It's best to either eat these the same day you bake them or freeze them and eat them later. If you freeze them, just pop them in the microwave for about 15 seconds to give them a quick defrost. I encourage you to give these a try....you won't be sorry!
Hint: This recipe doubles very nicely!
Makes 8 regular-sized buns or 16 slider-sized buns
3 tbsp warm milk (about 110 degrees F)
1 cup warm water (about 110 degrees F)
2 tsp instant yeast (not active-dry yeast)
2 tbsp honey **Edited 8/22/14 to be clean
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
3 1/3 cups white whole wheat flour **Edited 8/22/14 to be clean
2 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
For the topping
1 large egg, beaten with 1 tbsp water
Flax seeds, fresh ground pepper, kosher salt
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the milk, water, yeast, honey, salt and egg. Mix briefly to combine. Add the flour to the bowl and mix until incorporated. Mix in the softened butter. Once incorporated, switch over to a dough hook and knead on low speed for about 6-8 minutes until the dough forms a mass. If the dough sticks to the side of the bowl add a very tiny amount of flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mass forms. Do not add too much flour or the buns will be tough.
Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size - about 1-2 hours.
Line a baking sheet with a silicon baking mat. Divide the dough into 8 equal portions. For consistency I use a kitchen scale to ensure all 8 rolls are the same size. Place them on the baking sheet about 2-3 inches apart. Cover with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray. Allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size - another 1-2 hours.
Fill a metal baking pan halfway full with water. Set it on the lowest rack of the oven and preheat the oven to 400.
At this point the rolls are usually spread into each other. Reform the rolls into their original size. Brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle with flax seeds, fresh ground pepper and some kosher salt. Bake for 18-20 minutes until the tops are golden brown. Transfer to a baking rack to cool completely.