|Homemade Hamburger Buns
Here's my weird laziness: I wanted to have some hamburger buns for dinner tonight, but I just didn't want to get into the car and go to the grocery store. So I decided to finally make some homemade hamburger buns.
It's something I've been wanting to try, but never have, because if I'm making a meal involving hamburger buns, it's usually going to be a quick meal, like burgers, or sloppy joes, or something of that speedy nature.
Today is a holiday, though, and it was the perfect opportunity to look up a recipe and give it a go. Of course I went to King Arthur Flour first, and these buns got rave reviews. Decision made.
Here's what you need to know about these buns:
They are, in fact, wonderful buns--slightly chewy exterior and a soft, light interior with a fine crumb. I halved the sugar since I didn't want any sweetness to my burger buns; AND I decided to see if they could be turned into pretzel buns. They can.
The size of these buns is on the large side. Think restaurant sized burger buns. Reviewers in KAF have made 12 buns from the recipe, and perhaps I will try that next time, but for now, I'll just make my hamburgers large enough to fit the big buns.
If you're looking for a burger bun recipe, look no further. This will do. Really, it will.
--adapted from kingarthurflour.com
- 3 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose Flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 3/4 to 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons melted butter (for brushing buns before baking)
- 2 quarts water
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1 teaspoon pretzel or kosher salt
- In a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix all of the dry ingredients. Add the butter and cut it in a little.
- In dry weather, add the cup of water; and in humid weather, add 3/4 cup or a little more of the water. Also add the egg.
- Mix and knead dough until it is soft, smooth, and elastic.
- Place dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow dough to rise 1 to 2 hours, or until about doubled in bulk (check after an hour and give it more time if needed).
- Once dough has doubled, turn it out onto a clean work surface (no need to dust with flour). Cut dough into 8 equal portions and form each piece into a nice tight ball.
- Prepare a baking sheet by covering it with parchment and then spraying the parchment with nonstick cooking spray. Working with one dough ball at a time, work it into a disk that is about 4 inches in diameter by flattening and stretching the dough. Place disk onto prepared baking sheet, and repeat with remaining dough balls. Cover finished disks with a sheet of wax paper that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- For pretzel version, bring the water to a simmer in a high-rimmed saucepan or saute pan. Gradually add the baking soda, taking care not to allow it to bubble over.
- When buns have risen, place buns, probably two at a time, into the simmering water. Allow to simmer for 30-40 seconds, turning once halfway through. Using a slotted spatula, carefully remove simmered bun, drain briefly on a towel or paper towel, and then place it back on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with a little pretzel or kosher salt. Repeat with remaining buns. Slash tops with a sharp knife, and proceed with baking.
- For plain buns, brush tops of risen buns with a little melted butter (or brush with an egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or a little sliced onion).
- Bake buns at 375 degrees for 15-17 minutes or until well browned.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before slicing. Freeze any leftover buns.
|Dough all mixed and ready to knead
|Dough kneaded and ready for first rise
|Dough after about 1 1/2 hours of rising
|Eight dough balls ready to be flattened
|Buns formed and ready for second rise
|Buns after 50 minutes of rising
|Half of this batch got pretzelized
|A look at the bottom of a regular bun
|A look at the bottom of a pretzelized bun
|I can't believe the beautiful crumb on these buns!