These soft, delicious yeast buns are perfect for pulled pork, chicken, or shredded beef sandwiches, and they are excellent buns for burgers as well.
I used a kaiser roll stamp to make an impression on the rolls. If you don't have a stamp, flatten the dough balls slightly with your hand before baking.
- In a mixing bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast and 1 cup of water. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes to hydrate the yeast.
- Add the milk, flour, salt, sugar, and melted butter to the yeast mixture. Mix until the dough is formed. Knead by hand on a lightly floured surface or with the dough hook attachment of the stand mixer until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Add more flour in small amounts, as needed to keep the dough from sticking to hands, bowl, or surfaces.
- Grease a large bowl with oil or butter.
- Transfer the dough to the greased bowl, roll over to coat it thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.
- Line 1 large or 2 small baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Put the dough on a floured surface and fold over a few times. Let rest for 5 minutes.
- Cut the dough into 3-ounce (roughly) portions (you'll have about 38 to 40 ounces of dough), so should have at least 12 portions.
- Shape the rolls into tight balls and flatten slightly with the floured palm of your hand. Place on the parchment lined baking sheet(s).
- If you have a kaiser roll stamp, stamp the tops firmly but do not cut through them. Turn the stamped rolls over so the impression is on the bottom.
- Cover the rolls with a lightweight kitchen towel and let them rise in a draft-free place for about 45 minutes.
- Sprinkle the rolls lightly with cornmeal. Very gently turn the rolls over so the impression (if you used a stamp) is now on the top.
- Heat the oven to 400 F.
- Combine the whole egg with 1 tablespoon of water; whisk to blend.
- Lightly brush egg wash over each bun. Sprinkle with sesame seeds or toasted sesame seeds, if desired.
- Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, until the buns are golden brown. The rolls will be about 195 F in the center when done.
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