Homemade Bread Day is one of those holidays you probably didn’t know existed, but homemade bread is so tasty that I’m glad somebody thought to make up this holiday.
Making bread at home can be very satisfying. The aroma of fresh bread fills the house. (If you’re selling a home, bake bread on the days when you’re showing it. Buyers remember.)
The best part, of course, is eating the warm bread fresh from the oven. I have childhood memories of just about every member of my family pulling bread out of the oven and serving fresh slices with thick chunks of butter or warm rolls at the dinner table.
These days, I like to experiment with new bread recipes. I admit I’m not an accomplished baker, but homemade bread never seems to stay in the kitchen long. Every so often, I consider making bread completely from scratch (as in growing my own grain), but I’ve never gotten around to doing that. I’ve kept it simple so far.
Celebrate Homemade Bread Day with your own favorite recipe, or the recipe for buttery sourdough buns I’ve included below.
Buttery Sourdough Buns
This recipe for Buttery Sourdough Buns comes from the test kitchens of King Arthur Flour.
Hands-on time: 20 mins. to 30 mins.
Baking time: 22 mins. to 25 mins.
Total time: 3 hrs 42 mins. to 4 hrs 55 mins.
Yield: 16 buns
1/2 cup sourdough starter, fed or unfed
3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 tablespooon sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 large egg
5 tablespoons soft butter
2/3 cup lukewarm water
4 tablespoons melted butter, divided
1/4 teaspoon paprika, optional
Combine all of the dough ingredients in a large bowl, and mix and knead — using your hands, a stand mixer, or a bread machine set on the dough cycle — to make a soft, smooth dough.
Place the dough in a lightly greased container — an 8-cup measure works well here — and allow the dough to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until it’s just about doubled in bulk.
Gently deflate the dough, and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface.
Roll and pat the dough into a rough rectangle approximately 12″ x 16″. Put 2 tablespoons melted butter in a small bowl, and add the paprika, if desired; it’s there for color, and accentuates the buns’ swirl, but omit it if you wish. Spread the dough with the melted butter.
Starting with a long side, roll the dough into a log.
Cut the log in 1″ slices, using a sharp knife, or a piece of dental floss looped between your fingers.
Lightly grease two 8″ or 9″ round cake pans. Arrange 8 buns in each pan.
Cover the pans, and let the buns rise for 60 minutes, until they’re noticeably puffy. Don’t let these buns rise too long; you want them to have enough rising power left to expand nicely in the oven. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Uncover the pans, and brush each bun with some of the remaining melted butter.
Bake the buns for 22 to 25 minutes; they’ll color only slightly.
Remove the buns from the oven, and turn them out of the pan onto a rack. Brush with any remaining melted butter. Serve hot or warm. To reheat, place the buns on a baking sheet, tent lightly with aluminum foil, and bake for 10 minutes in a preheated 350°F oven.
Wrap any leftover buns airtight, and store at room temperature for several days. For longer storage, wrap airtight and freeze.
Bread ingredients photo via Shutterstock