grand dad buns

“I can’t eat anything wholemeal” remarked Granddad Max and pointed to his dentures. Everybody looked at him. He has this most amazing smile. They didn’t quite understand why wholemeal should interfere with his false teeth. Witch stood behind him, shook her head, and mouthed so only the others could see, “excuses, excuses” then added quietly, “he is just not used to it.”

“I can understand Granddad,” said Mouse. “The Soda bread is a bit tough on the teeth.” She put her arm around him and asked interested, “so what is your favourite recipe then?”

“I quite liked the buns Witch made last year. Would you mind if I re-published her recipe? ” he asked. “I’ve never cooked a thing in my life, you know, the kitchen was Grandma’s domain. God bless her” he added.

“Go ahead then old man,” encouraged Mouse, “but make it a bit shorter than Witch did. She waffled on a bit then.” You should have seen the look Witch gave Mouse after that comment. “Only trying to be helpful” she mumbled. “Right” said Mouse in an attempt to soften her earlier words “and you were of course explaining so someone who had never baked before could understand. But now that we have tried so many recipes I think our readers get the picture.”  Witches Buns

Granddad Max produced a print-out of the recipe from his pocket, smoothed it out, and started to edit what Witch had said.

“Good editing job”, said Mouse when he was done and she had read it. “That’s easy, I will make them for you and we’ll see if you got it right. Watch me, and maybe you can do them yourself next time.”

And then she made it. But something wasn’t quite right. The dough was too dry and Mouse had to add a little bit more water. “What happened here? Did you ever try your recipe?” she asked Witch.

“Of course I did” said Witch. “But I just add water until it feels right.”

“You have to be a bit more careful with your descriptions, Witch.” Mouse scolded her. “The readers don’t know yet what feels right! I have changed it to 2.5 cups of flour now instead of 3. There is not a lot of difference, but I think that is better. ”

“But with a yeast dough, it is easier to add water if necessary than to add flour” Witch defended herself.

“If the dough is too moist, just knead it longer. The flour will take up the excess water”


2.5 cups of flour, 1 cup of warm water and 1 teaspoon of dry yeast.

(makes approx 8 buns)


Pour flour into a bowl, make a well in the middle and add half the water (make sure the water isn’t hot, as hot water kills the yeast) and add the yeast. Let sit for at least 15 minutes so the yeast becomes active, which you can see when it foams.

Add the rest of the water and knead to a dough, first in the bowl, then on the bench. Knead very thoroughly for five minutes. Put the dough back in the bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and put in a warm place to let it rise until it has doubled in size. In a cooler place this process will take longer, but it will happen.

After an hour or so knead again. It doesn’t need to be as long as the first time, it’s just to get the air out. Then let rest until it has noticeably risen again.

Preheat oven to 200 0C.

While the oven is heating up, knead the dough one more time and divide into 8 balls. Place the balls on baking paper on a tray (I use a silicon mat as it can be reused again and again) and let it rise again. 10 minutes should be enough or until the oven is properly preheated.

Brush the buns with water and cut an x with a sharp knife on top of each one. Sprinkle with poppy seeds or sesame seeds. (Not for Granddad Max though, he added with a smile)

Bake for 20 minutes.