Hartford Courant



Makes: 18 (3-inch) buns

3 ounces full-fat cream cheese 1 cup whole milk

1( ¼-ounce) packet active dry yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons)

2 ¾ cups bread flour (13 ounces), plus more for rolling

3 tablespoon­s cornstarch 3 tablespoon­s neutral oil, such as canola or avocado, plus more for the bowl

3 tablespoon­s granulated sugar 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Cooking spray

1 large egg

1 tablespoon water

¼ cup white sesame seeds (optional)

1. Cut 3 ounces cream cheese into 4 pieces.

2. Place 1 cup whole milk and 1 (¼-ounce) packet active dry yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix with a whisk or fork until the yeast is dissolved. Add the cream cheese, 2 ¾ cups bread flour, 3 tablespoon­s cornstarch, 3 tablespoon­s neutral oil, 3 tablespoon­s granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon kosher salt.

3. Mix with the hook attachment on low speed (#3 on a Kitchenaid stand mixer) until a smooth, fairly soft dough that doesn’t stick to your fingers forms, about 10 minutes.

4. Coat a large bowl with neutral oil or cooking spray. Transfer the dough into the bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.

5. Punch the dough down with your fist to deflate it. Lift the dough, and in your hands, fold it on itself a couple of times to form a ball. Return the dough to the bowl seam-side down. Cover again and refrigerat­e for at least 12 hours or up to 48 hours.

6. When ready to proceed,

remove dough from the refrigerat­or and let sit at room temperatur­e for 1 hour. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper lightly coated with cooking spray.

7. Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into 18 pieces (about 1 ½ ounces each). To do this without a scale, pat the dough down into a rectangle. Cut the dough lengthwise into 2 even pieces, then cut each piece crosswise into 9 pieces for a total of 18.

8. Form each piece into a round ball by pushing down with the heel of your hand (lightly flour your hand but not the work surface if the dough is sticky) while moving your hand in a circular motion, then cupping the ball toward the end. Place them on the baking sheets, spacing them evenly apart. Flatten each ball slightly with your hand until about 2 inches wide.

9. Cover the buns with plastic wrap or damp kitchen towels.

Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Place 1 large egg and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl and whisk with a fork until fully combined. If you want to be fancy like a pro chef, strain it through the finemesh strainer into another small bowl to remove any stringy parts of the egg.

10. Uncover buns and brush with egg wash. Sprinkle with ¼ cup white sesame seeds. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheets before splitting them open and stuffing them with your favorite filling.*

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