For Hornhonk (Steve) and other split top bun cravers....
I took a step back and decided to revisit the printed recipe that came with my King Arthur bun pan. The only difference is that instead of making the dough into a single rectangle, I've made it into 10 individual rolls and placed those in the bun pan to rise.
When I've done it as a single rectangle, it overflowed the pan and the sides didn't have that pull-apart texture.
I could not find the recipe anywhere on the web (in my extensive, 2 minute search :P ) so here it is as provided by King Arthur Flour:
New England Hotdog Buns
These classic rolls, with their straight-up sides and soft texture, have been filled with everything from hotdogs to lobster salad in these parts. Now you can have them fresh and warm from your own oven!
3 cups (12 3/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons (7/8 ounce) sugar or non-diastatic malt
1/4 cup (1 1/4 ounces) Baker's Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
1/4 cup (1 1/2 ounces) potato flour or instant mashed potato flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) soft butter
1 large egg
1 to 1 1/4 cups (8 to 10 ounces) water
Using the dough cycle on your bread machine, place all the ingredients into the machine's bucket according to the manufacturer's directions, and press start. To mix by hand or mixer, stir together all the dry ingredients. Add the butter. Beat the egg and 1 cup of water together, and pour into dry ingredients and mix well. Knead the dough until it becomes shiny and elastic, about 10 minutes by hand, 5 or more by mixer. Ad additional water if the dough is stiff. Put the dough into a greased bowl, turn it over to coat it, and set aside to rise for 1-2 hours (The dough should double and be puffy looking).
Turn dough out onto a work surface that's been lightly floured or greased with non-stick spray. Shape the dough into a 6 x 15-inch rectangle. Place into the lightly greased hotdog bun pan. Grease the bottom of a clean baking sheet and place it on top of the pan so the rising dough will fill the pan evenly. Let rise 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until the dough has almost filled the pan.
Preheat your oven to 375F. With the baking sheet still on top, bake the rolls for 18 minutes. Remove the baking sheet and bake a few minutes longer if necessary to brown the rolls. Remove from the oven and place the pan on a rack for 5 minutes. Remove the buns from the pan and place on the rack to finish cooling. When completely cool, slice each bun down the middle horizontally, without cutting through the bottom; then separate into individual buns. Yield: 10 buns.
Now, here are my notes so far:
I weighed the flour rather than measure by volume since that's generally much more consistent. I started with 1 cup of water and did not need to add any. I do keep the Baker's Special Dry Milk and potato flour on hand, so I used those instead of the more readily-available nonfat dry milk and instant mashed potato flakes.
I used my bread machine to mix, knead, and do the initial rise. The dough ball weighed 787 grams, so I divided it into 10 78 gram pieces. Rolled those pieces each into a little log and placed in the lightly greased (cooking spray) bun pan. I placed a lightly greased sheet pan on top and the buns are rising now.
More results (and photos) to follow.
Egging in Denton, Texas