Just like the ones at the grocery store! Make your own Pizza Buns at home. They are easy and freezable, too!
They always say not to shop when you're hungry and I try to follow that rule, but don't always succeed. That's when anything remotely "ready-to-eat" holds special appeal and high on that list is the grocery store's bakery made pizza buns. Even in a non-hungry moment, those lovely, cheesy buns seem to call my name every time I walk by them :)
I am not powerless to resist them though, because those suckers are expensive and I know how to make them easily and much more economically at home. Oh yes I do!
So with only 90 minutes and about $4 in ingredients, I can make 16 pizza buns that are guaranteed to make me immediately popular with my family, which will fill my freezer with ready-to-heat-and-eat snacks and may help you with those lunch boxes you need to fill.
I made smaller and thinner buns than the ones in the grocery store. I'm a thin-crust pizza kind of gal, so since I was in making the sizing decisions now, I went smaller and thinner. You can easily make them thicker and/or bigger if that's the way you like 'em. Instead of dividing the dough in to 16 pieces, go with 8. You'll just get fewer buns, of course. If you make thicker buns, be sure to increase the amount of sauce and cheese you put on each bun, to keep the topping to bun ratio in good order.
Baking at 375 F. will produce a crispy crust. If you prefer soft, bake at 350 F. instead (time may vary slightly).
And speaking of cheese, yes, I used cheddar, because that's what the pizza buns in the store have on them. It's good. Of course, you can always use mozzarella (or another cheese), if you like. That's the great thing about making your own. You get to make all the decisions :)
Homemade Pizza Buns
For the pizza bun dough:
- 2 1/2 - 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast, or bread machine or rapid rise yeast
- 1 cup warm water, quite warm - 120-130° F.
- 1 Tbsp vegetable, canola or other neutral oil
For the toppings:
- 1 1/2 cups pizza sauce, (make your own or a good store-bought)
- 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- For the dough: In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the kneading hook, mix together 2 cups of the flour, the sugar, salt and instant yeast. In a measuring cup, combine the warm water with the oil. Add the water mixture to the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Knead by hand or with the mixer, add more flour in small increments, as needed, until the dough comes together into a smooth dough. It shouldn't stick to your hands or be dry and crumbly. Grease a bowl and place the dough ball into the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 30 - 45 minutes, depending on how warm your kitchen is.
- Prepare two baking sheets by lining each with a sheet of parchment paper. Set aside.
- Remove the dough to a floured cutting board. Cut the dough evenly in half. Cut each half in half again. Cut each piece in half again and then in half again, to make a total of 16 roughly equal sized pieces.
- Take a piece of dough. Form it in to a rough ball, then stretch in to a circle about 4-5 inches in diameter. (You don't need to stretch them completely at this point. Once the dough has rested a few minutes on the baking sheet, they will be easier to shape, so you will be going back and stretching them out a second time later.) Place the dough circle onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with each piece of dough, placing 8 on each on the prepared sheets (you can place them fairly close together as they don't spread much, but don't allow them to actually touch each other). Go back to the first pieces you formed and stretch them a little more, as needed.
- With all your rolled dough on the baking sheets, using a teaspoon from your cutlery drawer, top each piece of dough with two heaping teaspoon of pizza sauce, spreading it over the top, going as far to the edges as you can without it going over the sides. Top with a generous amount of shredded cheddar cheese. Repeat with all the buns. Let stand 20 minutes, while you preheat the oven.
- With racks in the upper and lower third of your oven, preheat oven to 375° F. with the rack in the centre of the oven. After buns have stood for 20 minutes or so (or until they look a little puffy around the outside edges), bake in preheated for 20-25 minutes , switching the pans from top to bottom half way through baking. Cook until well browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely. Enjoy immediately or cover and refrigerate. Or see below for freezing instructions!
- Freezing: These buns freeze really well. Freeze them on baking sheet and then transfer to a freezer bag. To enjoy straight from the freezer, no need to thaw. Just place the frozen buns on a baking sheet and warm in a preheated 400° oven for 7 or 8 minutes.
Nutritional information provided for general guidance only and should not be relied upon to make personal health decisions.