Jason’s Grandma’s 2 Hour Buns

Jason's Grandma's 2 hour buns 3

Our across-the-street neighbours moved away a few years ago. They were fun to hang out with on our front step, our collective little kids playing on the sidewalk. They were good eaters, and toward the end of one summer shared the recipe for the soft, sweet buns he told us his Grandma used to make. Homemade dinner rolls made with a recipe procured from someone’s grandma are my favourite. For awhile, I made these with my niece across the street, and she’d bring them to school in her lunches.

Jason's Grandma's 2 hour buns 5

Homemade buns on the dinner table is about as old-fashioned as it gets, and yet immensely satisfying – this is one of the recipes we included in the new Best of Bridge Sunday Suppers, which hit store shelves a few weeks ago. If you like, you could pay closer attention to how you shape them, forming them into smooth-ish balls, then bake them on a sheet instead of in a tray, spaced apart so that they don’t snuggle up to each other in the pan and instead bake into stand-alone buns with tanned sides, perfect for homemade burgers. (If you do this, brush their tops with a bit of water or milk and sprinkle with some sesame seeds before you bake them. It’s positively glee-inducing to pull a pan of homemade sesame-topped burger buns out of the oven.)

Jason's Grandma's 2 hour buns 4

W walked in as I was just typing that last sentence, read the title of this post and loudly asked, “2 hours?? Who has time for that?” (Because the schedule of a 12 (!!) year old is so demanding.) And I explained that 2 hours from start to finish isn’t a lot of time for homemade buns, and it doesn’t mean 2 hours of actual work. You don’t need to time the rises precisely – think of them as ballparks, and if you go out and don’t come home for 2 hours, the dough will be fine. If you’re in a rush and only have half an hour to let them sit, they’ll also be fine.

Jason's Grandma's 2 hour buns 2

Jason’s Grandma’s original recipe called for 8 cups of flour and 1/2 cup sugar (or 8 tablespoons) – I reduced it quite a bit, and reduced the quantities in case you don’t want quite so many buns at one time. If you do, the formula is easily doubled.

Jason's Grandma's 2 hour buns
Jason's Grandma's 2 hour buns

Jason’s Grandma’s 2 Hour Buns


November 1, 2017


3 1/2-4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 Tbsp instant dry yeast

1 1/2 cups warm water

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 egg

1 tsp salt


1In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of the flour, the sugar and yeast. In another bowl, whisk together the water, oil and egg. Add to the flour mixture and stir until well blended. Add the remaining flour and salt, stirring until the dough comes together.

2Knead for 5-7 minutes, scattering some extra flour on your countertop if it needs it, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Let sit and rise for 15 minutes, then punch the dough down and let it rise for another 15 minutes.

3Punch the dough down again and shape it into buns about half the size you want them to be once baked. Place them close together in a buttered or parchment-lined 9-x13-inch baking dish, cover with a tea towel and let them rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.

4Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F. Bake the buns for 15-18 minutes, or until deep golden. Makes about 1 1/2 dozen buns.


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36 comments on “Jason’s Grandma’s 2 Hour Buns

  1. Anonymous
    November 2, 2017 at 1:48 am

    Oh nice. I have been on a bit of a bread making binge after rediscovering the dough hook in my kitchenaid! ?

  2. Katie C.
    November 2, 2017 at 6:48 am

    Will the cooked rolls keep for any length of time? Maybe I could freeze them before or after they are cooked?

    • Julie
      November 2, 2017 at 8:50 pm

      Yes, they could totally be frozen before or after – if before, let them thaw and proof as the oven preheats!

  3. Donna Mason
    November 2, 2017 at 7:46 am

    For years I have used a friend’s recipe for buns. We have always called them “Gramma Staple’s Buns”. We had a sheep farm for a few years and I used this recipe all the time, especially come shearing. For some reason, the recipe allowed you to use some of the dough, punch it down and put it back in the fridge. You could do this a number of times in the course of a week. Fresh buns when needed.

    • Julie
      November 2, 2017 at 8:50 pm

      Interesting idea! The cold slows the rise, so why not just keep a big batch of dough in the fridge?

  4. Ali G
    November 2, 2017 at 8:19 am

    My MIL makes these buns too and was so kind as to pass the recipe on to me at least 15 years ago. We love them!

  5. Meg
    November 2, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    This is one I will have to try for my big family Christmas in two weeks (I know in November?!?) nothing like fresh buns to make a party more Christmas-y
    Thanks for the recipe!!

    • Julie
      November 2, 2017 at 8:49 pm

      Aw, this makes me smile!

  6. Colleen
    November 3, 2017 at 8:12 am

    Could cinnamon buns be made from this dough?

    • Julie
      November 6, 2017 at 2:14 pm

      I don’t see why not, although most cinnamon buns have butter and eggs for a richer dough, this should work just fine too!

