Ingredients for 6 - 8 buns:
3 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon instant or Quick-Rise yeast
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and divided
1 large egg, at room temperature, beaten
3/4 - 1 cup water (100 degrees)
Blend the flour, salt and yeast in a mixing bowl or workbowl of a mixer. Stir 2 tablespoons butter into the beaten egg and add 3/4 warm water. Stir this into the dry ingredients by hand or with a mixer paddle. Add remaining 1/4 cup water as needed if there are dry bits of unincorporated flour in the bottom or along the sides of the bowl.
Knead the dough in the mixer bowl or by hand until it is smooth and elastic. If it sticks to the table or sides of the mixer bowl, add flour sparingly. Set the dough in a clean bowl to rise. Cover with plastic wrap and wait until it has almost doubled in size, an hour or more.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Deflate the dough by pressing down in the center. Fold in the sides and turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into 6 to 8 buns. Roll each piece of dough into a ball and place on parchment on a baking sheet. Flatten with your hand and allow the buns to rise until noticeably puffed.
Brush the top of each bun with the remaining butter. Bake for 15 -18 minutes. Internal temperature should reach 200 degrees. Brush the buns again with butter and remove to a rack to cool completely.
Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour website.