Even though there is still plenty of snow on the ground and there may be more on the way, I know spring is coming. In case no one knew, after spring comes summer (I know, I’m a fountain of useful information). When the weather gets warm, I run out to the grill and when I’m done telling it how much I missed it all winter, I use it to make cheeseburgers. I know there are people who brave the elements and grill year-round but considering that our back deck still has a foot of snow on it, we are not those people this year. I applaud anyone who will run outside in thirty degree weather to flip a steak. From inside the warm house, I applaud them. Marking Ostara (the spring equinox) on the calendar led me to thinking about how grilling time is coming, whether or not there’s snow here right now. To make sure we’re ready, I wanted to try my hand at making hamburger buns so that I had plenty of time for trial and error before we flip the first burgers on the grill this year.
It turns out, I didn’t need much trial at all. Even though it’s my nature to try out what feels like a hundred ways of making something, if I didn’t make hamburger buns any other way, I could be happy with that. These are great and like the other bread items I now make at home, they’re way better than store-bought. The dough mixes up easily and the buns get brushed with butter to give them a nice golden color (and let’s be honest- a little butter never makes anything taste bad). They can be topped with sesame seeds or poppy seeds or anything you love on your hamburger buns. I left these plain and while such additions wouldn’t hurt them any, they definitely aren’t necessary. These buns are going to be great for our burgers, but they’re great sandwich buns as well. I made twelve buns by dividing the dough into 12 equal pieces and they were the perfect hamburger size. For larger buns, the dough can be divided into eight pieces, or you could make slider buns by dividing the dough into twenty-four pieces.
Hamburger or Sandwich Buns
- 3/4 to 1 C. lukewarm water
- 2 Tbsp. butter, softened
- 1 large egg
- 3 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
- 1/4 C. sugar
- 1 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. instant yeast
- 2 Tbsp. melted butter, for finishing
Mix the water, softened butter, egg, flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. You can also combine the ingredients in the bowl of a bread machine and use the dough setting through the first rise. Ingredients can also be mixed by hand until you have a soft, smooth dough.
Cover the dough and let it rise in a warm place until it has nearly doubled, 1-2 hours.
Gently push down the dough and divide it into 12 equal portions (or 8 for larger buns, 24 for slider buns, a food scale helps to keep the portions equal).
Shape each portion into a round ball and then flatten the top so each portion is a thick disc.
Place the discs onto a parchment paper lined (or lightly greased) baking sheet.
Cover the baking sheet and let the dough rise in a warm place until the discs have noticeably puffed up, about 1 hour.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
Lightly brush the buns with 1 Tbsp. of the melted butter.
Bake the buns for 15-18 minutes, until golden.
Remove the buns from the oven and lightly brush them with the remaining melted butter.
Place the buns on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing with a sharp, serrated knife.
Makes 12 hamburger or sandwich buns (or 8 larger buns, or 24 slider buns).
Source: King Arthur Flour