This recipe is from my grandma, Elinor. You can tell it’s a grandma recipe, because the ingredients don’t call for a specific amount of flour! Grandmas are the best.
This recipe makes a LOT of buns. Feel free to halve it, or use the other half of the dough to bake a loaf of bread or some other delicious doughy thing.
Get creative with fillings! The combinations are endless. Ham and cheese, eggs and bacon, mozzarella, mushrooms and tomato sauce, sweetened cream cheese etc, etc.
- 1 T yeast
- 2 1/2 c water or milk
- 1/2 c sugar
- 1/2 c oil
- 2 eggs
- 2 t salt
- Flour to make a soft dough (8-9 cups)
- 1 head cabbage, shredded
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 stalks celery, diced
- 2 lb hamburger
- salt and pepper to taste
Combine the ingredients for the dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured counter and knead for 10-15 minutes until the dough is smooth and tacky, adding more flour as needed. Air on the side of sticky for this dough – it will be easier to shape and seal the buns later. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and set aside in a warm, draft free place. Allow the dough to double in size, approximately 1-1 1/2 hour.
While the dough is rising, season the with salt and pepper and sauté with one tablespoon of oil. Once browned, remove to a separate bowl. Sauté the cabbage, onions and celery in the same pan until softened. Add to the beef and stir to combine. Allow to cool to room temperature before filling buns.
Degas the dough to remove any bubbles and divide into 2 1/2 – 3 ounce portions (approximately 24-30 buns). Roll the dough into balls and allow to rest, covered, for 10 minutes. Flatten each dough ball to rough circles, approximately 3×3 inches in size. Place one heaping tablespoon of filling in the center of the dough. Stretch and pull two opposite ends of the dough over the filling and pinch together. Repeat with the other two ends. Finally, stretch each corner of dough to the center of the bun until all of the filling is sealed in. Flip over and roll until round and the bottom is sealed.
Place the buns on a greased baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Cover and allow to rise until doubled in size – approximately 1 – 1 1/2 hour. Optionally, prior to baking, brush with egg wash (1 egg, 1 t water, dash of salt), sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until nicely browned, rotating the pan halfway through baking time. Remove to a cooling rack and allow to come to room temperature.
Buns can be wrapped and frozen for later enjoyment.