better burger buns
March 13, 2011 § 5 Comments
I still haven’t quite accepted the fact that bread is something I can actually make, myself, in my own kitchen. This is partly because it seems like a slightly magical process, and partly because I have failed many, many times. I don’t know whether my kitchen was too cold or my yeast had died or someone had cursed me with bread voodoo, but it never quite went as it was supposed to. But, still I persevere, and when it works, the satisfaction is enough to sustain me through several more failures.
Luckily, this was not one of those failures. My roommate slow-cooked pork shoulder for 24 hours in order to make pulled pork sandwiches: something made with this much care clearly couldn’t be stuffed into stale supermarket buns. After finding this incredibly straightforward recipe, and realizing that it could be made entirely within my stand mixer, I threw caution to the wind and decided to make homemade buns. Daredevil that I am, I even doubled the recipe.
Apparently my bad bread vibes were on vacation this week, and the buns turned out gorgeous. They’re soft, barely sweet, and sturdy enough for a pretty sloppy filling. I made them into kind of weird shapes by accident, but I’m sure most people’s bread skills will yield pretty circles instead of amorphous blobs. They take a good sandwich to great, and are pretty hard to screw up – trust me, I tried.
Burger Buns – Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Yield: 8 buns
3/4 to 1 cup lukewarm water
2 tablespoons butter
1 large egg
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon instant yeast
- 1 large egg
1 tablespoon water
4 tablespoons sesame seeds
Mix and knead all of the dough ingredients to make a soft, smooth dough (this can be done by hand or in a mixer). Cover the dough, and let it rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.
Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a round 1 inch thick; flatten to about 3 inches across. Place the buns on a lightly greased baking sheet, cover, and let rise for about an hour, until very puffy.
Beat egg with water, and brush lightly over buns. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake the buns in a preheated 375°F oven for 12 to 15 minutes, till golden. Cool on a rack.