I do have a little thing for big soft hamburger buns. Call it a “bun crush.” Not buns of steel which I should have a crush on but soft doughy hamburger buns. Nothing’s better than a fresh baked hamburger bun, used immediately after baking with a large Galloway Grassfed Beef hamburger patty. Nothing but, having a bunch of those hamburger bun babies bagged and frozen, ready to go at a moment’s notice for impromptu hamburger dinners. I am a helluva hotmess these days when it comes to dinner. Not really interested thanks. LOL As such, last night we had dinner in Missoula at my new Montana favorite pizza place called Biga. Holy heck the margherita pizza is sinful-actually it’s the cheese and fresh basil I am in total love with and ga ga over….but I digress.
So, I was stumbling through the house this morning (actually, over some toys in the living room, but that is better than what the cat usually leaves me…I’ll let your creative mind do the work there but it’s usually gushy and I am almost never wearging any shoes….yukko) thinking to myself, “self, I need something easy for dinner tonight” and wham, everyone loves hamburger so botta bing botta bang. Hamburgers with these fabulous homemade hamburger buns it is! (That was a whole lot of unnecessary info here but oh well. My blog. My circus. My monkeys. LOL)
Now, I really don’t like to admit how many times we’ve had hamburgers in the last 6 weeks because, I might as well be McDonalds these days. However, at least it is super high protein flavorful grassfed galloway beef @bitterrootgalloways and I feel pretty good about the fact that the beef is so nutritious without pink slime, gmo corn, or grain not naturally meant for the cattle. Know what I mean?
So, if you have a free Saturday and you want to try your hand at making and stocking up on your own hamburger buns to go along with those days when you don’t want to be creative in the kitchen, these fabulous homemade hamburger buns might be your answer. These hamburger buns might just the ticket to becoming the new and improved Hamburglar in your own home. The great thing is, once you have them made you can use them for sub sandwiches, fill them up with deli meat or a chicken breast, or fabulous italian meatballs. Yum!
Note-I refer in this recipe to something my friend and hair dresser Melanie Story made for me to help my yeast rising efforts. I call it a “yozie,” short for yeast rising cozie. I had told Mel about my secret trick to introducing warmth and a little humidity to my rising dough by placing a heated-wet cotton pot holder or kitchen towel underneath my bowl. It totally works. So, being the sewing whiz that she is, she created this little kitchen helper for me! Now I use it every time I rise dough in my big glass bowl. Thanks Mel!
These turn out soft and plump up nicely. They can be used for hamburgers as well as sub sandwich bread alternatives for many kinds of sandwiches.
While this recipe calls for a certain amount of flour, gauge the amount needed based upon the look of the dough. If it is a humid and wet day, you may require all 3 1/2 C. of flour plus a small amount more. If it is dry and higher elevation, you may not use all the flour. In all yeast recipes, I add only 3/4 of the flour the recipe actually calls for, then I add very small teaspoon amounts of flour until the dough is perfectly floured. It should be pliable and easily manipulated with your fingers and have a stickiness to it but not so much stickiness that it leaves a gooey mess on your fingers. The goal is to have a nice maliable texture, but not so over floured that it is a hard ball of dough. Make sense?
- Makes 8 buns
- 1 C. Lukewarm Water, 110 degrees is optimal
- 1 Tbsp. Instant Yeast (If doubling the batch, use 1 1/2 Tbsp. of Instant Yeast)
- 1 Large Egg, beaten (Egg Size is Important)
- 2 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter, Room Temp.
- 1/4 C. Granulated Sugar
- 1 1/4 Tsp. Salt
- 3 1/2 C. All Purpose Flour
- 3 Tbsp. Butter, melted (Optional)
- 2 Tbsp. Sesame Seeds
- Add the first 6 ingredients of bun dough along with 2 3/4 C. of the flour to a large mixing bowl or mixer. I use a KitchenAid Mixer with dough hook for this bread. Mix and knead all the ingredients until it is all incorporated together and you see no flour streaks. Continue to mix. It is important from this point on not to add too much flour at a time because the dough can become overfloured if it is dry in your area or a higher elevation as well. So, begin adding flour in small teaspoon-tablespoon sized increments to the dough. Allow the dough hook to continue working the dough and kneading it all together on low. (Or if doing this by hand, continue with the elbow grease and knead the flour in as you add it until it reaches the right texture and consistency) If the dough is super sticky, it needs more flour. As you reach the appropriate amount of flour in the dough, you will notice that it easily pulls away from the sides of the bowl and it may even begin climbing up the dough hook slightly. You don’t want it to completely start wrapping around the dough hook though so monitor this carefully at this point and if needed, scrape the sides of the bowl and slide the dough down and off the hook to continue kneading.
- Another way to gauge if you’ve added just enough flour is to stop the machine and take a small chunk of it between your fingers. It should be slightly tacky but not so sticky and gooey that it is left all over your fingers.
- Once your dough is perfectly floured, allow the machine (or by hand) to knead it for 2 more minutes on low.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and place in a greased-large glass bowl. Place in a warm place and cover with greased plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hour.
- (Humidity also helps to raise yeast dough so I place a damp hot cotton towel or cotton pot holder underneath my bowl to assist with this.)
- A friend of mine made me a “Yozie” or “yeast bowl cozie” as I call it. It looks like a large cotton pot holder that hugs the bowl. I wet it and heat it up in the microwave and then place my bowl inside of the cozie to rise nicely. (Thanks Mel!)
- When the dough has doubled, deflate the dough with your fingers and divide it into 8 pieces, about 3 ounces each. Shape into a ball rolling the dough on your greased countertop or work service and cupping your hand in the shape of a “C” over the dough and rolling in a circular motion.
- Place each ball on a greased cookie sheet about 3 inches apart and then cover with greased plastic wrap. Place in a warm place and allow to rise for about 1 more hour. Gently brush melted butter over the tops of the dough. (Note-You can use egg wash in lieu of butter (beat one egg together and use the whole egg, not just whites) but your buns will become a bit darker with the egg wash. Butter allows the buns to brown a light golden brown.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake for 15-17 minutes.
- Once complete, remove the tray from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Brush melted butter over the top again and sprinkle with sesame seeds (optional.)
- Once they are completely cool, they can be frozen to serve at a later time as well.