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1/2 cup slightly warm water
2 tablespoons sugar or honey
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
5 1/2 cups spelt and/or all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons onion powder (optional)
8 tablespoons softened butter
7/8 cup slightly warm water
melted butter for brushing
First, proof your yeast. Place the 1/2 cup of water and honey in the bowl of an electric mixer and stir to dissolve the honey. Sprinkle the yeast over and let sit until bubbly, about 5 minutes.
Add 3 cups of flour, the salt, the onion powder, the butter, the eggs, and the remaining water. Combine using the paddle attachment. Once everything is well mixed, turn the mixer to high and beat the dough for about 2 minutes. Switch to the dough hook, add the remaining flour, and stir in the flour on low.
Once all the flour is incorporated, turn the mixer to medium-high (or as high as your machine can withstand!) and knead for another 2-3 minutes. Add water or flour as needed, one tablespoon at a time. The final dough should be soft but not sticky.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a tea towel, and let it rise until it’s puffy, about 1 – 1 1/2 hours.
Scrape the dough onto your work counter, then divide it into 12 pieces.
If you want to make these as dinner rolls, you can just roll them into balls, but for buns to accompany burgers and hot dogs, you’ll want to shape them a bit.
To make hamburger buns: Shape the dough into balls and place them on an unfloured surface. Cup your hand over each ball and twist gently counterclockwise, then place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet (according to King Arthur Flour, this tightens the dough to help them retain their burger-friendly shape during baking). Gently flatten each piece until it’s about 4″ wide.
To make hot dog buns: Shape the buns into oblong oval-shaped balls, then press down in the middle with the side of your hand to create an indentation. Pull the sides up and set aside on the baking sheet.
Cover baking sheet with a tea towel and let rise for another 1 – 1 1/2 hours until puffed.
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Brush each bun with melted butter.
Bake until the buns are just beginning to brown, 20-22 minutes. The internal temperature should be at least 200°F.
Remove the buns from the oven, transfer to a rack, and brush with the remaining melted butter. Allow the buns to cool completely, then store airtight at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Since I started checking internal temperatures, the textures and crusts of my baked goods have been much improved. I highly recommend this! A very simple thermometer – like this one – should suffice.