February 2024

Chinatown Egg + Cheese Sando

makes 12 buns and 4 sandwiches


For the dough starter
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp instant dry yeast
2 tbsp honey
2 3/4 cups chopped scallions, green parts only

For the dough

5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2/3 cup nonfat milk powder
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp instant yeast
1 1/2 tbsp fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups butter, at room temperature
1 egg, whisked until very smooth with 1 tbsp water, for the egg wash
sesame seeds, for garnish

For the sandwiches
8 frozen hash brown patties
12 eggs
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
8 slices American cheese
bacon, sausage, or avocado (optional)


To make the starter, combine 3 1/3 cups water with the flour, dry yeast, honey, and scallions in a large bowl. Whisk until smooth and scrape down the sides. Set aside and let the starter activate for about five minutes. For the dough, whisk to combine the flour, milk powder, and instant yeast. Sprinkle this on top of the dough starter and cover with plastic wrap. Let the starter mixture ferment at room temperature for two to four hours. Add the salt and butter to the starter mixture and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until all the flour is moistened. Knead the dough in the bowl until it comes together and then scrape onto a lightly floured surface Knead the dough on the counter for about five minutes, adding as little flour as possible, just to keep the dough from sticking too much. The dough will be sticky at this point. Cover the dough with an inverted bowl and allow it to rest for twenty minutes at room temperature. Knead the dough for another five minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm (not too hot) place for one and a half to two hours, until it doubles in size. Punch down the dough and use a bench scraper to portion about twelve dough pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and place in a baking sheet lined with greased parchment paper. Lightly cover with plastic wrap and rest the dough until each bun doubles in size, about one hour. As the dough rises, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush the buns with egg wash, sprinkle with the sesame seeds, and bake for twenty-five to thirty minutes, until the buns are golden brown. Let the buns cool for twenty minutes. If making a day ahead, store in an airtight container or wrap, or keep wrapped in the fridge and use a toaster oven to warm them the next day. Fully-baked buns also freeze well. Once fully cooled, wrap an buns you don't plan on serving in plastic wrap and freeze for up to one month. To serve from frozen, defrost and heat them in a toaster oven. To make the sandwiches, bake or air fry the frozen hash brown patties according to the package directions. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Halve and then toast four of the sesame scallion buns in the skillet. Set aside. Crack six of the eggs into a large bowl and whisk to combine. Melt to tablespoons of the butter in the same skillet over low heat. To soft scramble the eggs, add the whisked eggs to the pan. Season with salt, and stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon continuously. Just when the eggs start to set, top with four slices of American cheese then continue stirring so the cheese melts into the eggs. Once incorporated, divide the eggs into two portions and place on the bottom halves of two of the buns. Repeat for the remaining six eggs and two buns. For each sandwich, add one or two cooked hash brown patties on top of the eggs and then place the top bun to finish. Serve the sandwiches with bacon, sausage, or avocado on the side, if you like.

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