Last weekend we received a more-than-generous end of season snowfall. Several inches over Saturday, Sunday, and Monday; but I didn’t even bother to see the report on how much. Perhaps that gives an indication as to how I feel about the snow this time of year (go away!).
The days that followed were grey and full of clouds spitting out snow flurries and rain. It was truly lovely. I had to fish out warm layers and boots from the depths of my closet. Oh mud season!
One good thing about bad weather is that it frees up my time for baking. Without being tempted to play outdoors, I turn to my kitchen and bake up my own storm.
A hankering for a breakfast sandwich sparked me to make these corn buns. The dough starts with a ‘corn soaker’ made from milk and cornmeal and left to sit overnight.
The original recipe called for whole corn kernels but I am not the kind of person who enjoys corn chunks in my baked goods. Sorry. Honest confession. If you feel the desire, by all means add some. Herbs or cheese would be nice too.
My apologies also in that this recipe is in grams. Using a scale to weigh out your ingredients ensures that the recipe is successful, since measurements can often vary depending on how tightly you pack a cup of flour, etc.
Once baked, these are delicious on their own, or filled with fried egg, cheese, Canadian bacon, the works…
How to make this high altitude recipe:
Savory Corn Buns (adapted from The Culinary Institute of America)
417 g milk (1st)
150 g cornmeal
227 g milk (2nd)
794 g corn soaker
35 g vegetable oil
62 g honey
500 g all-purpose flour
3 g instant dry yeast
20 g salt
Egg wash as needed (1 egg + pinch of salt, beaten)
Salt, for garnish
Cornmeal, for garnish
Make the corn soaker: Bring the first milk to a hard boil. Pour over the cornmeal in a mixer bowl. Stir to combine and let sit for 2 minutes. Mix on high speed for 3 minutes using the paddle attachment. Mix in the second milk in three additions. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Pull out and let come to room temperature an hour before using.
Make the final dough: In a mixer bowl, add the corn soaker, oil, and honey. Mix on medium speed for 1 minute. With the mixer off, add the flour, yeast, and salt. Mix on medium speed for 6 minutes with the dough hook attachment. Mix on high speed for 4 minutes. The dough will have good gluten development but will be tacky. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
Proof the dough until nearly doubled, about 30-45 minutes at altitude. Fold gently. Shape the dough into 25 small rounds and place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Brush with egg wash and let the buns proof again until nearly doubled, about 30-45 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 375 F. Brush the buns with egg wash a second time and sprinkle with a little salt and cornmeal. Bake until golden brown and shiny, about 15 minutes.