How to make healthy choices every day

Baby Step Buns – the Sequel

Okay, like I said: baby steps.

Remember how my buns were a little flat and I couldn’t figure out why? Well, I suppose made a slight mistake when I dissolved the yeast in warm water, as this is a ‘cold-rise dough’. Heh. Oops. How was I supposed to know not to kill the little guys?! They also like to eat something sweet (yeah, I know, they are so demanding!), which of course I didn’t do the first time, so squirting a dollop of honey into the water is apparently a good idea. To add insult to injury, I put the dough right up against my blistering-hot radiator, ruining any chance at a decent rise. So don’t do that either. Keep the dough at room temperature.

I am ridiculous, and I apologize.
Now please take some baby steps of your own and go make these buns. They are really good. Promise.

Baby Step Buns
3 cups whole grain flour (I use spelt)
1 cup grain mix*
2 cups cold water
20 g. fresh yeast OR ¾ tsp. dry active yeast
1 tsp. honey
½ Tbsp. sea salt, plus more for garnish
2 tsp. olive oil
nuts and seeds for garnish (optional)

* You can purchase grain mixes specifically for baking at natural food stores and good grocers, but making your own is easy. You can blend any of your favorite grains, nuts, and seeds together – I like ground flax, rolled oats, sunflower seeds, sesame, rye kernels…you get the idea.

1. Dissolve the yeast in cold water. Add honey, stir to combine.
2. Combine dry ingredients well, then add the yeast mixture, salt, and oil.
3. Mix with a wooden spoon until well combined. Cover with a tea towel and let sit at room temperature overnight.
4. In the morning, preheat oven to 400F, line a couple baking trays with parchment paper, and spoon dough onto them. You can make these as large or small as you like, mine were about the size of my palm. Sprinkle with nuts and/or seeds and sea salt.
5. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a tap on the bottom of the buns makes a hollow sound.

Good luck, ya’ll. Tell me how they turn out. 🙂

Copyright 2012 My New Roots at

34 thoughts on “Baby Step Buns – the Sequel”

  • First of all I put too much yeast in and I thought I was following the directions perfectly!!
    I did have a question: How long is overnight? 8 hours?? If you let it sit too long what happens?
    Sorry new cook.

    • Overnight is between 8-12 hours and the dough will not act in the same way resulting in a dense, tough, or flat end product!

  • Sorry follow up on previous post. I used cold tap water. Should I have used cold water from the refrigerator?
    This yeast did dissolve after a few minutes.
    Thank you for any help!

  • I am making the yeast mixture now but some is floating to the top and not dissolving? Is that problem? Dissolve the yeast in cold water, add honey and stir to combine.

  • I am a new cook so I think I missed something. When do you add the yeast? Is that in the step 2. where it says add water and oil? Are you referring to the water with the honey & yeast?
    Thank you.

    • You are absolutely correct, and I just amended the recipe! Thanks so much for calling this out.

  • i didn’t have spelt on hand but i made these with 2 cups plain un-bleached flour, 1/2 cup buckwheat and 1/2 teff flour, and they worked out great! thanks sarah!

  • These buns are just as life-changing as that bread, IMHO. I used a grain mix of: quinoa flakes, rye flakes, spelt flakes, ground flax, ground chia along w/ the sprouted spelt flour. I’m used to the no-knead approach so I cranked up my oven to 450C and baked them in a pre-heated dutch oven. I made 7 buns from the recipe (about the size of an average hamburger bun). Feeling pretty empowered — thanks! (Made the “Revolutionary Pancakes” yesterday and thought it couldn’t get any better….)

  • I have such a major girl crush on you!!!!! Without fail my bread used to fail. So I have been eyeing this recipe for weeks now. It was absolutely delicious, like the little rolls you get in a good restaurant. Ive been feeling like a major rockstar thanks to you making nut butters, pancakes, cookies, lemonade, you name it. You are awesome! Thank you, thank you, thank you…

  • I just made these buns/rolls-super easy!! Thanks a lot, Sarah!:)
    I saw there was no info on how many buns/rolls this recipe makes:
    I was able to make 12 palm-sized buns/rolls (about half a burger bun size).
    Used them as buns for quinoa burgers:)

  • I’ve been hooked on the Life Changing Loaf of Bread for the past week (already taking requests from family for their own loaves) and am ready to keep experimenting in the bread realm as I miss it so so much, but am wondering if anyone has tried this one with a gluten-free flour? Any suggestions for alternatives to spelt?

  • Hi Sarah
    I have only recently found your recipes. I’ve never been so inspired to bake and create such beautiful food. Love love your recipes and reading your blog. Thank you B

  • yum. I’m in Australia, mixed at lunch time, cooked for dinner and they worked fine. (room temp 25 deg C). will get organized next time and give them 8 hrs. thank you for this and other inspiring recipies.

