Hamburger Buns

The left front bun was not brushed with the egg wash, notice the color difference (I won't do that again) AND the left back bun was sprinkled with dried onions.

Back to school already and I was just getting into summer-mode. *sigh~ I made lots of plans for this summer. The kids were going to have their beds made & be fully dressed and ready to go before 10am every day. I was going to complete the few un-finished projects by the end of June. We planned to visit to Hawaii, Disneyland and go on weekly day trips ~ don’t be jealous because absolutely NONE of those things happened. I think my family had one of the most boring relaxing summers ever. My children and I slept in & stayed up late. I baked, they ate and summer came & went. Meanwhile my husband headed to work at 530am & returned home at 530pm M-F and wondered what we did all day?? I’ve left him wondering… (I’m not sure he’d consider taste-testing time well spent.)

So what does that have to do with making hamburger buns? The end of summer also means that all of the ovens that have been on vacation for the past month or so are ready to be fired up & get back to work. Who am I kidding, I couldn’t even make it a week without turning my oven on, although I did discover grilled pizza! However, some of you are much stronger willed than I, to those of you I employ, “These buns are definitely worth turning the oven on!” I don’t think there exists store-bought hamburger buns that are as delicious (or as fresh) as these. They are light & fluffy and yet hearty enough to handle the meatiest of burgers. What more could you want in a bun? Quick & easy to make… they are ALL that and more.

While the oven is on, you might as well make a few batches of these potato chips, too!

Hamburger Buns (yields 8, 4-5 inch buns)

  • 1 c warm water
    3 Tbl warm milk
    2 tsp active dry yeast (I use instant)
    2 1/2 Tbl sugar
    1 1/2 tsp salt
    1 egg
    3 c bread flour
    1/3 c all-purpose flour (I use “un-bleached”)
  • 2 1/2 tsp unsalted butter, softened

For topping:
1 large egg beaten with 1 tbsp. water, for egg wash ~ be sure to use the egg wash!!
Sesame seeds (optional) — or poppy seeds, or onion crumbles for onion rolls etc…

1. Combine one cup warm water, the milk, yeast, sugar and salt. Let stand until foamy, about five minutes. Add egg and beat. (IF using “instant” yeast – just mix all together in the bowl of a stand-mixer using a paddle attachment.) Then, mix in the flours & butter. Switch to the dough hook and “knead” for approximately 7 minutes – the result will be a somewhat “sticky” dough. Coat the dough ball with oil, cover with plastic wrap allowing to rise until doubled in size (1-2 hours). ~ note: You can use a fresh bowl for this, however, I prefer to roll the dough around the bowl incorporating any dough stuck to the sides of the mixer bowl, then using the same bowl coat the dough ball with oil.**The dough can be kneaded by hand, just be sure NOT to add/incorporate too much flour. The dough final dough ball should somewhat sticky otherwise, the resulting buns will be tough – blech!

2. Divide the risen dough into 8 equal parts, I used a dough scraper. Gently roll each section into a ball and arrange two to three inches apart on baking sheet lined with a silpat mat or parchment paper. Cover loosely plastic wrap lightly coated in nonstick spray and allow buns to rise to about doubled in a warm place for 1-2 hours. note: Keep an eye on the buns or they may rise to “freakishly” large proportions. If this happens, don’t panic, just re-shape and move on 🙂 or leave as is, if you happen to be feeding a group of high school boys.

3. Lower the bottom rack to the lowest setting and place a large shallow pan of water on this rack. Preheat oven to 400 degrees with the top rack in the center position. Beat remaining egg w/water and brush some on top of buns. Sprinkle with sesame seeds or toppings of your choice, if using. Then, bake for 8 minutes – rotate sheet and continue baking, until tops are golden brown, about 7 minutes. Remove from oven. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

It’s Burger Time!!

Source:  Adapted from the Smitten Kitchen originally published in the New York Times via Comme Ça restaurant in Los Angeles.



One comment

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