1Melt 6 tablespoons of the butter with the honey in a medium saucepan over low heat. Whisk in the milk and gently heat the mixture to 110°F, or until it feels very warm to your finger. Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer, sprinkle the yeast over the top, stir, and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
2Add the egg, flour, sugar, and salt. Attach the dough hook and knead on medium speed for 5 minutes—the resulting dough will be soft and sticky. Dump the dough onto the counter, form into a ball, and place in a medium bowl that you’ve previously oiled. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft-free spot until the dough has doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
3Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Dump the dough onto a floured work surface. Divide it into 8 to 10 equal pieces (8 pieces will be generous-sized buns, 10 will be a bit smaller; a scale is great for dividing the dough into perfectly equal pieces). Roll each piece into a ball, flatten the ball, then place on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them evenly.
4Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Brush the dough balls with half of the melted butter. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until puffy, about 1 hour.
5Heat the oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle. If you like, sprinkle the buns with sesame seeds. Bake until the buns are golden, about 18 minutes. Brush with the remaining melted butter as soon as they come out of the oven.
Finding the absolute best ingredients such a big part of Chef Antoine Westermann’s culinary career and the main drive behind all of his expertly crafted dishes. His relationship with farmers and purveyors are critical to his work as a chef. While visiting one of his providers in New York, the French chef describes his efforts to find the best local ingredients for his restaurant.
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