2 tablespoons warm (110º F) water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (one package)
4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 cups whole milk (at room temperature)
1 egg (at room temperature)
2 1/4 cups bread flour
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
For the egg wash:
1 egg + 1 teaspoon water, beaten together
sesame seeds or poppy seeds, optional
Pour the warm water into a large bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the top and allow to sit for five minutes. Add in the butter and the honey and whisk until combined, then add the milk and egg, whisking again to combine.
Using a fork, slowly combine the bread flour, all-purpose flour, and the salt until a soft dough forms. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead into a ball. Knead for 6-8 minutes, adding just enough flour to keep it from sticking to the surface, until the dough is soft and pliable and slightly tacky to the touch.
Add the olive oil to a large bowl, coating the sides. Place the dough in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a light towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until doubled in size.
Once the dough has risen, turn the dough again onto a floured surface. Pull together to form a ball, and then divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a tight ball and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet spread 4 inches apart, approximately 6 balls of dough per sheet. Cover the dough with lightly greased plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 410º F. Remove the plastic wrap from the baking sheets. Brush the tops of the dough with the egg wash, taking care to cover the entire surface. Sprinkle with sesame seeds or poppy seeds, if desired.
Bake for 15-18 minutes or until buns are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Internal temperature of the buns should be 180º F.
Remove the buns from the oven. Allow to rest for at least 15 minutes before serving or slicing.
Makes 12 hamburger-sized buns.