Sunday, April 05, 2009

Homemade Hamburger Buns - Why Bother?

So, here's more on my bread-making escapades. I was just itchin' to use the last three cups of bread flour that I had. And since I had pulled out some burgers to grill for dinner, I found a neat little recipe for hamburger buns.

So, before I give you the recipe and the pic, let me say that these buns came out great! They were delicious and fluffy and my house smelled SO good when I baked them. But really, I didn't save any money, and by the time they were mixed and kneaded, then rose and then baked - I was looking at over an hour. My friend Missy said, spend the two bucks to buy them at the store and use the time to drink a margarita. And the kicker is, that usually the buns only cost $1 if I buy the store brand.

But did I mention how good my house smelled? It was really wonderful. I guess the most important thing is the quality of the ingredients that went into the buns - flour, yeast, milk, egg, honey - you get the picture. No high fructose corn syrup, oil, carageenan, soy lecithin - or fifteen other things I can't pronounce. Which would also explain how these fresh-baked buns went stale pretty quickly (when I left one out.)

So ultimately, this was a great experiment, and everyone who tasted them loved them, but I seriously doubt I will be making my own hamburger buns on a regular basis. Here's the recipe - sorry I don't have a source.

1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup unsalted butter (I used salted)
4 1/2 cups flour (I used 3 cups bread flour, the rest all-purpose)
1 package (2-1/4 tsp) yeast (I used active)
1 Tbls. honey
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg, room temp

Heat the milk, water, honey and butter until butter is melted (liquid will be warm to the touch, not hot). Check temp and let cool to 120 degrees (or like I said, warm to the touch, but not hot). Beat egg in small bowl. Add a tablespoon or so of the milk mixture to the egg and stir. Add that to the bigger portion of the milk mixture.

Add yeast to about 1/4 cup of the milk liquid. Let stand for about 5 minutes. In a large bowl (or stand mixer bowl add two cups flour, salt, milk liquid and yeast mixture. Mix. Then mix in rest of flour 1/4 cup at a time. Mix well.

When the dough pulls together, turn it out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (about 5 min). Dough will be sticky, so be sure to flour your hands as well.

Divide dough into 12-16 parts. (I only made 10 buns.) Shape into balls, flatten slightly and place on baking sheet (use Silpat or parchment paper if you have it). Spray with cooking spray and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 30-35 minutes. Most likely, the edges will touch.

When buns have doubled in size, brush with egg wash and, if desired, sprinkle with sesame seeds or poppy seeds. Bake in 400 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.

So, the good:
the smell, the taste, quality ingredients

the bad:
the time, no cost savings

Do what works for you!! Me? I think I will opt for the margarita.


Anonymous said...

This is totally worth making fresh. They look great.

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