  7. Anonymous
    November 3, 2017 at 10:02 am

    Perfect day for baking in snowy Calgary. Just made these, subbing in a cup of whole wheat flour. They are delicious, but not as lovely dinner-bun shaped as yours.

    • Julie
      November 6, 2017 at 2:13 pm

      Did you shape them like buns?

  8. Heather
    November 5, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    Oh my word! Thanks for posting this recipe, Julie! I made these today to serve with a version of Julie Child’s boeuf bourguignon and there were raves around the table. Everyone loved the buns. I’ve been baking a long time and these are simply the best. Have a great week.

    • Julie
      November 6, 2017 at 2:13 pm

      Amazing Heather! So glad to hear it!

  9. Tara
    November 6, 2017 at 11:21 am

    I just made buns like this… in a tray instead. It worked marvelously. I did think the parchment underneath made them seem a bit too white and a tiny soggy on the bottom. Do you think you could forget the parchment, or would they stick?

    • Julie
      November 6, 2017 at 2:12 pm

      You could for sure – they might stick, but you could butter the pan, or use a silicone mat on a baking sheet?

  10. Rhonda
    November 7, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    Simply delicious. Will double the recipe next time. One dozen did not last very long.

    • Julie
      November 11, 2017 at 11:19 pm

      Ha! I think I quartered the recipe… don’t need too many fresh, warm buns in my house! 🙂

  11. Cath in Ottawa
    November 8, 2017 at 11:16 am

    Made these for dinner last night with homemade roasted red pepper and tomato soup and it was a huge hit!

    • Julie
      November 11, 2017 at 11:18 pm


  12. Shannon
    November 12, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    Made these today and served with some homemade bean & bacon soup. They were a huge hit! Little pillows from heaven!

    • Julie
      November 17, 2017 at 5:32 am

      That sounds delicious!!

  13. Emily
    November 14, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    These look so wonderful! Could I stuff them with some feta cheese or mozzarella or is this bread too soft for that? Thanks for all the great recipes Julie!

    • Julie
      November 17, 2017 at 5:29 am

      Oooh, that would probably be delicious!!

  14. Susan
    November 15, 2017 at 6:13 am

    I made these on Sunday – 17 or so rolls fit into a 9×13 pan (parchment lined). Dough was very easy to work with and they looked beautiful. We polished off 5 rolls on Saturday – froze the rest / wrapped up in batches of 4. Removed from the freezer in the morning and had with dinner last night. WOW! These were excellent fresh out of the oven and – the frozen version performed well too (slightly warmed in the microwave for 20 seconds or so). I look forward to checking out the Best of Bridge book. Thanks Julie!


    • Julie
      November 17, 2017 at 5:29 am

      So glad they worked out so well for you Susan!

  15. Emily
    November 24, 2017 at 2:27 am

    I made these rolls stuffed with feta and they were very good! The texture is perfect!! I am not a seasoned bread baker so I am apprehensive about any bread recipe; but this recipe is easy enough for any beginner! Thank you so much for this great blog and this recipe . If I can make these and they turn out wonderful anyone can do it!!

    • Julie
      November 24, 2017 at 8:42 am

      So glad to hear it Emily!!

  16. Kristi
    November 24, 2017 at 8:57 am

    Thank you for this recipe Julie! Baked these this morning and they are just fantastic. I like that it is a small batch, easy to scale up. Will be shamelessly taking credit for how delicious these are at out picnic supper this evening.

    I have been following you since you gave a cooking class in red deer a number of years ago. Have since relocated to Houston but always enjoy keeping up with you. Happy thanksgiving from Texas!

    • Julie
      November 24, 2017 at 9:43 pm

      Aw, that’s so nice to hear! Thank you! So glad they worked out so well- what a great thing to bring on a picnic! And you made them, you should absolutely get credit! 🙂

  17. Tim
    December 26, 2017 at 11:39 am

    I make dinner rolls every year for Christmas and they get eaten without much ado – more of a vehicle for pushing food onto a fork than anything else. I tried these buns rolls this year – holy cow they were delicious. I’m going to make another batch today for sammiches!

    • Julie
      December 28, 2017 at 12:09 pm

      Great idea!!

  18. Lydia
    March 22, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    Hi Julie, I’m thinking about making these for Easter brunch. Do you think I could either refrigerate the dough overnight for the second rise, or refrigerate the shaped buns overnight? If I did that, I guess I’d let the buns warm up on the counter for a bit before baking? I’m just going with what I know about making ahead cinnamon buns. Thank you. I’ll be trying the recipe as written for dinner tonight!

    • Julie
      March 26, 2018 at 11:26 pm

      Yes, exactly! I’d let the buns sit covered in the fridge overnight for the second rise. And let them sit on the counter while the oven preheats!

  19. Cassandra lipnicki
    July 29, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    I’ve made buns before and never love the results. These are great! Big and soft and fluffy and very easy!!

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