sheet rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Flour work surface and turn out dough. Divide into 24 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Arrange balls on prepared baking pan and sprinkle tops white rice flour (all-purpose or bread flour will do fine). Cover pan with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator.
When you're ready to bake, take the buns out of the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the center position. Let oven preheat for 20 minutes.
Uncover the buns and bake until nicely browned, about 25 minutes. Let the buns cool on a rack