Mini Scallion Pancake Challah Buns
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Really, really, really, really good challah from Molly Yeh's cookbook, Molly on the Range.
Serves: 17-20 buns
  • 4½ teaspoons (2 envelopes) active dry yeast
  • 1½ cups warm water (about 115 degrees F)
  • 1 teaspoon + ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 6½ cups all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • ⅔ cup vegetable or canola oil
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 8 scallions, minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • sesame seeds, for garnish
  1. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the yeast, warm water, and 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Stir slightly, then let sit for about 5 minutes, until foamy.
  2. In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, mix together the flour, salt, and remaining ¼ cup sugar. In another medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, and honey.
  3. When the yeast is ready and nicely foamed up, add it to the dry mixture, stir quickly, and then add in the egg mixture. Stir to combine. Knead by hand or with your dough hook until you have a smooth, sticky dough–this will take about 7-10 minutes. You can add a tablespoon or so more flour if you need it (I did) but don't add too much more.
  4. Oil a large bowl and transfer your dough into it. Cover with plastic wrap and a dish towel and set in a warm-ish place to rise. Let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours. You can also put the dough in the fridge at this point and let it sit overnight, then let it sit out at room temperature for 1 hour before shaping (wow!).
  5. Okay, so it's time to make your buns! Add your sesame oil to a small bowl and set aside. In another small bowl, mix together your scallions, garlic powder, salt, and pepper flakes. Set that aside, too. In yet another small bowl, beat an egg and (guess what) set it aside.
  6. Divide your challah dough in half, keeping one half in your oiled bowl and covered. Lightly flour your work surface, then divide your first half of dough into three pieces. With the first half, roll it out into a 12-inch long log. Gently flatten this log so that it's about 3-inches wide. Brush with a SMALL amount of sesame oil (seriously) and sprinkle with some of your scallion mixture. Roll the dough up like a jelly roll, pinching the seams so it seals. Divide this log into 3 separate pieces.
  7. With your first piece, use your rolling pin to roll it out to a slightly flatter rectangle, about 3 inches wide by 5 inches long (give or take). Use a knife to cut this log in half down the middle lengthwise. Pinch the top two ends of the pieces together, twist them together like a peppermint stick (see the photos above), then start wrapping them around your finger like you are winding up a ball of twine (again, see the photos above). Stuff the bottom end back up into the bun and pinch it to hold everything together. Truly, there is no exact science to this, and you can do whatever you damn well please, but this method worked for me.
  8. Keep going until you've used up all of your dough, then go at it with your other half of challah dough (or you can just make a regular braided loaf with the other half–dealer's choice). Place your buns on baking sheets lined with parchment while you work (they should be spaced about 2 inches apart).
  9. Once you're done, cover your buns with a dish towel and let them rise again for about 30 minutes. When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Brush your buns with the egg wash, then sprinkle generously with sesame seeds. Bake for 20-22 minutes, until the buns are a deep golden brown. Let cool slightly before totally devouring. These will keep well, covered, and at room temperature, for up to 5 days.
Adapted From
Recipe by The Crepes of Wrath at