Single Girl Serving: I've got buns hun

“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failing is another steppingstone to greatness.” – Oprah Winfrey

I repeated this quote to myself over and over again when tragedy struck my kitchen at 11:35 am on October 3rd. 

If you know me you know that my cooking skills are limited, and by limited I mean I eat instant noodles for breakfast lunch and dinner. But lately I’ve found myself itching for a little more flavour in my life. I tried spicing up my noodles a little bit with adding salt and pepper and even sometimes a little seasoning salt, but it didn’t fill the void in my stomach. So I figured as a young adult trying to make it on my own, it might be time to retire the kettle and actually use my oven for the first time.

As I set out on the hunt to kick start my homemaker genes I was faced with the challenge of what I should attempt to make. Did I want to master my soup making skills to prepare for the coming winter months or did I want to learn how to make a cookie worthy of being in my future child’s bake sale? Neither of these seemed fitting for my first step towards culinary mastery, so I decided to start with a staple.

For some unknown reason I set my sights on making the perfect fluffiest buttery buns. I mean how hard could it be? The recipe I found online called for only 7 ingredients. It seemed easy enough, I put everything in a mixer and then in the oven. How badly could I mess this up? 

I gathered all my ingredients and started the mixing process. Everything seemed to be going well, a few spills and a messy kitchen but a true artist was at work so that was expected. Just as I finished mixing the dough and setting it aside to rise, alarms began to ring. No not in my head, literal alarms were going off. The fire alarm in my building was going off and people were leaving their apartments and heading for the fire escapes. For those of you that really have zero faith in me let me clear something up, no I did not start the fire, but wouldn’t have that made for an interesting article….

After cascading down 18 flights of stairs I stood outside surrounded by people in bathrobes gripping their cat carriers and complaining about the cold. I stood there unable to think of anything other than my buns. I came so close and now they are going to go to waste. But just as I was giving up hope, the doors were opened and we were welcomed back in.

I sprinted towards the stairs and hurried myself up 18 flights of stairs, almost passing out at the 9th floor, but pushed through. I got back to my apartment and to my surprise the buns were fine and ready to be popped into the oven.

I put the first batch in, a little excited about the morning events I called my friend to give her the 411. Unfortunately, this phone call lasted a little longer than the 12 minutes the buns were supposed to be in the oven for, exactly 17 minutes longer. After 29 minutes of baking, the first batch came out a little tan, a little firm, and definitely inedible. Feeling defeated and remembering that I can buy buns at the grocery store for $2.49 I wanted to quit, but remembering the wise words of Oprah, this failure was just another reason to try even harder.

I popped the second batch in, set the timer for 12 minutes and sat in my kitchen staring at the oven door. To my surprise the second batch turned out perfect. Light, fluffy, and buttery. Just how my grandma makes them.  

There may have been a couple bumps in the road but here I am writing this article snacking on a perfect little bun feeling pretty proud of myself. My arms may still be shaking from mixing and I think there is dry dough glued to my counter, but I did it. So for any of those slightly challenged in the kitchen, don’t give up. If I can do it, you definitely can.

 
Recipe

Ingredients:

  •   2 cups warm milk
  •   2 tablespoons instant dry yeast
  •   ¼ cup white granulated sugar
  •   2 teaspoons salt
  •   6 tablespoons salted butter, softened
  •   2 large eggs
  •   6 cups all-purpose flour
  •   1 tablespoon melted butter

Instructions:

  • In the bowl of a  stand mixer, combine warm milk, yeast, sugar, salt, butter, and eggs.
  • Add in 5½ cups of flour. Using a dough hook, turn the mixer onto a low speed. Once the flour starts to incorporate into the dough, increase the speed to a medium range. Slowly add the remaining ½ cup of flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The dough mixture should be slightly sticky and soft.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly greased mixing bowl. Cover with a towel and let rise 90 minutes.
  • Lightly grease a baking sheet. Punch down the dough and form into 24 rolls. Place on the greased baking sheet in six rows of four.
  • Cover and let rise 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake the rolls for 12 to 14 minutes, until lightly browned.
  • Remove rolls from oven and brush with melted butter.
  • Serve the rolls warm, or to cool, let rest on the pan for 15 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack. Once cooled completely, store in a plastic bag.