Homemade Hamburger Buns

Homemade Hamburger BunsToday is the Summer Solstice, otherwise known as the first day of summer and I sense many a backyard barbecue is in our near future.  It’s tradition and it’s inevitable.

I am a bread baker.  I love the smell of bread dough when it’s rising and, of course, the wafting smell of freshly baked bread taking over all other smells in my house.  Normally, I can’t wait to get my hands on a freshly baked roll and smother it with butter, but this one is different altogether.  This recipe was made for gourmet burgers.  It is soft enough to absorb all of the juices from the hamburger fixings, but sturdy enough not to fall apart.  I have eaten many a hamburger where the bun became soaked and started to fall apart.  Don’t get me wrong–I love those buns, too, but these are for those special occasions when  you want to impress your family or guests.  Also, these buns do not come with the additives that store-bought buns have, so you will need to eat them within 2 days or freeze them.  Feel free to shape them into logs for hot dog buns.  Or make them smaller for sliders!  Let your imagination run free!

Homemade Hamburger Buns (1)

Homemade Hamburger Buns
Author: 
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)
  • 1 pkg. (2-1/4 tsp.) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm milk (105-115 degrees F)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 5 to 5-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg yolk, mixed with 1 Tbsp. water
  • Sesame seeds (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine ½ cup of the warm water, yeast and a pinch of sugar in a small bowl. Stir to dissolve yeast, and let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes, or until foamy. If it doesn't get foamy, that means your water was too hot, which killed the yeast.
  2. In a large bowl, or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine the remaining water, milk, cooled melted butter, sugar and salt. Add the yeast mixture and combine. Add 2 cups of the flour and mix well.
  3. Continue to beat the mixture for 1-2 minutes until smooth and creamy. Add additional flour in ½ cup increments, incorporating the flour well after each addition until the dough holds together and starts to pull away from the side of the bowl. I usually like to hold back the last ½ cup of flour to use for the kneading process.
  4. Turn out the dough onto a generously floured flat work surface, or switch from the paddle attachment to the dough hook attachment in your stand mixer. If necessary, knead in additional flour a tablespoon at a time, until the dough is smooth, springy and just slightly sticky. If kneading the dough by hand, the process will take about 6-7 minutes; by mixer, about 5 minutes.
  5. Grease a bowl with vegetable oil. Place the dough in the bowl and turn it to coat the surface with oil. Cover the bowl lightly with a layer of plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Let the dough rise at room temperature until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  6. Turn out the dough onto a very lightly floured surface and divide it in half. Divide each half into six even portions to make 12 buns.
  7. To shape the buns, pull the sides of the dough toward the bottom of the roll to make the top taut, pinching the bottom of the roll to seal the ends.
  8. Place the buns, seam side down on a baking sheet, allowing at least 3 inches between buns; you might need to use 2 baking sheets.
  9. Let the buns rest for 10 minutes, then gently flatten each bun with your hand to measure 4 inches in wide. Lightly cover with plastic wrap. Let the buns rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
  10. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Just before placing the buns in the oven. brush the tops with the yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. If you need to use two oven racks to fit all of the buns, switch the position of the baking sheets halfway through baking to ensure even browing.
  11. These are best when served warm from the oven or the same day.

Et cetera:  This recipe is featured in Hobby Farm’s Home Magazine, Homemade Bread edition.

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