I like big buns (and I cannot lie)

For St. Paddy's, I went the shepherd's pie route (stay tuned for the recipe). In lieu of traditional Irish soda bread (I had no buttermilk!), I put together some herb-onion knot rolls with a recipe that I've been salivating over since January. The Busty Baker features a honey version, but I wasn't sure how sweet bread would pair with my meaty stew. I settled for Milk and Honey's savory iteration, and was pleased to find how-to photos. The process ended up being a bit arduous so I would save this one for a weekend next time. Enjoy!

Herb-Onion Knotty Buns (ha!)
NSFD ranking: **
Adapted from Milk and Honey and The Busty Baker.

3 ¼ to 3 ¾ cups all purpose flour
1 package (1/4 oz) active dry yeast
1 cup milk
¼ cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
¾ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dried minced onion

1 teaspoon dried herbs (I used rosemary & thyme)
A dash or two garlic salt
1 beaten egg, for mixing into dough, plus 1 beaten egg, for brushing
Coarse salt, for sprinkling

  1. In a large bowl, stir together 1 ¼ cups flour and yeast; set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat milk, sugar, butter, salt, and honey, stirring until just warmed (120 to 130 degrees) and the butter starts to melt. (Don't let it get too hot or you'll kill the yeast) Add to the flour mixture along with 1 beaten egg. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat on high for 3 minutes. 
  3. With a wooden spoon, stir in 2 cups of the remaining flour (or as much of it as you can). 
  4. On a lightly floured work surface, knead in the remaining ½ cup of flour until you have a smooth elastic dough, about 6 to 8 minutes. Shape into a ball and place into a bowl coated with cooking spray. Turn to coat the dough, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour*. 
  5. Punch down dough and return to a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in half. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. While dough is resting, lightly grease a baking sheet, or line with parchment or a silicone baking mat.
  6. Divide each half of the dough into 12 to 16 pieces. Roll each piece into a 12-inch long rope. Tie each rope into a loose knot, leaving two long ends. Tuck the top end under the knot and the bottom end into the center of the knot. (Click here for pictures of this process.) 
  7. Behold: The CUTENESS. (Okay, I admit, cute but not consistent.)
    I reiterate the importance of looking at the how-to pics. 
  8. Place the knots two to three inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly doubled in size, about a half an hour.
  9. Preheat oven to 375F. Brush the rolls with the remaining beaten egg and spring with salt. Bake until lightly golden, about 15 to 18 minutes.
Perfect fresh from the oven!
To tie in the title of the post, a photo compliments of Mr. T, naturally. If you don't get it (the title, that is) click here although I warn you, Sir Mix-A-Lot is not for the critical feminist or the faint of heart.

You can also put the bowl in the refrigerator and let rise overnight. The next day, remove from fridge and let warm up about an hour before continuing with directions.

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