Monday, February 13, 2012

Homemade Hamburger Buns

Once a week I allow myself to have a white bread product.  This week I wanted to make homemade hamburger buns for a black bean burger we were having with dinner.  Unfortunately, I cannot buy buns anymore (unless I want 100% frozen whole wheat ones) because I can't have dairy so the only way to have them is to make them.  This was the first time I've made this specific recipe.  I was absolutely thrilled with the results.  I've made 3 different types of buns in the past for hamburgers and though they were ok and enjoyable they weren't the "it" bun.  This is "it".  This recipe was adapted from The Bread Baker's Apprentice.  My daughter took one bite and told me she didn't need a hamburger she'd have just the bun for dinner!

I will say that my cook book actually just says to do the first rise then form the buns.  But I've made these twice and both times I was needing to leave my house right as the first rise was finished so I punched down, let rise again and came back an hour or so later and formed the buns.  So you don't have to do the second rise but since I've done it twice now, by accident, and the results were great I decided to continue doing it that way.  

Hamburger Buns

4 1/2 c. unbleached bread flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/4 tbsp. sugar
3 tsp. yeast
1 large egg, slightly beaten
3 1/4 tbsp. butter (I use dairy-free butter), melted
1 1/2 c. - 1 3/4 c. warm water (roughly 110 degrees)

Egg Wash:
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp. water

In a measuring cup add 1 1/2 c. water and add in 1 tsp. sugar and yeast and allow to sit for about 5 minutes.  Mix together the flour, salt and remaining sugar in the bowl of your electric mixer.  Pour in the water, melted butter and the egg.  Use your paddle attachment.  Allow the dough to come together.  If necessary add a tbsp. at a time of water to the dough until there is no flour pieces left in the bottom of the bowl and all dough has started to combine.  Switch to the dough hook and knead for about 6 minutes or by hand for about 10 minutes.  You want it soft and supple but not overly sticky.  Place dough in a large greased bowl and allow to rise for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.  Punch down and allow to rise another 1 1/2 - 2 hours.  You can omit this step if you don't have the time.  Separate the dough into roughly 18 balls for your hamburger buns or you can do rolls or hot dog buns as well.  Place on a greased baking sheet and spray the tops lightly with an oil spray.  Press down slightly to form a bun shape.  Allow to rise another 1 - 1 1/2 hours.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Brush tops of buns with egg wash and add sesame seeds to the top if you want.  Bake until golden brown, roughly 15 minutes.   The internal temperature should be about 180 degrees. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving. 

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