makes about 10 hamburger buns
2 tbsp butter, softened
1 cup milk
1 packet dry active yeast (1/4th oz)
2 tbsp warm water (about 100 degrees)
1.5 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
3 cups flour (plus a little additional flour if you need it)
2 egg yolks + 1 tbsp warm water, slightly beaten
sesame seeds and/or poppy seeds
To start, heat the milk in a small saucepot over medium heat until bubbles appear all around the sides of the pot. Remove quickly and let cool to the temperature of warm bathwater (about 100 degrees F).
In a little bowl, combine the dry active yeast, 2 tbsp warm water and a pinch of sugar. Stir with your finger a couple times and then let sit for about 5 minutes. The yeast should start to bubble a little bit and get creamy/foamy looking.
In the bowl of a mixer, combine the soft butter, slightly cooled milk (test it with your finger first and let it cool a few more minutes if it still feels burning hot), egg, sugar and yeast. Mix on low until combined and butter melts.
Mix together two cups of the flour and the salt, then add that to the wet ingredients. Mix on high until well blended.
Change to a dough hook on your mixer if you have one (this thing always reminds me of Captain Hook...anyone?). With the dough hook on, add the remaining cup of flour and mix on high speed for five minutes. You can add a little bit more flour here if your dough seems especially wet, but remember that this dough is supposed to be sticky!
After five minutes on high, your dough should be sticky, but also smooth and elastic if you stretch it with your fingers. Remove dough from bowl and place in an oiled mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot for 2 1/2 hours.
After 2 1/2 hours, punch down dough on a floured surface then roll out to 1/2" thick. Cut circles using a large biscuit cutter or the bottom of a glass. Place circles on a parchment paper or silpat-lined baking sheet. Place another piece of plastic wrap on top and let rise again for 1.5 hours.
Preheat your oven to 375.
Brush the rolls with the egg yolk and warm water mixture then scatter sesame seeds over top. Bake for 20 minutes until deeply golden.
**These rolls can be made three days ahead and kept in a sealed plastic bag OR frozen (I recommend freezing then defrosting when ready to use so they always taste fresh