entertainingfoodFood & Drinkin the kitchen withkristina gillrecipes

in the kitchen with: nikole herriott’s onion + thyme buns

by Kristina Gill

I first learned about Herriott Grace (items mostly for the tabletop and kitchen) right here on Design*Sponge. It’s one of those beautifully handmade brands you are exhilarated to find out about, but at the same time wish you had never heard of it because the work is so beautiful, you just want all of it on your kitchen counter, your table — everywhere. Nikole Herriott is one of the people behind the artisan woodworking brand Herriott Grace (her father is the other), and when reading about her love of food, I couldn’t resist asking if she’d like to share a recipe with us. Lucky for us, she did! This recipe for Onion and Thyme Butter Buns, together with the next few recipes this month, are great easy-to-make food for your Thanksgiving feast, or any fine autumn meal with friends. If you didn’t catch the sneak peek of Nikole’s home, you can see it here. — Kristina

About Nikole Herriott: After working happily as a pastry chef, flight attendant, shoe buyer, concierge, loan officer in a bank and being a full-time student, Nikole decided that life is too short for ugly things and that she needed to surround herself with everything beautiful. Little care packages from her father full of his handmade wooden spoons and bowls and things gave her the idea to start her online shop Herriott Grace, which she opened almost two years ago, and has never looked back.

Today, she bakes a lot, eats a lot, takes lots of photos and lots of walks. Thinking about all things food, styling and beautiful makes her really happy, and she has finally found the beginnings of what she’s supposed to be doing. She would like to develop HG into a brand with longevity, integrity and good design. So today, if you ask about her profession, she’ll tell you it’s her brand. She has big dreams for HG — for where it will go and where it can go. (It might not sound glamorous to someone else, but to her, it’s a pretty darn fantastic deal!) For more about Nikole, you can read her blog, 46th at Grace, or follow her on Twitter.

CLICK HERE for the full recipe after the jump!

Onion & Thyme Butter Buns


  • 1 roasting pan
  • 1 small knife
  • 6″ x 3.5″ cast iron skillets
  • 1 medium sized mixing bowl
  • 1 wooden spoon
  • 1 small saucepan
  • measuring spoons and cups
  • 1″ x 3.25″ biscuit cutter (I use a round matfer #80)
  • 1 baking sheet
  • 1 cooling rack

For the onions:

  • 30–36 red or white pearl onions
  • 15 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2–3 pinches sea salt
  • 2 pinches freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons neutral oil (safflower, vegetable, or canola)

Peel and slice the pearl onions in half horizontally. Place 12 small sprigs of fresh thyme in the bottom of a roasting pan, arrange onions atop, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with thyme leaves without the stems. Finish with salt and pepper and roast at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until the onions are golden and slightly charred around the edges, reminiscent even of the roasted vegetables you might find alongside a Thanksgiving turkey. While they cool, make the dough.

For the dough:
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1 + 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup salted butter, melted
In a medium sized bowl, mix together the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder then add the milk and stir until combined and formed into a rough ball. Flip the ball onto a lightly floured surface and knead 10 times, allow to rest for 10–15 minutes. Next, pat the dough with the tips of your fingers into a flat mass about 1/4-inch thick and cut into 6″ x 3.25″ rounds.
To Assemble the Buns
Place a couple sprigs of the roasted thyme from the onion pan in the bottom of each skillet and arrange 7–10 roasted onion halves atop them. In a small saucepan melt the butter and dip each, covering both sides, then place one round of dough on the onions in each pan and press down firmly so it feels as though the onions have stuck to the dough and pour remaining butter over the buns. Transfer all six skillets to a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 450-degree oven for about 15 minutes or until the buns have puffed up and are lightly brown and bubbling around the edges. Flip onto a wire rack and tap the bottom of each pan to loosen the onions; if they happen to stick, scoop them out with a small spoon and place them gingerly on the buns, finish with a sprinkling of sea salt and there you have it, Onion and Thyme Butter Buns!

A Simple Alternate Version: Traditional Butter Buns
Skip the onion step and instead of using the 6″ x 3.25″ cast iron pans, use only one 8″ cast iron skillet. Pour the melted butter into the bottom of this pan, roll it roughly into the shape of the skillet and make two cuts horizontally and two vertically then place the buns in the pan, flip each bun once and bake at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

Food images by John Cullen

Why Nikole Chose This Recipe
You know those recipes you make because your grandmother made them, because they remind you of all the good that comes along with learning to cook, those recipes that somehow make you happy and calm and perfectly content? For me this is one of those recipes. It’s simple and quick and all kinds of good, equal parts nostalgia and delicious wrapped together as one. The recipe itself originated with a good friend’s grandmother and was passed through his mother to me. The version I’ve shared with you here is fussier than the original, but it’s a nice variation on their tradition. They’re best served warm, straight from cooling rack to plate, you’ll find that the nutty hints of brown butter mixed with the sweet of roast onion and the delicate of fresh thyme make for a easy compliment to just about any autumn inspired meal. (Portrait by Celine Kim)

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