Sunday, November 24, 2013

Stuffing Buns

No, these buns aren't made from stuffing - they're made to taste like stuffing.

Of course, every family's stuffing recipe is different, and some are very, very different. But this one hits all the typical flavor notes.

If you have any leftover buns, they make great croutons. Just cut them into cubes and drizzle with just  a little olive oil and toast them in the oven until they're completely dry. Your salads will thank you.

At this size these are perfect dinner rolls, or for slider-sized sandwiches. Make them a little larger for more hefty leftover sandwiches, if you like.

If you want to guild the lily a little bit, you could add some dried cranberries to the dough. Mix them in during the last step. About 1/4 cup will be just enough.

Stuffing Buns
Makes 24 buns

1 cup lukewarm water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
2 1/2 cups (11 1/4 ounces) bread flour
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1 tablespoon dry celery flakes
1 tablespoon dry parsley
1 teaspoon dried chives
1 teaspoon dried toasted onion flakes
1/2 teaspoon dry lemon thyme
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the water, sugar, yeast, flour, poultry seasoning, celery flakes, parsley, chives, onion flakes, and thyme. Knead with the dough hook until the dough is smooth - except, of course, for the herbs, which will make the dough a little bumpy.

Add the salt and butter and continue kneading until the butter is completely incorporated.

Cover the bowl and set aside until the dough has doubled in size, about 50 minutes.

When the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal, and dust your work surface with flour.

Turn the dough out and divide into 24 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and place the finished balls onto the prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until the buns have doubled in size and an indent remains if you press the dough lightly with a fingertip.

Remove the plastic wrap and bake at 350 degrees until the buns are nicely browned, about 30 minutes. Remove the buns from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack.