Is it weird that I was too lazy to physically go get hamburger buns, but had no problem making them from scratch? No, I didn’t think so. I can shrug this seemingly out-of-wack priority because everyone has their limits.
Some people will travel to the ends of the earth for their will-not-be-named-crack-laced coffee. Others will travel across the city (ironically) just to get the best deal on vegetables. To me, these seem a bit crazy; obsessive even. The same may be said about my bread making. It technically would have taken me less time and effort to get store bought buns, even fresh bakery buns; but I didn’t bake them. I know exactly what’s in this batch, I also can make one just a liiiiittle bit bigger for myself. I also really love making bread.
Once you get the hang of it and once you wrap your head around what makes successful bread, (honestly) it’s really hard to want to buy bread ever again. There is something so magical, almost indescribable when it comes to making your own bread.
Some may think it’s blasphemous to plop a beef blob a top my pillowy bun bed, but then again, I made 8; I can afford to use it as merely a meat vessel this time. Even still, I could taste the yeast, (the time) and the sugar distinctly. I could taste the butter, feel the chewy, eggy-brioche-famous texture; and that’s definitely worth something.
From Smitten Kitchen
Makes 8 4 to 5-inch burger buns
- 3 tablespoons warm milk
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- Sesame seeds (optional)
1. In a glass measuring cup, combine one cup warm water, the milk, yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about five minutes. Meanwhile, beat one egg. **
2. In a large bowl, whisk flours with salt. Add butter and rub into flour between your fingers, making crumbs. Using a dough scraper, stir in yeast mixture and beaten egg until a dough forms. Scrape dough onto clean, well-floured counter and knead, scooping dough up, slapping it on counter and turning it, until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. The dough will be on the sticky side so it can be a bit messy, but keep in mind that the more flour you knead in, the tougher the buns will get. Try to leave them tackier than you would a round loaf.
3. Shape dough into a ball and return it to bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, one to two hours. (In my freaky, warm apartment this only took an hour.)
4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using dough scraper, divide dough into 8 equal parts. Gently roll each into a ball and arrange two to three inches apart on baking sheet. Cover loosely with a piece of plastic wrap lightly coated in nonstick spray and let buns rise in a warm place for one to two hours. (Again, this only took one hour in my apartment and I suspect, you’ll also only need an hour for a second rise.)
5. Set a large shallow pan of water on oven floor. Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in center. Beat remaining egg with one tablespoon water and brush some on top of buns. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using. Bake, turning sheet halfway through baking, until tops are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
**So I accidentally beat in 2 eggs (over-zealous me, making bread-cue me dancing around with flour on my face) and I don’t think it made a difference. I don’t suggest doing this, follow the recipe! But if you do make the same mistake, it won’t ruin the buns by any means