Sunday, April 5, 2009

black sesame buns

one of my favorite restaurants not only in san francisco but anywhere ever is millennium. if you're not familiar, it's an upscale vegan restaurant with some of the most exciting and interesting dishes i have ever had the pleasure to enjoy. and now, thanks to kris's mom, we can create these masterpieces at home (or at least try our very best) with the artful vegan cookbook. the recipes are not simple. they have lots of different components going on but making them was a perfect sunday project. since we couldn't choose just one...or even two...dishes to make we took bits and pieces from four or five different dishes and put them together into one fantastic dinner.

if i remember correctly, these sesame buns were paired with a vegan caviar of sorts. we just did the buns on their own and they were deliciously onion-y and sesame-y. the texture was just like a nice, soft, lightly browned dinner roll. we think they would be a perfect bun for a korean barbecued tofu slider. but more on that another time....

black sesame buns
(from the artful vegan)
1 cup warm water
1/2 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, plus more as needed
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 scallions, white and green parts, minced
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

in a large bowl, combine the water, yeast and sugar. let sit 10 minutes, or until bubbly

whisk in the sesame oil, olive oil, scallions, sesame seeds, salt, and pepper. slowly whisk in the flour, switching to a wooden spoon when too thick for a whisk, until 1 3/4 cups of the flour has been used. reserve the remaining 1/2 cup flour to dust the work surface when kneading the dough.

turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. place in a large oiled bowl and let rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 450. punch the dough down, turn out onto a floured surface, and cut into 6 pieces. roll each piece into a long strip, about 8 inches long by 3 inches wide. brush the surface with sesame oil.* starting at one end, fold the dough over 1 inch and continue down, folding the dough into a tight coil. flatten and lengthen the dough with a rolling pin until about 4 inches long by 2 inches wide. place on the baking sheet. brush the top with sesame oil and sprinkle with black sesame seeds. repeat with the remaining dough to make 5 more buns. bake for 15 minutes, or until the buns are lightly browned and crisp on the bottom.

*oops, just realized i forgot to do this. they were still good.


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