I know a lot of you think I’m crazy for making my own hamburger buns (because you’ve told me. Daren included.). A lot of times I do things like this for the fun of seeing if I can. I also still find yeasted breads somewhat difficult, so trying new things helps me figure out the process of working with yeast and what different types of doughs feel like. This time, though, the result was 100% worth it. These buns taste so much better than the type that comes in a plastic bag from the grocery store. They are light in texture yet rich tasting, with a just slightly sweet flavor. The dough was really sticky, which made them somewhat hard to work with, but they seemed to be pretty forgiving in terms of holding up to reshaping. After the 2nd rise, they seemed to have spread out too much, so I just kind of pushed them back into a ball shape and popped them into the oven, which worked out perfectly. They hold up to freezing well, so you can easily make a batch and save them for later. When thawing, a couple hours out on the counter and a quick stint in the toaster oven (or better yet, on the grill) did the trick. I have a feeling I’ll be stocking our freezer with these again soon!
- 3 tbsp. warm milk
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 tsp. instant yeast
- 2½ tbsp. sugar
- 1½ tsp. salt
- 1 large egg
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2½ tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large egg beaten with 1 tbsp. water, for egg wash
- Sesame seeds
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the milk, water, yeast, sugar, salt and egg. Mix briefly to combine. Add the flours to the bowl, and mix until incorporated. Add in the butter and mix until combined. Switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed for about 6-8 minutes. The dough will be somewhat sticky, but you want to avoid adding too much extra flour which will create tough buns.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1-2 hours.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Using a bench scraper, divide the dough into 8 equal parts. With floured hands, gently shape each portion of dough into a ball and place on the baking sheet, 2-3 inches apart. Cover loosely with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let rise again, 1-2 hours, until puffed up and nearly doubled. If the dough spreads too much during the second rise, simply reshape gently before placing in the oven.
Set a large metal pan of water on the lowest rack of the oven. The steam created by the water will help create a nice crust on the buns. Preheat the oven to 400˚ F with a rack in the center. Brush the tops of the buns lightly with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake the buns about 15 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking, or until the tops are golden brown. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Yield: 8 hamburger buns