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I have a husband that is always on a quest for "the perfect burger." He doesn't want it choked full of fancy spices and cheeses (just sea salt and ground pepper) ...just a good ole fashioned - American...BURGER! I think I've made him happy (ok, I know I have because he was elated with this last batch of burgers, my secret weapon - homemade buns!) I know, you can spend .99 cents and get 8 from the store but, these are SO EASY to make that you won't be sorry you gave it a try!! These homemade buns are 500% better then anything I've tried in the past. Soft, light and airy but, hold up to the task of not falling apart with the juicy burger added. Toasted or not, its up to you...I made the dough around noon time so that I could give it time to rise, bake and cool - plan on starting your dough at least 4 hours before you cook your burgers (don't worry - most of that time is 'hands-off' time)
I found this recipe from my good friends over at King Arthur Flour. I love making their breads and using their flour. I hear that they will be hosting online baking courses too - so, be sure to check them out! As always, if you have any questions - feel free to email me through this page OR visit me on Facebook.
Homemade Hamburger Buns
3/4 to 1 cup lukewarm water (I use a digital thermometer to make sure my water is the proper temp to activate my yeast (mine needs to be 90-100)
2 tablespoons butter, cubed
1 large egg
3 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon instant yeast
*For best dough ball results (a smooth, slightly soft dough), use the smaller amount of water in summer (or in a humid environment), the greater amount in winter (or in a dry climate); and something in between the rest of the time.
**I use my Kitchen-Aide mixer and if the stainless bowl I am mixing in looks too wet on the bottom, I need to add a bit more flour and if the sides of bowl are all dry and crumbly, I add a bit of water...I do live at 5280+ altitude and a rather dry climate but, this works for me.
3 tablespoons butter, melted
Toasted Sesame Seeds or Poppy Seeds, optional
1) Mix and knead all of the dough ingredients — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — to make a soft, smooth dough.
2) Cover the dough, and let it rise for 1 to 2 hours, or until it's nearly doubled in bulk.
3) Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a round ball; flatten to about 3" across. Place the buns on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, cover, and let rise for about an hour, until noticeably puffy.
4) Brush the buns with about half of the melted butter.
5) Bake the buns in a preheated 375°F oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden. Remove them from the oven, and brush with the remaining melted butter and sprinkle on any optional seed toppings. The butter will give the buns a satiny, buttery crust.
6) Cool the buns on a rack. Slice and serve. Store for up to two days un-refrigerated in a sealed, airtight container.
I do preheat my oven to 170 while making my dough and as soon as my oven reaches that temp, I turn it OFF and crack the oven door a bit until my dough ball is ready. I also love using a clean, new plastic, clear shower cap to cover my mixing bowl with the dough - just seems to work better then any towel I've tried. I place the bowl with dough covered with the shower cap into the turned OFF oven that is slightly warmed (aka my proofing box)
Yield: 8 large buns.
Recipe by: King Arthur Flour
Photos by: Canning and Cooking at Home
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Diane Baker: Owner & Creator of Canning and Cooking at Home