  • These are indeed, delicious. What I call a”rustic” bread. I used spelt, as well, and my grains were 1/2 cup sunflower, 1/4 cup pumpkin seed and 1/4 raisins. They went well with smoked salmon, avacado and chives. The crunchiness of the bread makes it a two handed affair when eating, and a delight to the senses. Thanks for an easy treat. Will let my 14- year old daughter make them next time, so she can boost her cooking ego with a guaranteed success.

  • Just wondering if you (or anyone) has tried this recipe as a loaf instead of buns, whether it works or not? Loaves are more practical for our household than buns 🙂

  • I love this recipe. It really couldn´t get any easier if you tried! I also love that you can use a combo of whatever grains/seeds/nuts you have in the cupboard. Both kids and adults in our family love these buns! Thanks for sharing Sarah!!!

  • I love this recipe! I’ve had great success with these and everyone at school seems suitably impressed to hear they’re homemade. I’ve also tried soaking the dry ingredients and water for 12 hours to minimise anti-nutrients and then adding the yeast and proceeding with the recipe as written. I love that it’s so flexible, too, and it doesn’t all go wrong if I forget about the dough for too long. Thanks, Sarah!

  • These were amazing and so easy to make. Are you able to start putting a calorie count with your recipes, that would be so helpful. Thanks again.

  • I just discovered your beautiful blog and I cannot wait to try this recipe! Do you have any advice for baking these in high altitude?


  • Hi Sarah,

    I made these last night and when I woke up this morning, there was a hard ‘crust’ that had formed on top of the dough. I baked them anyways, and they turned out pretty good (next time I’ll make them with more seeds), but is it normal for a crust to form overtop? I stored them in my bathroom which is dark and at room temp.



  • I made these today! I used half Spelt flour, half Whole Wheat, and a grain mix of caraway seeds, rolled oats, flax meal, and sesame seeds. My 3 year old helped me make the dough last night, and the buns were in the oven this morning. I didn’t get a huge rise, but it was enough to recreate the avocado and tomato sandwich that you have pictured in this post (and which I had fantasized about for 3 days). I think they are delish! Thanks!

  • sorry I didn’t know you had updated your recipe… and I didn’t realize in the first one that the yeast hadn’t been given sugar! 🙂 sorry.

  • Hej Sarah,
    I just made these wonderfully-easy buns for our sunday morning breakfast today/yesterday evening. Thank you so much for that recipe! I followed the updated instructions and the buns came out perfect 🙂 Just think that next time I’ll also add some raisins to the grain mix for more sweetness, but that’s just because I need something sweet in the morning. they were still great without ’em.
    btw I just recently discovered your blog and often find myself reading it for hours, hopping from post to post ^^ Just wanted to say that your recipes and your “philosophy” are exactly what I’ve been looking for to improve my nutrition and hopefully my cooking and baking skills aswell 😉
    greetz from amsterdam! j

  • Oh sheesh, Heather…I really wish I had a good answer for you! Argh.
    First of all, I am impressed with your tenacity 🙂 Keep it up!
    Secondly, Are you sure you tried everything the same the second time around but without the paper? The dough shouldn’t be affected by that to my knowledge.
    The problem is that the dough can be affected by the temperature and humidity in the air, so if the weather was very different on the second try, perhaps that is the factor.
    I will work on a more “fool proof” recipe in the meantime! Thanks for asking.

    In health,
    Sarah B.

  • hi there sarah, i have tried this recipe twice…first time i baked it on the parchment and i couldn’t get the paper off the bottom of the buns but i ate the tops bit and liked it enough to give it another try – the second time i tried it sans paper and they didnt rise! any advice? i like the taste i just need to perfect it…



  • Thank you for your lovely, lovely blog. I haven’t been this inspired in a long time! The buns were beautiful and delicious!

  • Hello Sarah, I just baked these buns for breakfast. Tasty, but mine did not rise in the oven very much. Who knows why, could be my oven, the yeast whatever. I used spelt flour, and made my grain mix with flax,oatmeal,sunflower and pumpkin seeds. I love the process and will continue making these. Thanks for the inspiration. I look forward to more recipes.

  • Sar!!!
    You said that you love comments and so I am leaving you one. You look beautiful in your photo holding your cup of tea… and this sandwich on these buns makes me want to eat my screen. Keep up the GREAT work.
    Lots of love and admiration, Jal

  • That looks delicious. You are right about the honey. I experimented with a similar bread recipe with less than excellent results, and I was told the yeast needs to eat. I like this version and will try it.

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