One of my favorite sounds can be heard in the summer and it undeniably has very little significance at any other time: it’s the crackling of ice breaking inside itself into small shards when it plunks into a cup of water.
It’s a sound both quenching and refreshing.
It’s a sound that’s often best coupled with burgers (even without the grill) and plush buns.
Seasons and naming the one that most fits us, was the topic of conversation twice in the same sticky week, and both times I desperately wanted to say that summer was mine, even though I think I know deep down that I’m a fall girl. The first time, I was thinking how, on the surface, summer seems the most whimsical and care-free. It’s long with sun.
The second time, was on an evening that was just as dark as it was hot, with children splashing and swimming in a fountain while their parents looked on, controlling the urge to submerge themselves in what had to be a bath steeped with all kinds of city dirt.
But, I’m convinced that fall has this: it harvests a crispness full of color, that its onlookers can unwrap most greedily year after year.
Yet, I’m thinking, after these buns rise, that bread loves summer unequivocally: in the summer, there’s such an even keel of warmth that bun-dough puffs up quickly, yeasty and ready to be brushed with melted butter and sesame seeds. These fluffy summertime buns, in their haste almost exploded into each other while rising.
Still, they’re sturdy enough for all the fixings you can imagine, lettuce, tomato, relish… onward!
Adapted from King Arthur Flour.
- 3/4-1 cup warm water (110-115 F)
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened + 2 tablespoons melted butter, divided
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- sesame seeds for sprinkling
In a large bowl gently stir together warm water and dry yeast and allow to sit about ten minutes while yeast bubbles and dissolves.
Stir in sugar and salt and then add egg, butter and flour. Stir until a rough ball begins to form.
On a lightly floured surface, begin to knead dough with your hands, until texture becomes elastic and smooth and not sticky.
Place dough into a greased bowl and cover. Place in a warm environment to allow dough to double in bulk, about 1-2 hours.
Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 375 F.
Uncover dough and push down, forming dough into 8-10 3″ balls. Flatten balls slightly onto a parchment lined baking sheet and cover again. Allow to rise about 1 hour, until buns are noticeably puffed, then brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake about 15 minutes, or until buns are golden brown. Allow to cool on a wire rack. Best same day, warm or at room temperature.