Cooking From Memory ~ A Recipe Journal

Buttermilk Cluster

Posted in Breads,Breads, Rolls & Crusts by Paul Gauche on January 9, 2010


I rarely “lift” a recipe from some other source and place it into Cooking From Memory.  Nearly every recipe on this site is tried, tested and tweaked many times over.  But this recipe for Buttermilk Cluster is so good that it is “fully lifted” and appears here as it does on the Saveur website which, by the way, is a very classy, yet accessible collection of food fun. (

There was something about the simplicity of this recipe, not to mention the photograph that got me up and out of bed at 6:00 AM on this Saturday morning, into the car and down to the grocery store by 6:30 and back home and “aproned” by 7.  What a morning… everything worked perfectly. Well, nearly perfectly. I forgot the salt and noticed that right away when I bit into the first little pillow of happiness. So don’t forget the salt when you do this.  These soft, sesame seeded dinner rolls are based on a popular recipe on the baking website

So give this a shot. I hope your kitchen smells as good as mine does.

Ingredients ~

  • ¼ oz. active dry yeast (I use one 5/16 ounce package od Hodgson Mill Active Dry Yeast)
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 ¾ cups buttermilk
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 5 cups flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Unsalted butter, for greasing
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds

 Method ~

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine yeast, sugar, and ¼ cup water heated to 115°; let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes.


Whisk in buttermilk and honey; add flour and salt. Mix on medium-low speed until dough forms a ball and pulls away from the side of the bowl, 6–8 minutes  (sprinkle in a little water if dough seems dry).

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place to let dough rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours. 

Heat oven to 400˚. Grease a 9″ round springform pan with butter. Uncover dough; divide into 12 portions.

Roll each dough piece into a ball; transfer ball to pan; repeat with remaining dough.

Cover pan with plastic wrap and set aside to let dough rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and 1 tsp. water. Uncover dough and brush egg mixture over the top; sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of dough registers 190°, about 35 minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

This article was first published in Saveur in Issue #126


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