With just few everyday ingredients, simple instructions, and no advanced baking techniques, this recipe for European-style crusty bread bun is a great introduction to yeast baking. It truly is “the easiest buns of bread you’ll ever bake” with an extra-crusty crust and fluffy texture.
Ingredients (for 6 buns):
300 g all purpose flour
170 ml of lukewarm water
1 teaspoon (4 g) dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
30 g soft butter
For the cooking solution
50 g baking soda
4 cups (1 liter) of water
Salt for sprinkling
2 tsp milk + 1 egg yolk for greasing (omit for vegan variations)
- Dissolve sugar in 170 ml. water. Stir in the yeast and 2 tbsp flour, let stand covered for 10 minutes until the mixture foams.
- Add flour to the yeast mixture, knead until the dough comes together. Add salt, knead, and butter, knead the dough well for 10 minutes. Do not neglect the sequence of actions! Shape the dough, pop into a greased bowl. Cover with a wet towel. Let rise for 90 minutes in a warm place, until it’s doubled in size. If your kitchen is particularly cold (below 65°F), place the bowl of dough in your turned-off oven with the oven light on.
- Gently deflate the dough. Place on a floured work surface and divide into six equal parts. The dough pieces appear round so that they get a smooth surface. Set aside and cover with a towel, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring 1 liter of water to a boil in a small saucepan (diameter ~ twice the size of the dough pieces). Slowly add baking soda (it bubbles up strongly) and reduce the heat. The solution should stop boiling.
- Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C) FAN-FORCED and mix 1 egg yolk with a little milk in a bowl. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Put one piece of dough each in the water, turn after 20 – 30 seconds and let it steep for 20 – 30 seconds on the other side. Take out with a slotted spoon and drain briefly. Place on the baking paper.
- Do the same with the other dough pieces.
- Brush the dough pieces with the egg mixture and cut into a cross. Make a deep 1/2’’slashes, it will help the bun rise evenly. Sprinkle with salt if necessary.
- Bake in the hot oven for about 15 minutes until the rolls are nicely browned.
- Allow to cool.