Okay, I admit it, I am a “bun snob.” My first and last impression of any type of hamburger, chicken burger, turkey burger,you name it, is based on the quality of the bun. Nothing ruins a meal for me faster than having a delicious looking hamburger delivered on what is obviously a stale bun straight out of the plastic wrap. If it at least arrives on a kaiser roll, it might stand a chance.
The same hold true for when I make burgers at home, which is what I wanted to do on Sunday. We were just finishing our big deck pressure-washing/sealing/staining project and it seemed like a good idea to celebrate by breaking out the freshly scrubbed barbeque for some hamburgers. I came home from the store with a package of rolls that I thought might be passable, but the longer they sat on the counter, the more dissaatisfied I became with the prospect of them paired with the tasty burgers I had planned.
So I did what any good cook does these days, I went to the internet! I scoured Foodgawker and Tastespotting along with a couple of other blogs I read regularly and narrowed it down to a couple that I thought might be what I was looking for. The closest was from Smitten Kitchen but still not quite what I had in mind. Mine is a bit simpler and a snap to make.
From start to finished product, I think it took about 2 1/2 hours with hands on time taking only about 1/2 hour. So the next time you plan to serve hamburgers, pulled pork sandwiches, you name it, figure in a little extra time to make these buns and you will be a star! Your friends and family will all be wondering why your hamburgers taste so much better than theirs. Tell them (or not) that the secret is in the bun.
Homemade Hamburger Buns
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 2 tbsp. lukewarm milk
- 2 tbsp. butter, cut into about 8 pieces
- 1 large egg
- 3 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 3 tbsp. sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 tbsp. instant yeast
- 1 beaten egg
- Sesame Seeds (optional)
- Kosher Salt (optional)
In glass bowl, whisk together, water, milk sugar and yeast. Let sit for approximately 5 minutes or until mixture is bubbly.
In a mixer bowl, gently mix flour and salt. Then add, butter, egg and yeast mixture. Using a dough hook, knead the dough for about 5 minutes until you get a smooth dough. You may need to adjust water or flour at this point. The dough should be fairly sticky, but not stick to sides of the bowl, only the bottom.
Turn dough into lightly buttered glass bowl, cover and let rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled.
Turn dough out onto lightly floured counter or pastry cloth and shape into a log about 3 inches in diameter. Cut 8 slices about 1 inch thick for large hamburger buns or 10-12 pieces for smaller buns. Roll each slice into ball, using your hand to “tuck in” the bottom. Place each rounded ball onto lightly greased cookie sheet (for even better results, line your cookie sheet with silpat or parchment paper and then grease). Slightly flatten each ball. Take care to leave at least 2 – 3 inches between each bun, this may require 2 cookie sheets. Gently cover with plastic wrap sprayed with non-stick spray, and then lay a towel over the top. Let rise again for about 1 hour, or until doubled.
In the meantime, fill a heavy shallow pan with water and set on the floor of your oven and then pre-heat to 375°.
In a small bowl, whisk the egg and then lightly brush the top of each bun and sprinkle with sesame seeds and a pinch of kosher salt. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes until golden brown. If using two baking sheets, be sure to rotate half way through.
Slice, butter and toast before serving for the most delicious results.