A festive showstopper made of the softest, most tempting bread. The buns are great served warm and eaten on the day of making but can also be covered with foil and rewarmed the next day.
FOR THE FULL RECIPE CHECK OUT THE CHRISTMAS ISSUE OF DISH, ON-SALE IN NEW ZEALAND ON NOVEMBER 6TH, OR AVAILABLE TO BUY AT YOUR LOCAL SUPERMARKET OR BOOKSTORE.
TANGZHONG: Whisk the flour and water together in a small pot until smooth with no lumps. Place over a low heat and cook, whisking constantly, until very thick and the paste is pulling away from the base of the pan, about 1 minute. Set aside.
DOUGH: Put the flour, parmesan, yeast, sugar, salt and sage in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix to combine. Whisk the milk, butter, eggs and mustard together in a jug then pour onto the flour mixture along with the tangzhong.
Beat for 8 minutes to make a soft and sticky dough that is pulling away from the side of the bowl. Add the walnuts and beat until mixed through.
Transfer to a large well- greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and pop into the fridge and leave to prove overnight.
Preheat the oven to 180°C fan bake.
TO COOK: Blitz the walnuts until finely chopped. Add the dukkah or za'tar and sesame seeds and pulse a couple of times to combine then tip into a shallow dish.
Combine the butter and olive oil in a small bowl. Divide the dough into 16 pieces and roll into balls.
Roll or brush the dough balls in the melted butter, then in the walnut mixture, shaking off the excess and place around the ramekin, leaving a ½cm gap between each ball. Make a second ring around the outside of the first, again leaving 1cm space around each one to allow them to rise. Cover loosely with a tea towel and leave to rise somewhere warm for about 40 minutes or until almost doubled in size.
Sprinkle with sea salt.
Bake for about 25 minutes or until well risen and golden.