Monday, July 19, 2010

Husky Buns

What the heck is that? I thought that's what a lot of people would be asking right about now. But, bear with me while I explain...basically it's a whole bunch of deliciousness wrapped in a yeasty dough.

The huskies are the local (well, sort of) PAC 10 football team. If you want to call within 100 miles local, that is. How these buns got the name from the local team, I have no idea. Maybe husky dogs like taco meat, I don't know. Maybe this would be good tailgate food - I'm sure it would be, really. But, that is just speculation on my part. And, of course, if you know what husky buns are, these are a little bit different.

My brothers fiance, Fawn, first introduced me to husky buns. While I can not remember how the topic came up, I wanted to try to make them. The way these were explained to me is a filling of taco flavored beef and cheddar cheese, wrapped in a biscuit and baked. While that didn't sound hugely exciting, or even a lot appetizing, I was intrigued.

I made them once or twice, and they were ok, but they were kind of missing something. Maybe I had put too much taco spice in the beef, maybe I didn't put enough filling in the dough. I don't know, but they were definitely missing something. They were good, don't get me wrong. But, they weren't as good as char siu bao, or even the beef and mushroom buns I make during the winter. Then, I played around and found the answer - cream cheese. Adding cream cheese to the filling made a HUGE difference.

While these are the best just out of the oven, and just cool enough so you don't burn your mouth, you can also eat them at room temperature, so they are great to take in your lunch, or on a picnic. They also freeze very well, and can be reheated in a microwave at 75% power, wrapped in a damp paper towel.

Husky Buns

For the filling:

1 1/2 lb ground beef (I use 90/10, but 85/15 is fine as well)
1 package taco seasoning mix
2/3 c. shredded cheddar cheese
8 oz. cream cheese

In a medium saucepan, cook ground beef thoroughly. Add taco seasoning 1 cup water, and reduce to simmer until almost dry. Cool thoroughly. Combine with cheeses.

For the dough:

1 T. yeast (1 package)
1 cup warm milk
1/2 c. butter
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. warm water (should be slightly warm to touch)
4-6 cups flour
1/2 t. salt

In a large bowl, combine water, sugar, and yeast. Let rest until bubbly. If yeast doesn't bubble, your yeast is bad and you need to start over with new ingredients. Add milk, butter, and 2 cups flour. Stir until well mixed. Add salt, and flour, 1/2 cup at a time, while you mix. Stop adding flour when dough is no longer very sticky. Knead in a mixer or by hand for 5-10 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.

Place kneaded dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning to lightly oil top of dough. Cover with a towel and place in a warm, draft free place and let rise until double, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured board. Gently press air out of dough. Divide dough into 12 pieces. For each piece, roll into a large oval, making sure the edges of the dough is thinner than the middle. This will assure that when you pinch the filling inside the dough, the bottom of your dough won't be much thicker than the top.

Place 1/4 cup filling in the center of each oval. Pinch the inside the dough, and place on a cookie sheet pinched side down. Repeat until all your dough is filled. Let rise until doubled in volume. Brush with a mixture of 1 T. honey and 2 T. very hot water. Bake in a preheated 375 oven for 20-25 minutes until very golden. Cool at least 10 minutes before serving.


  1. What a great idea! I have never heard of husky buns, but they sound delicious.