Toasted Sesame Seed Buns with Feta and Olives

Toasted sesame seeds folded into a soft fluffy dough, and surrounding a surprise filling of feta and Kalamata olives.  These buns are stellar on their own or a major upgrade for a burger or sandwich.

From AnkarsrumUSA recipe developer, Carmi Adams:

I love developing recipes that show off different techniques for making bread.  These sesame seed buns rely on the mixer for an initial kneading, but then incorporate a procedure called stretching and folding to continue to build strength and structure.

I have always been a visual and hands on learner, so I try to provide as many pictures and additional instructions for the recipes.  So, let’s dive in.

First up, those sesame seeds.  They need to be toasted to bring out an intense nutty toasty flavor that won’t get lost in the dough.  Once toasted, set aside to cool and begin putting together the dough.

I find it best to toast them in a large dry skillet over medium low heat. This makes it a lot easier to monitor than if they were in the oven. Swirl around occasionally, and once they start to change colors, don’t walk away! They will quickly go from toasted to burnt.

 

Two ingredients you never want to forget when making bread are yeast and salt.  So I am always adding my yeast in the beginning with my wet ingredients, and then salt towards the end with the last bit of flour (don’t mix in with the yeast at first, it inhibits yeast activity).

Water, eggs, olive oil, yeast.

 

Flour slowly gets added in:

Towards the end of adding the flour in, adjust and lock the roller in place away from the edge of the bowl.  Depending on the recipe, this is usually anywhere from 1/2 inch to 1 inch away from the edge of the bowl.  If you are making a large batch of dough, you will want to move it away from the edge of the bowl even more.

Locked in place, the arm can still freely swing towards the middle of the bowl, while kneading the dough against the edge of the bowl as it moves around.

 

The sesame seeds get added in those last few minutes of kneading.  Notice that the dough is still quite sticky once kneaded.  This is what is called a high hydration dough.  In the simplest of terms, this just means a dough that has a fair amount of liquid in it in proportion to the amount of dry ingredients.  A low hydration dough will have a small amount of liquid compared to the amount of dry ingredients.

The technique of stretching and folding is done once the dough has been kneaded and starts the proofing/rising process. This is a great way to continue to gently develop gluten and structure in a higher hydration dough, and it will also begin to lose some of that stickiness and become a smoother, more manageable dough.

 

Once the dough has kneaded, it rests for 30 minutes and then the first stretch and fold happens.  I visually divide the dough into 6 wedges (like pie pieces) and then gently grab the outer edge of each piece, stretch and fold it over all the way to the other side of the dough.

The dough will still be very sticky for the first stretch and fold. Briefly run your hands under cold water and then shake off excess water. The coldness and slight wetness will prevent the dough from sticking to your hands.

 

Once all the sections have been stretched and folded.  I turn the whole thing upside down in the bowl so the top becomes the bottom.

30 more minutes of proofing and another stretch and fold and dough is noticeably more manageable.  A final proof and then the dough is ready to be shaped.

 

Divide the dough into equal portions, either using a kitchen scale or eyeballing it. A simple mixture of crumbled feta and chopped Kalamata olives gets added to the center of each portion of dough.

 

Gather the dough all around the filling, making sure it is completely sealed. Place the sealed seam side down on the baking pan.

 

Brush the whole top generously with olive oil, cover and let rise.

 

Buns should be doubled in size and beginning to touch when they are ready to bake.

 

Bake until the tops are beginning to turn light golden brown.

 

Let the buns cool briefly on the baking pan and then move to a wire rack to finish cooling.  My family and I have enjoyed these on their own or as buns for sandwiches and burgers.  Please let us know if you have any questions or comments about this recipe.  Happy baking!

 

Toasted Sesame Seed Buns with Feta and Olives

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Inactive Time: 3 1/2 hours

 

60 g. (1/2 cup) sesame seeds

9 g. (2 1/4 tsp.) instant dry yeast

480 g. (2 cups) warm water

2 large eggs, room temperature

28 g. (2 Tbsp.) olive oil

760 g. (6 1/3 cups) all purpose flour

12 g. (2 tsp.) kosher salt

Filling:

115 g. (4 oz.) crumbled feta

50 g. (about 1/3 cup unchopped) pitted Kalamata olive, chopped

olive oil, for brushing tops

 

In a large skillet over medium low heat, toast the sesame seeds until golden brown, swirling around occasionally and monitoring constantly to prevent burning.  Set aside to cool.

Assemble the Ankarsrum mixer with the stainless steel mixing bowl and the roller/scraper.  Add the yeast, water, eggs and olive oil and mix on medium speed (3 o’clock) until combined.

Reduce the speed to low (1 o’clock) and slowly begin adding in the flour.  When there is about 1 cup of flour left to add, sprinkle in the salt, add in the last bit of flour and then lock the arm in place 1/2 inch away from the side of the bowl.  Increase speed slightly (2 o’clock) and set the timer to knead for 8 minutes.

After 8 minutes, add in the sesame seeds and knead for another 2 minutes.  Gather the dough into a ball, cover, and let rise for 30 minutes.

Visually divide the dough into 6 wedges, like a pie.  Take each wedge and gently pull the edge all the way over to the other side of the dough.  Do this with each section and then flip the ball of dough upside down, so what was once the top is now the bottom.

Cover and let the dough rise again for another 30 minutes, and then stretch and fold again.  Cover and let rise an additional 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

In a small bowl, combine the feta and olives.

Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and divide into 12 pieces.  Flatten out each piece into a circular shape approximately 5 inches in diameter.  Place a small spoonful of the feta/olive mixture in the middle and then gather up the dough around the filling, pinching the seams together to ensure filling doesn’t leak out when baking.  Place seam side down on prepared pan.  Repeat with remaining portions of dough and filling.

Generously brush the tops of the buns with olive oil.  Cover and let rise until doubled in size, approximately 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375° F.  Adjust racks in order to place buns in the middle of the oven.

Uncover buns and bake for 25 minutes, until tops are just beginning to turn golden brown.  Let cool on the pan for 10 minutes and then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.

 

Yield: 12 rolls

 

WHOLE WHEAT VERSION

Made with freshly milled hard white wheat

-Replace all purpose flour with 716 g. (6 1/3 cups) whole wheat flour.  If milling at home, use a hard wheat.

-Combine 2/3 of the flour and all of the water in the stainless steel mixing bowl and mix on medium speed until combined.  Cover and let sit for 1 hour.  This will soften the bran in the whole wheat flour and help with gluten development.

-Add the yeast, eggs and olive oil to the mixture after one hour and then slowly add in the remaining flour and salt.

-Decrease kneading time by 2 minutes and then follow the rest of the instructions as stated above.

 

Published by

Carmi Adams

Carmi Adams has loved cooking from a very early age; requesting fondue pots and cookbooks for birthdays as a child. She further pursued her passion for food at the Art Institute of Atlanta and obtained a degree in Culinary Arts. Carmi landed a job on the show Good Eats, which aired on the Food Network. For seven years she did everything from food research, recipe development and testing, product testing to feeding a hungry film crew. Now living in the central coast of California, Carmi enjoys the bounty of agriculture, vineyards and farmers markets at her culinary disposal. She has been using the Ankarsrum mixer for over 15 years and feels that it is hands-down the best on the market for home cooks.