The word certainly has different connotations depending on where you are from. Where I grew up, buns are soft, white, puffy…bread. A bun is not a slice of bread, it is your own, individual round with lots of golden crust and a tender interior. Buns are best the first day they are made, slightly warm with fresh unsalted butter, but I usually keep some in the freezer just in case. They make wonderful sandwich buns- meatloaf, or chicken salad are a beautiful complement to the tender, yielding crumb. Buns are a staple in my family, and though we aren’t in Midwest anymore, buns are the bread that brings us back to the wheat plains of Minnesota. My mother still talks about the ethereal yeast buns her Scandinavian grandma Cora made. I’ll never match Cora’s- no one could- but just as my grandma and mother made this version of buns, so do I. The recipe is my mother’s…but each bun-maker will add their own touch.I have made this recipe so many times that I always think I know it by heart…until I forget a key ingredient. So now I always look at this deceptively simple recipe before I start.

The Buns…Pre-Oven

The Buns…Pre-Oven


IMG_1383 In a gluten-free, sugar-free, reduced sodium, and trans-fat policed nation, these white flour buns may be the most sinful carbohydrate to ever meet your mouth. Mmmm. Those Northlanders know what they’re doing.

1 1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. shortening
1 egg
2 tsp kosher salt
4 cups (approximately) flour
1 packet active dry yeast

Mix ingredients together as for a standard yeast bread; proof yeast in water. Mix to make a soft, pliant dough. Let proof covered for 2 hours.Form into buns, lightly rolling in flour if too sticky. Place on greased pan and let rise covered with saran wrap or tea towel until light finger imprint no longer remains on risen bun. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.