- 1 (1 1/4 ounce) packet active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water (100? to 110?F on an instant-read thermometer)
- 1 pinch plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1/2 cup warm milk (100? to 110?F on an instant-read thermometer)
- 1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- In a small mixing bowl, add the yeast to the warm water and sprinkle with 1 pinch of sugar. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes, until foamy.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining sugar, flour, and salt. Using a wooden spoon, stir to combine.
- Using your fingers, a fork, or a pastry cutter, mix the butter pieces into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add the yeast mixture, the warm milk, and 1/2 cup of the olive oil to the flour mixture. Continue mixing until all the ingredients come together to form a soft dough. If the mixture is too wet, add 1/4 cup more flour until the dough comes together.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 3 to 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. You may need to continue adding a light dusting of flour to your work surface to keep the dough from sticking. (This dough is very soft.)
- Grease a second large mixing bowl with the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil and place the dough in the bowl, turning to coat with the oil.
- Cover the bowl with a clean, damp kitchen towel or plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft-free place to rise until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Punch the dough down in the center with your fist and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.
- Divide the dough into 8 equal portions, about 3 1/2 ounces each.
- Using your clean hands, press each portion of dough to flatten, then gently roll into a log shape, about 5 inches long.
- Place each log on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper that has been lightly sprinkled with flour.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the egg and cream. Using a pastry brush, gently paint the eggwash onto the top of each bun.
- Cover the baking sheet with a clean, damp kitchen towel or lightly greased plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft-free place to rise until the rolls double in size, about 1 hour.
- Position rack in lower third of oven and preheat the oven to 375?F.
- Remove the kitchen towel or plastic wrap and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the dough comes out clean. Use oven mitts or pot holders to remove the baking sheet from the oven.
- Using a spatula, move the rolls to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To serve, slice the buns horizontally with a serrated knife about three-fourths of the way through.