Thursday, January 6, 2011

Homemade Hamburger Buns

This was my second attempt at making homemade hamburger buns.  The first try was a failure.  This is a different recipe and we all really enjoyed the results.  They are very easy to put together and they taste so much better than anything you buy from the grocery store!

Warning:  After success at these you may be overwhelm with a desire to make more breads from scratch!  Embrace it.  Your belly will thank you.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes, divided
Rising Time: 2 to 3 hours, divided
Baking Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 12 large hamburger buns or soft sandwich rolls

4 1/2 cups all purpose or bread flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
5 tablespoons butter, soft or melted
1 tablespoon active, dry yeast (dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water)
1 1/4 cup warm milk
flour for kneading
oil for greasing the bowl and baking pan - I use olive oil
egg wash made from one egg and one tablespoon milk (optional) didn't do this
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, for garnishing the sandwich rolls (optional) didn't do this1 tablespoon vegetable oil or melted butter, for brushing on the hamburger buns  I used butter

To Make the Dough: 

Blend the flour, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the butter, yeast mixture and milk, and mix by hand to form a dough. Knead five minutes with an electric mixer with dough hook, or turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for seven to nine minutes by hand.

As the dough kneads, add small amounts of additional flour or warm water as necessary to achieve a dough that is light and slightly sticky .    
The more you make bread the easier it will be for you to tell when the dough "feels right" comes with time.

When the dough has been kneaded until smooth, transfer it to a greased bowl and turn over the dough once to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with a towel, and leave the hamburger roll dough to rise until doubled in bulk, about one to one-and-a-half hours.Shape and Bake the Hamburger Buns
I place my covered bowl of dough in my oven.  It's a nice, warm, draft-free spot that the yeast, sugar and flour love.  Just make sure you don't accidentally turn on the oven!
Shaping the dough:
Turn the dough out of the bowl and divide it into 12 portions. Shape each portion into a smooth ball and place the dough on a greased baking sheet. Lightly pat the tops of the balls of dough to flatten them slightly.

Cover the tray with a towel, and leave the dough to rise again for another hour to hour-and-a-half.
Preheat an oven to 425.  If garnishing the hamburger buns with sesame seeds, brush the rolls with the egg wash and sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Bake the hamburger rolls until rich golden brown, about 20 minutes. Immediately upon removing the rolls from the oven, brush their tops lightly with melted butter or vegetable oil.
Transfer the sandwich rolls to a rack and cover them loosely with a towel to trap steam and keep the crust soft as they cool. Store thoroughly cooled rolls in a plastic container or plastic ziploc bag. Freeze any rolls which won't be used within a day.

So, who's having burgers this weekend?! 

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