Friday, July 6, 2007

Buns in the Oven: Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns

Sloppy Joe night has been forever changed. From now on, it'll just be called "bun night," and we'll serve the sloppy on the side.

Seriously, this is not any harder than any other bread I've baked. The whole wheat gave them a bit of their own flavor, and they have a touch more heft than your average store-bought bun. This is modified from Bernie.
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 packages yeast
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp room temperature butter
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 3 cups (Approx) bread flour
  • a bit of milk
  • sesame seeds, ideally in a shaker
Stir together the wheat flour, yeast and salt. Add the butter and stir in as best you can -- don't worry too much about getting it mixed in perfectly, just give it that old college try. Add the hot water and stir it up into a smooth batter. Slowly add the bread flour 1/2 cup at a time until kneadable, then move it onto a floured work surface. Knead for 8-10 minutes or so, adding flour as necessary to combat the stickiness. Place the kneaded dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic and let it rise to double in bulk in a nice warm spot (30-40 minutes should do).

Flour your work surface again. Punch down the dough, then divide it into 12 equal-sized pieces. Focus on your yogic breathing to prevent kvetching at the impossibility of getting 12 equal pieces from a lump of dough. Shape each piece into a ball, cover all with wax paper or greased plastic wrap and let rest for 5 minutes.

Grease a baking pan. Squish each ball into a small disc, 1" thick and 4" in diameter, and place on the pan. Cover again with wax paper and let rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees 20 minutes before baking.

Remove the wax paper and brush all the buns with milk, then sprinkle sesame seeds on them all. Bake for about 25 minutes. Let the buns cool before serving.

Notes:
  • Great fun to make, and somehow really satisfying to see them come out of the oven looking better than Stroehman's.
  • The milk helps to keep the crust soft. Another tip is to place the buns in a plastic bag to cool -- the steam will soften them further. Just make sure that you let the buns cool enough that they don't melt the bag. (I thought of this after biting into my sloppy joe and feeling more resistance than I was expecting. You might like it crustier, though!)
  • Very glad to have remembered to preheat the oven on time, and to use oiled plastic wrap. The latter is key if you don't have wax paper -- you don't want anything to touch the formed, rising dough that might stick to it, because peeling it off can cause collapse. And nobody wants a collapsed bun.
Photos:

Dough. Looks like all dough. This would have made a nice, simple loaf of peasant bread.
My rising spot. Sunny and surrounded by happy plants.
All rise for the Honorable H. Bun, presiding.
12 perfectly equal balls with absolutely no variation at all, just completely perfect. (Lying is okay on the internet, right?)

Ready for the second rising.
Hot buns!

4 comments:

Jessi-Phoenix, AZ said...

The best recipe ever...I am very conscious of what I eat and one of the many ingredients I stay away from is high fructose corn syrup so I have found it more cost efficient to make my own breads...this is the best recipe I have ever found for hamburger buns...thanks!

rouftop said...

Thanks for the comment! Glad you enjoyed them. Now I want to whip up another batch!

Theresa- Iowa said...

I made pulled pork and used these as my buns-- delicious!!!

This was such a wonderful recipe-- I have never made bread before, and they turned out perfectly. Thanks for walking us through each step!

Garrett said...

Nice blog! This recipe looks great, I'll have to try it sometime. I'm a programmer too, and an amateur bread baker. And - big revelation - I also have a blog called Code Bread (codebread.posterous.com). I thought I was being super original, but I guess not. Cheers!

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