Monday, March 19, 2012

Soft Hamburger Buns

When I told Spencer, and a few others, that I was planning on making my own hamburger buns their response was "cool", and "who does that"?  Then they answered their own question, "oh yeah, you do that".  Their responses cracked me up!  In my circle of friends I'm the one who does the "from scratch", time consuming recipes.  While my friends enjoy cooking, they enjoy cooking less time consuming meals.  So while they kind of kidded me about this they thought it was really neat, as well.
We do quite a bit of grilling out during the spring and summer months, so needless to say we go through quite a few hamburger buns.  Since we go through so many, and I enjoy making bread, I decided I wanted to make homemade hamburger buns.  Wow.  I'm so glad I attempted (and succeeded) these buns.  While they are just a basic hamburger bun recipe, it truly does make all the difference in the world when comparing them to the store-bought buns.  As I've stated before, it's amazing how big of a difference there is between homemade versus store-bought.  The flavor is absolutely amazing; it's rich and butter, everything you want in a bread.  The texture is perfect; light, airy, and fluffy.
Since the spring and summer months are upon us it's the perfect weather for grilling.  Just like we need to have the right equipment for grilling, we also need to be armed with the perfect "fixings" for our meals.  These buns are terrific and a perfectly simple recipe to keep in your archives for your next grilling get-together.  I love being able to serve delicious, homemade buns at our gatherings and it's even better that they can be made in bulk in advance and frozen utnil ready to use.    

Soft Hamburger Buns
Ingredients:

For the buns-
4 3/4 Cups bread flour
1 Tsp salt
1/4 Cup powdered milk
3 1/2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tsp instant yeast
1 Large egg, room temperature
3 1/4 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 Cups to 1 3/4 Cups water, room temperature

For the egg wash-
1 Egg
1 Tbsp water

Optional toppings-
Sesame seeds
Poppy Seeds

Directions:

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

For the buns-
Place flour, salt, sugar, powdered milk and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Fit mixer with the paddle attachment, place bowl on mixer base and stir on low to combine.  Add egg, butter and 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon of water and mix on low to combine, until a small ball is formed.  *If dough feels too stiff gradually add more water until the dough feels soft.

Remove paddle and replace with dough hook attachment.  Knead the dough, on low, for about 6 minutes.  (If you are not using a mixer, heavily flour a clean work surface and knead dough by hand for 8 minutes, adding more flour if needed) The dough should be tacky, but not sticky.  Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer dough to bowl, turning to coat with oil.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature until double in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  

Remove dough from bowl and divide into 12, 3-ounce portions.  Form each dough into a ball; stretching the outside of the dough around to the bottom then pinching to seal.  Allow to rest for about 20 minutes.  After allowing dough to rest, gently press down on each ball to form the bun.  Transfer buns to prepared baking sheet  and lightly spray with oil.  Loosely cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel, allow to rest and proof at room temperature for 1-1 1/2 hours, until dough has doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 400.

Prepare egg wash by whisking water and egg together.  Gently brush the tops of the buns with the egg wash.  Immediately sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds, if desired.  Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes, until the buns are golden-brown.  Remove from oven, transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Notes-
If you will be using the buns within the same week store in an airtight container.

To store for future use; individually wrap each bun with plastic wrap, place in freezer bag and place in the freezer.  To thaw-remove desired amount of buns in the morning, and allow to thaw at room temperature.           

Recipe source:  slightly adapted from Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart

1 comment:

justbakedbyme said...

Wow, Lynsey! These look absolutely perfect. I made a different hamburger bun recipe before, but while they tasted good, they weren't as light and fluffy as I hoped. I will have to give this recipe a try for sure! :D

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