Made From Scratch: Slider Buns

I was listening to the Joy the Baker podcast during my morning walk with Leroy, and Tracy mentioned  that Joy had put "make hamburger buns from scratch" on her summer bucket list. Seeing as we had a package of ground local grass-fed beef in the fridge, but no buns in sight, I knew that I had just figured out what I would be making for dinner. And, it turns out that making hamburger buns is kind of ridiculously simple -- if you're on your game, you should have fresh buns cooling on your kitchen counter in less than 40 minutes. That's my kind of baking!

Slider buns (printer-friendly version)
makes 12 buns

2 packets active dry yeast
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water (110° to 115°)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup honey
1 egg
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups 100% whole wheat flour
poppy seeds or sesame seeds [optional]

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water. Stir in the olive oil and honey. Let stand for five minutes.
3. Add the egg, salt, and flour. Stir to form a soft dough. (Add more flour if necessary.)
4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough until smooth, about five minutes.
5. Divide the dough into 12 evenly-sized balls. (If you want hamburger-sized buns, make the balls a little larger in size; your yield will be less.) Place the dough balls about 2-3" apart on the prepped baking sheet.
6. Cover and rest for 10 minutes.
[7. Optional: Brush the tops of each dough ball with water and sprinkle seeds of your choice, such as poppy seeds or sesame seeds, over top of each ball.]
8. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown.
9. Remove from the baking sheet and allow to cool on a wire rack.
10. Use immediately and freeze any leftovers.

(adapted from this Taste of Home recipe)