Makes 6 giant buns


  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons milk, divided
  • 1⅛ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ½ teaspoon + 2 tablespoons honey, divided
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1¾ cups bread flour, divided
  • ½ cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
  • 6 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup honey, divided
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • Turbinado sugar (for finish, optional)


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, heat ½ cup milk until warm – about 30 seconds in the microwave should do. Add the yeast and ½ teaspoon honey. Whisk together until thoroughly combined and let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the egg whites, remaining 2 tablespoons honey and 1 cup bread flour and beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes.
  3. Remove paddle attachment, scrape down sides of bowl and sprinkle whole-wheat flour and remaining ¾ cup bread flour on top. Let it sit in a warm place, uncovered, for 40 minutes.
  4. Add the vanilla extract, orange zest, salt, remaining 2 tablespoons milk and egg yolks and knead with a dough hook on low speed until everything comes together to form a shaggy ball. Increase speed to medium and knead the dough until it's smooth and elastic – this will take about 8 minutes.
  5. Reduce speed to low and add the butter pieces, one at a time, beating well after each addition until completely incorporated.
  6. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and transfer it to the refrigerator to chill for at least 8 hours or up to 16 hours.
  7. In a small sauce pan, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, 2 tablespoons honey and 4 tablespoons butter. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the butter melts. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  8. Once the dough has chilled, transfer it to a lightly floured piece of parchment paper. Roll out dough into a 16″x12″ rectangle. Spread the filling over the dough in an even layer all the way to the edges. Using the parchment paper, roll the dough up lengthwise into a long log and place seam side down on a baking sheet. Transfer it to the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.
  9. Use a serrated knife to cut the dough at a slight angle into 6 equal segments.
  10. Butter 6 jumbo muffin cups. Place the segments into the muffin cups, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until the dough is puffed, about 1 hour.
  11. When the dough has almost finished rising, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  12. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.
  13. While the buns are baking, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons honey and 2 tablespoons butter in a small sauce pan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the butter melts. Brush over warm buns and sprinkle with Turbinado sugar, if using.
  14. Remove the buns from the muffin cups and let cool completely.

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