The buns aren't chewy like bagels - that wasn't the point. I wanted to mimic some of the flavors. Some. Not quite all. I limited the seeds to sesame and poppy on top, and anise seeds in the dough. And dried toasted onions in the dough. These buns are definitely on the savory end of the bread continuum.
I made burger-sized buns because I wanted to use them for sandwiches. Of course you could make them smaller and use them for dinner rolls. Divide them into 12 pieces instead of 8 for generous rolls, or 16 pieces for smaller rolls.
One of the best things about baking bread is the glorious smell wafting from the oven as it bakes. The toasted onion made itself known during baking, but was much more subtle in the finished product.
I used brown sesame seeds for these buns, but white or toasted sesame seeds are just fine.
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/2 cups (11 1/4 ounces) bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon anise seeds
2 tablespoons dried toasted onion
1/4 cup powdered milk
2 tablespoons butter, softened
eggwash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds (or more as needed)
1 tablespoon poppy seeds (or more as needed)
Combine the water, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer while you gather the rest of the ingredients. Add the bread flour, salt, anise seeds, toasted onion, and powdered milk. Knead with the dough hook until the dough is elastic. It won't be completely smooth because the onions will be bumpy. The dough should be a little bit soft, but not sticky. Add the butter and continue kneading until it is completely incorporated.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the center.
When your dough has risen, flour your work surface and turn out the dough. Divide it into 8 pieces, form each piece into a ball, then flatten the balls into disks about 1 inch high. Place the dough disks onto the prepared baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
When the dough has doubled, brush it with the eggwash, then sprinkle with the sesame and poppy seeds. Use more or less, as you desire.
Bake at 350 degrees until nicely browned, about 30 minutes.
Remove the buns to a rack to cool.
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This has been submitted to Yeastspotting.