Baked Scallion and Sesame Seed Buns

This is my Thanksgiving but not so Thanksgiving post. 

I've been anti-make-Thanksgiving-food-before-Thanksgiving this year. Last year I went all out because it was my last year in college. I hosted a Friendsgiving and cooked everything by myself and from scratch. There was a roasted chicken (because it's smaller), stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, rolls, cranberry sauce, and a gorgeously cracked pumpkin pie. If that sounds stressful it really wasn't because I was in my element. I had a rough timeline set out, I went grocery shopping a few days before, I called Popo to ask her how to make her stuffing and cranberry sauce, my friends made drinks, and everyone loved the meal. It was a great success with no disasters if I may say so myself. 

But, it wasn't the Thanksgiving I really wanted. 

I spent a long time the past couple of weeks thinking about whether or not I wanted to make something specifically Thanksgiving for the blog. Thanksgiving foods start to pop up right after Halloween so the pressure is on. But in all honesty, I'm waiting to eat Thanksgiving food until it is Thanksgiving day. I don't want to spoil it you see. Everyone in my family has a specific sort of dish that they bring every year. There's always the turkey cooked on the grill; two of them if everyone is able to come. There's Popo's stuffing and cranberry sauce. The best stuff ever. How could I ever replicate that? Last year's was good but it also wasn't the same. It was missing the magic touch.

Then, there's the weird molded jello salad with Dream Whip aka Prism Jello that's so 1960s but I refuse to eat. My mom's cinnamon bread. Savory, salty gravy from the turkey drippings. Various salads and green things. The sweet potatoes made the exact same way every year; no marshmallows though. I really have no clue what's on them but they're good. Most likely lots and lots of butter. There's always something new that graces the table. And of course dessert.

I did make pie multiple times already but that doesn't really count because you can have pie any time of the year.

Yup, I think I'm way too excited about bringing pie this year. 

These buns are definitely not part of my Thanksgiving meal nor are they particularly traditional but they could be made to bring something fresh and new to the table or tables if your family is as large as mine. Young and hip table for the win!

Everybody wants carbs for Thanksgiving anyways, so there's that. There's also green stuff in them so they have the appearance of being healthy. And they're so pretty. If you want to wow people with your bun making skills, these are the way to go. They look complicated but once you get the process down, you can whip them together pretty quickly.

So we start with a basic yeast dough; just flour, milk, oil, yeast, sugar, oil and salt. Don't forget the salt! I did when I made these. It really makes all the difference in the taste.

After the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and shape it into 12 equal sized rolls. 

Steps to assemble: 

  1. Take one dough ball and roll it into an oblong oval.
  2. Brush it with a mixture of soy sauce and sesame oil. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  3. Make 6-8 vertical cuts within the dough. Be careful not to cut the dough into strips.
  4. Sprinkle with green onions.
  5. Take the top and bottom and roll inwards on a diagonal until the dough meets in the middle.
  6. Roll that log into a snail shape. Tuck the end underneath and place on a lined baking sheet.
  7. Set aside in a warm place for the second rise, about 30-45 minutes.
  8. After they have risen, brush each roll with the soy sauce/sesame oil mixture and sprinkle with more sesame seeds.

The order of whether you sprinkle sesame seeds before cutting or sprinkle them after cutting doesn't really matter. Just make sure not to cut through the dough to each side. It'll make it harder to roll and keep the green onions from falling out.

I chose to bake these instead of steaming them because I don't have a steamer of my own and also because the last time I tried to steam buns, it was an epic fail. 

Don't worry, they still pull apart beautifully.

So, Happy Thanksgiving!

P.S. I'm telling you again, don't forget the salt.

Also, green onions and scallions are synonymous. 'Scallion' just sounds fancier in the title.

Baked Scallion Buns

Adapted from these Steamed Scallion Buns

Yields: 12 buns // Active Time: 1 hour // Inactive Time: 2 - 2.5 hours