I use a breadmaker to make our daily bread - just to avoid the millions of plastic bags. BUT in doing so, we often have the smell of fresh bread in our home, can add cool ingredients to the bread. Also, we know what we are eating.
So that's the bread - BUT my husband also likes to get those really fluffy white buns with sesame seeds on the top, which happen to be sold in non-recyclable clear plastic bags. Living sustainably shouldn't have to mean losing out on things like fluffy buns - at least, sacrificing all the time will mean that my family will revolt. So, I schemed a way to regularly have buns without all the plastic. And a realistically easy way as well - breadmakers take all the time out of kneading the bread and waiting for it to rise - something you do twice with bread-rolls.
You will need:
4 tsp yeast
450g white flour (I replace 25g with this with wheat germ, makes it healthier)
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp milk powder
4 tbsp butter (or margarine)
1.5 tsp sugar
1 good quality breadmaker (It's worth getting good tools, trust me.)
Measure ingredients and throw them in the breadmaker metal tin. (Make sure you have the kneading blade in first - I have actually forgotten this a few times after cleaning it.)
Set your breadmaker on the appropriate "dough" mode. My dough mode takes 2 hours and 20 minutes.
After the dough is done, it will have risen in the doughmaker. Either right away or within a couple of hours, throw some flour onto a surface, and throw the dough onto it. Skwoosh it down, making sure the flour touches the sticky dough before your hands. Knead it and punch it down and cut off bits with a plastic spatula, or with your hands, and make little balls. I place them into a greased pan with sides so they can rise up contained, not just splatting out in every direction, similar to the ones you buy bagged at the store. I fit eight balls into each large bread loaf tin.
Then you cover them with either a plastic bag you are trying to get rid of, which is greased, or you could use tin foil - or paper - something so that the balls don't dry out as they are rising again. Let them rise to double the size (could be half an hour, or more).
Then you brush beaten egg on the tops, and throw some sesame seeds all over them (the egg will stick them on), and bake them. They will bake quickly - 180 degrees Celsius for 10-20 minutes or until golden brown.
They will be just as good, or better than those "boughten" rolls!