But I’m one of those irritating people who aren’t fazed by the heat. I sit in the sun willingly, taking it all in until I get too much of it and need a cold shower and about three litres of water to compensate for all of the liquid I’ve lost.
Naturally, a few days ago (when it was not only hot inside our humble abode, but also outside… and I failed to turn on the air conditioner…) I decided to whip up a batch of Whole Wheat Sesame Buns. I had the perfect excuse that not even C could argue with: the heat helps the buns grow (insert “buns” joke here. Come on, you know you want to.). Yep, it’s that simple. The dough doubles in size with ease in the heat, and the result is a batch of soft, chewy dinner-roll type buns (hehe…) that go perfectly alongside any meal.
So if you think it’s too hot to bake, throw on a swim suit, make a pitcher of lemonade, and bake up a batch of these buns. I promise, no one with argue with your rationale. At least I won’t.
Whole Wheat Sesame Buns
Adapted from Christine Cushing Live
1/2 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 envelope (2 ¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast
1/2 cup skim milk
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon fancy molasses
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 ½ cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
2 tablespoons flax seeds
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1 tablespoons sesame seeds, for sprinkling
1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon skim milk
1. In a medium bowl, stir water and sugar together until sugar is dissolved. Sprinkle yeast over top and set aside for 5-10 minutes, or until mixture is foamy.
2. While yeast is proofing, place milk, honey, molasses, and butter in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds on high, and then whisk until butter is melted. The mixture should be warm to the touch. If it’s hot, let it cool for a minute, and if it’s just barely warm, microwave for another 10-15 seconds.
3. In a large bowl, whisk flours, salt, flax seeds, chia seeds, and cornmeal together. Make a well in the centre and add the milk mixture as well as the yeast mixture. Stir (or use a dough hook attached to an electric mixer on low) until the dough begins to come together. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-6 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
4. Place the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot for 1 hour, or until doubled.
5. Punch down the dough and turn it onto a lightly oiled board. Shape it into a ball and then press down to create a circle about 1 inch thick. Cut into 3 even-sized pieces (triangles) and then cut each one of those into 5 even-sized pieces (see above), so you have 15 pieces in total. Roll each piece (start at the pointiest end) and then take the widest part and pull it over the whole piece, using your thumbs (see below). Pinch the edges down at the bottom and cup it in your hand to create a ball. Place on a lightly greased, large baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough.
7. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush each bun with the egg-milk mixture and sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Bake on the centre rack of the oven for 16-18 minutes or until the buns are light brown in color.