Mixing the dough is a quick process, and can be done by machine or hand-you choose. You can make them with just plain flour or add some whole wheat as I have in this batch. To shape them, it is best if they are all about the size of a lemon, roughly 3-4 ounces each. Gently place your open palm on top and close your fingers around them so that your fingertips rest on the work surface. Slowly roll the dough in a circular motion until the ball of dough tightens and forms an evenly round ball.
Doubled in size and ready to bake.
adapted from The Little Book of Big Sandwiches
by Michael McLaughlin
makes about 14 buns
1 1/2 cup buttermilk(or regular milk)
1 cup slightly warm water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
about 5-6 cups unbleached all purpose flour or up to 2 cups whole wheat flour and 3-4 cups all purpose flour
In a mixing bowl, mix the buttermilk, water, butter, sugar, salt and yeast. Allow it to stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the whole wheat flour and 2 cups of the all purpose flour and mix to form a somewhat sticky dough. You can turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead this by hand or use a stand mixer, either way, continue to add flour as needed to form a soft dough. Continue mixing until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in an oiled bowl, coating it completely with oil, cover it and allow it to rise until double, about 1 1/2 hours.
To make buns, divide the dough into 3-4 ounce pieces or for those without scales, cut it in half, then in half again and continue this until you have about 14 even pieces. Shape them by rolling into tight buns by placing the dough in your hands and moving in a circular motion on the table/counter top until the bun is smooth and no visible seams show. Place the buns on pans that have been generously sprinkled with cornmeal. Allow to rise until double and bake in a 400 degree preheated oven until golden all over.