Saturday, June 25, 2011

Hamburger Bun Recipe

Isn't it strange that many of the children of the 70s look down on the wonder bread they grew up on, but during BBQ season will happily come home clutching "wonder bread" like hamburger and hot dogs buns. I have to admit that the much more healthy option of spelt or whole wheat hamburger & hot dog buns found at health food stores don't really cut it. Buns made with kamut flour are a little more successful. However fresh baked bread buns, whether they be whole grain, whole wheat, kamut or spelt will always make the grade. Fresh baked buns lack the slight chemical aftertaste that store bought hamburger and hot dogs buns have as well as tons of unpronounceable ingredients. To be fair the healthier options mentioned above do not have that chemical after taste or unpronounceable ingredients, but they are lacking the desired texture. Same day freshly baked bread rises above any texture issues. I am not saying that I make all my own buns when throwing a BBQ. There is just not enough time. However try this recipe when planning a small family BBQ and freeze any left over buns for next time.

Hamburger Buns

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon dry active yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4-4 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, in small cubes

Pre-heat the oven to 375°F.

Add warm water to a large bowl. Sprinkle with yeast. Add the sugar and whisk to combine. Let sit for about 15 minutes.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour and salt and set aside.

Meanwhile add the milk, 3 egg yolks and unsalted butter to a medium saucepan and whisk to blend. Heat over medium low heat until butter has melted .

Whisk the warmed milk mixture into the yeast mixture.

Make a well in the center of flour and add all the liquid. With hands blend the flour and liquid until a sticky ball forms.

If the dough is too sticky add small amounts of flour until the dough is easily handled. On a lightly floured surface knead the dough for about 10 minutes or until the dough has become elastic. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until doubled in size (about an 1 hour).

Punch down the dough. With a rolling pin roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until about 3/4 inch thick. With a 3 inch in diameter cookie cutter cut at as many circles as the dough will allow (about 12-15). Place on a parchment lined baking sheet leaving ample room between each dough circle. Cover loosely with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let rise again until doubled in size (about 1 hour).

At this point you could use a pastry brush to egg wash the buns and then spinkle them with sesame seeds.

Cook in the center of oven until buns are lightly golden. Once slightly cooled slice buns in half.

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