These buns or rolls, have been know around here by a couple of different names. Besides Butter Buns, they are also called Expletive Rolls or OMG! Rolls. That's right, they are so good the person eating them is forced to moan or groan an expletive, usually "Oh My G.... " you get the picture. These Butter Buns will melt in your mouth and have been our family tradition for holiday meals many years now. I use this recipe for my cinnamon rolls too. While they are not hard to make, they do require a bit of time but it will be so worth it!
I want to tell you how I came by this recipe. I had a friend who claim her grand mother made the best rolls in the world, and said they were known as OMG rolls in their family; I prefer Butter Buns as a name. I tasted one and I knew I had to have the recipe. It wasn't easy to get either, Mrs. M I'll call her, was not about to let the recipe out of the family, it had been handed down and in hard times she had sold these rolls door to door to make some extra money. But I am persistent. Finally, after a few months, she relented and told me to arrive at her house at 5 am and no later because the technique was as important as the recipe. She gave me a list of ingredients to bring and supplies I needed.
I think she was surprise to see me at that early hour but I was determined to have the recipe and I was thrilled she would not only share it, but teach me. She explained to me that everything was important, the temperature of the room, it should be very warm, no one in and out of the kitchen to disturb the rising, no using metal spoons because she believed that would cause the yeast to fail. (I didn't point out that we were using a metal pan to mix it all in.) We made rolls together, me following along and her gruffly instructing with a wooden spoon in her hand that she shook at me if I didn't do exactly as she said. I was doing pretty good until it came time to knead the dough. I had been making home made bread for years and I had not ever seen bread dough that looked like that. I wanted to add more flour because it was not a normal consistency for bread dough but she raised her voice a little louder she told me there would be no more flour** added. Butter was what was needed now, and we would use butter on our hands and on the kneading surface to finish off this dough. I complied of course but I couldn't imagine it working, the dough was loose and sticky. But it did turn out and I was thrilled; I had the recipe and technique.
A few months later she told me she was glad I had stayed after her for the recipe. No one in her large family had ever shown an interest in learning how to make these rolls and she was glad I had the recipe and technique, and that knowledge would not die with her. I am so glad too, and I am sharing it with you because I have also found that no one in my family has any interest in learning this recipe and technique either. And it. should. not. be. lost! There are just too good!
I'm going to give this recipe and technique here today exactly as I learned it in honor of Mrs. M. But I want to tell you that I normally down following all the little details (like the warm water in the sink) because I don't really believe they are necessary. Yes it uses a lot of butter, but I encourage you to try it exactly as is before you make any changes ok? Please use real butter too.
Pour yeast into the warm water and stir. It will proof; foam and grow if it's good. (not over 110 degrees or it will kill the yeast, not under 100 degrees) Measure flour** into a separate bowl.
Scald your milk (bring it to 180 degrees, just before it simmers) stirring so it doesn't burn on the bottom. Turn off heat but leave the pan on the burner and add the butter, sugar and salt to the pan stirring until melted. Put an inch or so of warm water in your sink and sit your pan into it. (the warm water will keep your dough warm as you mix it and your rising time will be shorter) When your mix has cooled to about 105 degrees, stir in the yeast and beaten egg and use a hand mixer to mix well.
Add flour into mix one cup at a time while using the hand mixer. Once the dough is thick enough that it begins to crawl up the beaters, stop using it and mix the rest of the flour in by hand.
When you have all the flour mixed in, take your dough to your kneading surface that has been well buttered. Butter your hands, pour out your dough and begin to knead it; re-butter your hand and kneading surface if the dough begins to stick.
To knead the dough, I start off by sliding my hands under the dough and folding it over it towards me, pushing it down and away, repeat. Knead for ten minutes. (I knead it for about two minutes now)
Place the dough in a large buttered bowl and cover loosely; put bowl in a warm place. When dough has doubled in size (about an hour depending on your room temperature) butter your hands and give it a quick knead in the bowl to release the air and begin to make your rolls.
Make a roll by squeezing off a golf ball size of dough. Holding it in your hands push the center in with your thumbs while pulling the sides up and over into the center with your fingers. Repeat this a few times and you will have a nicely smooth and round shaped roll.
Place it in a buttered pan smooth side up. ( I am using a 9x12 pan here) Loosely cover and place pan in warm spot. When your rolls have doubled they are ready to bake in the middle to top part of your pre-heated oven, at 375 degrees for approximately 13-18 minutes. Watch them closely so they don't burn. Mine pictured here should have had about 2 more minutes I think.
When you take them from the oven you can rub they top with more butter if you want. Let them rest and cool for a bit because this is an amazingly tender roll. Cutting while too hot causes them to become doughy.
I took 168 photos while making these and I know it was long, but I hopefully gave you the best tutorial possible without writing a book about it. Hubby helped with some of the pics too. He was waiting patiently to eat the rolls and as soon as I headed to the computer to upload my photos he started sampling the goods. When I came back into the kitchen, look how many were gone....5! Can't eat just one around here!
**Measuring flour accurately can be difficult and a baker normal weights their flour for best results. I have found that I can achieve some consistency measuring flour if I do this...I always pour my purchased flour into a large jar to store it. There is some air added to it this way. When I am measuring it out for recipe, I dip it from the jar with a scoop and pour it into my measuring utensil adding a bit more volume. Whenever I use flour in baking, I never dump all my flour in, but rather add most of it and check the consistency of my batter or dough to see if more is needed first.
The dough for these rolls should be very loose and sticky before it is kneaded. If it is not, it is because too much flour was added, it will not give you the best moist tender rolls possible, though they will still good.
*Get my Cinnamon Roll recipe using these buns here.
1 cup of milk 2 packages of yeast
1 stick of butter, or ½ cup ½ c of warm water
½ c of sugar 1 egg, beaten
1 tsp of salt 4 c of flour measured into a separate bowl
½ stick (or more) of butter at room temp.
Pour yeast into warm water (not over 110 degrees) and stir, let it sit to proof. Scald milk in a large pot, then with heat off melt ½ c of butter and the sugar into it. Cool to 100 – 105 degrees.
Place pot into an inch or so of warm water and stir beaten egg and yeast into milk mixture. Mixing with electric hand mixer, add flour into it one cup at a time till smooth. When you can no longer use the mixer, use a spoon or your hands to finish adding in the flour. Do not add more flour than the 4 cups.
Butter a large bowl and your kneading surface; butter your hands and pour the dough out onto the kneading surface. Knead for 10 minutes. (l only knead it about 2 min) Place in buttered bowl, cover loosely and place in a warm spot to rise.
When it is double in size (about an hour if your room is warm) punch it down and knead it a little to remove air. Squeeze a golf ball size piece off and knead it into a smooth ball. Place into a buttered dish (about 9x12) ** cover loosely and allow to rise to double in size.
Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees, for about 13-15 minutes. Butter top if you like after you remove from the oven. Let them cool before cutting.
**You can place these rolls in the refrigerator tightly covered before second rising over night. Remove in the morning, let rise and bake. It will take several hours for them to rise after refrigerating.
Makes 20-24 rolls
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