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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Homemade Burger Buns

So I woke up this morning and I thought, "I'm going to make my own hamburger buns today." Random, I know. :) But I've always been really interested in making bread. Nothing tastes (or smells) better than fresh-baked bread. When Scot talks about his time in Germany, his fondest memories are eating bread just out of the oven at the local bakery. I did go through a bread machine phase a while back, and while I did like the bread that came out of the machine, it took up a lot of space in my teeny-tiny kitchen. So, I gave it away. But I never stopped dreaming **sigh** about fresh bread.

So, this morning I got up and I said, "I'm making buns." Next stop, is Breadtopia. An amazing site with recipes and videos all about making bread. So, I started. I mixed some milk, sugar, salt and butter (the recipe will be at the end) in a small saucepan and heated it on low to melt the butter. I weighed out the flour and I added the yeast to some lukewarm water and then mixed it all up in my stand mixer with the dough hook (it was very exciting to use the dough hook!) Then I put it in this beautiful, oiled bowl and let it rise for an hour.
(I downloaded the Hipstamatic app to my phone a few days ago and used it to take these photos. I think they're really fun! I need to check out some different film options for it.) After the dough was left to rise for an hour, I punched it down and used my kitchen shears to cut the dough into 2 1/2 ounce pieces for the buns. They're not perfectly round but they ended up being perfectly delish! I ended up with 8 rolls spaced out about 1" apart. The other two are on a separate baking sheet.
I brushed the buns with an egg wash and put them into a 400 degree oven for about 12 minutes.
The end result was bacon avocado cheese burger (bacon leftover from breakfast and avocado from the tree in the backyard) and oven roasted fries. My very picky husband said it was great! I'm very pleased with my first try at making my own hamburger buns.
Here's my recipe:
1/4 c whole milk
1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp sugar

2 1/4 tsp active yeast
3/4 c warm water (105-110 degrees)

2 1/2 c unbleached bread flour

1 egg white, room temperature with a splash of water
cornmeal for baking sheet

Heat first four ingredients in a small saucepan and heat until butter is melted and sugar dissolves. Cool to lukewarm (less than 110 degrees.)

Add warm water to bowl of stand mixer (or another large bowl if mixing by hand) and sprinkle yeast over and let sit for 10 minutes until bubbly. Add 2 1/4 c flour and lukewarm milk mixture to the yeasty water and mix on speed 2 for about a minute or two and then slowly add additional 1/4 cup flour and continue beating on speed 2 until dough starts to come together and starts cleaning the side of the bowl (about 2 more minutes.) Dough will be a bit sticky. Coat a glass bowl with oil (I sprayed mine with PAM cooking spray) and add dough, turning to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about an hour.

Punch dough down and divide into 8 equal portions, about 2 1/2 ounces each. Let rest 5 minutes and then flatten into a bun shape with the heel of your palm and place on baking sheet that is sprinkled with cornmeal. Let rise again until doubled in size, 45 minutes or so. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Brush egg wash over buns and bake until bread is 200 degrees inside, about 12 - 14 minutes. Cool on wire rack and try not to eat before the burgers are ready! Enjoy!