Monday, August 8, 2011

The Best Hamburger Buns

These are the best hamburger buns ever, seriously. I have honestly never thought of making homemade hamburger buns which is weird because bread is my favorite thing to make (ok, well maybe second to cupcakes). I decided to give it a try after reading rave reviews on other food blogs. They weren't lying. I think I will make these every week and use them for sandwiches, pulled pork, burgers, everything. Definitely give these a try!

The Best Hamburger Buns
Servings: 8 buns

3 cups bread flour
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. warm milk (105-110°)
1 cup warm water (105-110°)
2 tsp. instant yeast
2 1/2 tbsp. sugar
1 egg, at room temperature, lightly beaten
2 1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp. water for egg wash

Sesame seeds for topping (optional)

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours and salt. Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the warm milk, warm water, yeast, sugar, and egg until incorporated. Mix in the softened butter. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients on low.

Switch to a dough hook and knead the dough on low for about 7 minutes. The dough should be tackier than usual but if after 4 minutes the dough still looks too sticky, then add bread flour, one tablespoon at a time. Do not add too much flour or the buns will be dense. You want the dough to be tacky but still easy to work with. (I had to add 1-2 extra tablespoons but the dough still stuck to the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl.)

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough by hand a couple of times so that a smooth ball forms. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size. 

After doubling in size, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Gently deflate the dough and divide up into 8 equal portions. Gently knead each portion by hand a couple of times until a smooth ball forms. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Gently cover the dough with plastic wrap coated in cooking spray. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size. 

If after the second rise the dough becomes deflated and flat, gently reshape the dough into balls. Lightly brush the tops of the buns with the egg wash and top with sesame seeds if desired.

Preheat the oven to 400°. Place a large metal pan filled with hot water on the lowest rack in the oven. On the middle rack, bake the buns for 14-16 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Source: adapted from Annie's Eats, originally from Smitten Kitchen and The New York Times

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