2 1/4 teaspoons active yeast 1 envelope
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour divided
1 cup warm water 105° F/41° C
1 large egg
3 Tablespoons butter melted
2 Tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
vegetable oil for brushing bowl and dough
1 Tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon sesame seeds or other bun topping as needed
How to make it:
Stir together yeast, 1/2 cup flour and water in the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl. Let sit until mixture becomes foamy, 10-15 minutes.
Stir the melted butter, egg, sugar and salt into the yeast mixture. Add the remaining flour and knead with a dough hook, or by hand until smooth and elastic.
Form dough into a ball and brush lightly with oil. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and let rise for about 2 hours.
Form dough into a thick rope and cut into 8-14 pieces (see note). Work with 1 piece of dough at a time, and keep the remainder covered. Form each piece into a ball, tucking the ends underneath. Slightly flatten the ball with the palm of your hand. Place dough patties on a baking sheet lined with parchment about 1/2" apart. Allow to rise about 1 hour, until doubled.
Heat oven to 375°F. When buns have risen, whisk together egg and milk. Lightly brush the egg mixture on top of each bun, being careful not to collapse the dough. Immediately sprinkle with sesame seeds or other toppings if desired.
Bake buns for 15-17 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool. If you aren't going to use the buns within 2 days, freeze leftovers.
For large buns cut dough into 8 pieces. For medium buns, cut into 10 pieces. For small slider buns, cut into 12-14 pieces.