We don’t have a tradition of holiday dinner buns in my family, but I could definitely start one with these Honey-Potato Buns from Donna Currie’s book, Make Ahead Bread. Their slightly crunchy crust and soft inside take the concept of buns or rolls with dinner to a whole new level. And best of all, you mix the dough and form the buns the day before, refrigerate them overnight, and all you do the next day is pop them in the oven.
Donna is a genius when it comes to bread (and many other things.) Every recipe in Make Ahead Bread can be mixed on one day, refrigerated overnight, and baked the next (or in a few cases, two days later.) That makes all the recipes fabulous when time is at a premium and yet you want fresh bread, buns, or rolls for a holiday meal. For your own copy of this incredible resource for novice and experienced bakers alike, head over to Donna’s blog, Cookistry (book link in the right column), or if you’re reading this while my giveaway of a copy is still on, you can enter it here.
This recipe ingredients are simple, but two of them struck me as unusual for bread: instant mashed potato flakes and non-fat dried milk. The combination of those, with a bit of semolina flour and honey gave these dinner buns texture and taste far beyond what I might have expected just from looking at the rounded buns as they came out of the oven.
Although I call them dinner buns, don’t be fooled. These little lovelies would be perfect anytime of day. I’m dreaming of my weekend fried eggs with a bun or two, and they would be perfect for small sandwiches or sliders.
A few of the ingredients may not be in your pantry (instant mashed potatoes and nonfat dried milk were the two I didn’t have on hand), but the result is well worth the trip to the store.
I have a stand mixer, so the process of putting together the rolls was simple. If you don’t have one, Donna advises that you can mix the ingredients by hand and knead the dough.
Once the dough was mixed, it rested for a short time, and was ready to be formed into buns, I cut the pieces with a knife – first in half, then each half into quarters (eight pieces in total), then each of those eight into thirds to end up with 24 buns. When the tray of buns goes into the refrigerator overnight, make sure it is well wrapped, though you don’t need to use as much plastic wrap as I did. Donna’s sensible suggestion is to use a clean plastic bag tied shut.
When you bake them the next day, the buns are pillowy before baking. Don’t worry if they have creases; those don’t seem nearly as obvious once they come out of the oven.
Donna advises checking for doneness with an instant-read thermometer. That’s a good idea, but if you don’t have one, you can always try a bun to “test” it:)
This recipe from Make Ahead Bread is provided with the permission of Donna Currie.