When I told Ben I was planning on making homemade hamburger buns, he got quite a kick out of it. “Did you know you can buy hamburger buns at the store for less than $1?” he asked. Well yes, darling, I did. But lately I have been really making an effort to stop buying things that I can make myself at home. I like knowing exactly what goes into our foods, and plus, homemade bread is SO much better than store bought bread. Thanks to this recipe I haven’t bought sandwich bread in a long time. So I went ahead and made the buns anyway, and wouldn’t you know it – they were great! I finally feel like I have a bun worthy of the fantastic hamburgers we make (to be posted shortly).
As the note in the recipe mentions, this is a very slack dough. I ended up adding even more flour than the maximum amount the recipe calls for before it was workable for me. It wasn’t too difficult once I got to the right consistency, but due to this guesswork, I wouldn’t recommend this recipe to someone inexperienced with yeast. The link to the original recipe includes directions on shaping into hot dog buns. I didn’t make any this time but I hope to in the future. I am submitting this recipe to Joelen’s Tasty Tools event for the month of September, featuring bakeware. I love love love my Pampered Chef pizza stone and am constantly finding new ways to use it in my baking.
1 tbsp. sugar
2 ¼ tsp. instant yeast
¼ cup warm water (105°-115°)
1 cup warm milk (105°-115°)
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. salt
3 to 3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp. cold water
sesame, poppy or caraway seeds, or coarse salt, for topping
In a bowl of an electric mixer, dissolve the sugar and then the yeast in the warm water. Add the milk, oil, salt and 1 ½ cups of flour to the yeast mixture. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes. Gradually add flour, 2 tablespoons at a time, until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Switch to the dough hook and knead until you have a smooth and elastic dough, about 7-9 minutes.
Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl. Turn once to coat the entire ball of dough in oil. Cover with a tightly-woven dampened towel and let rise until doubled, about one hour.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface. Working with oiled hands, divide the dough into 9 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball, and flatten into 3 ½ -inch disks. For soft-sided buns, place them on a well-seasoned baking sheet a half-inch apart so they will grow together when they rise. For crisper bun, place them three inches apart.
Cover with a towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.
15 minutes before you want to bake the buns, preheat the oven to 400°. Just before baking, brush the tops of the buns lightly with the egg wash and sprinkle with any desired toppings.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the bread reaches 190°. When the buns are done, remove them from the baking sheet to cool on a wire rack. This will prevent the crust from becoming soggy.
* Note: This particular dough should be quite slack, i.e. very relaxed in order to make soft and tender buns. So you want to add only enough more flour, past the 3 cup point, to make the dough just kneadable, sprinkling in only enough more to keep it from sticking to you or the work surface.
Source: adapted from King Arthur Flour