Sunday, May 23, 2010

Burger Buns

Yo, peeps!


Sometimes I have hard time figuring out how to start out my blogs.  Mainly because about 50% of the time I want to start "O.M.G...these were so..." etc.  But then I am afraid people who don't know me will...x their browsers.

Weeeeeellllllll, lemme tell you something.  Hands buns ever.  Burger buns.  

Making crazy things like hamburger buns from scratch is kind of like the best and worst idea ever.  The best because when these are baking, you will experience one of the most amazing smells ever.  And best because, they seriously make the world of difference for your next sandwich or burger.  The worst because you will have a hard time eating store-bought "whatever you make" again.  

For me, I detest, strongly, in a very strong way, the smell of store-bought breads (including flour tortillas, pitas, and ESPECIALLY buns).  If I close my eyes and nose, I don't notice it.  If we grill them, it isn't so bad.  Whole Foods helps me sometimes.  I get through it.  I try not to be a store-bought bread snob.  But I am.  Yeah, let's just be honest, I really am.

Can I make these every time we have burgers?  I wish.  I hope.  They weren't too hard to make.  Dealing with yeast (especially at high altitude) is always a little difficult for inexperienced bakers like me.  I actually had no problems because my blogging friend, Monet, gave me some tips.  She is also at high altitude and bakes all the time.  She told me to let the dough rise in a warm oven with a dish of water on the bottom rack.  It helps control the humidity (since it is so dry up here).  And she also explained that we high altituders can't just simply follow recipes.  For all yeast doughs, you want a tacky but not sticky dough.  Therefore, while it is kneading...add water and flour as necessary.  And I did need to add some water to this dough to get it right.  I also find that the cooking times are usually way different.  I baked these for about 10 minutes, and the recipe says 15 minutes.    Oh, mountains, I love you.

My only change is that next time I will probably make 10-12 buns out of this amount of dough.  It is also possible that I allowed them to rise too much and that is why they were so big.  But that is unlikely because my second rise only took 30 minutes.  I prefer a quarter pound of meat and these buns were too big for that size burger.  

We also had this wonderfully simple salad from smitten kitchen with our burgers.  It was perf.  It was napa cabbage, celery and radish with a buttermilk dressing.  

Light Brioche Burger Buns

3 tbsp. warm milk
1 cup warm water
2 tsp. instant yeast
21/2 tbsp. sugar
11/2 tsp. salt
1 large egg
3 cups bread flour
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
21/2 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
For topping:
1 large egg beaten with 1 tbsp. water, for egg wash
Sesame seeds

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the milk, water, yeast, sugar, salt and egg. Mix briefly to combine. Add the flours to the bowl, and mix until incorporated. Mix in the butter. Switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed for about 6-8 minutes. The dough will be somewhat tacky, but you want to avoid adding too much extra flour which will create tough buns.

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1-2 hours.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Using a dough scraper, divide the dough into 8 equal parts. Gently roll each portion of dough into a ball and place on the baking sheet, 2-3 inches apart. Cover loosely
with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let rise again, 1-2 hours, until puffed up and nearly doubled.

Set a large metal pan of water on the lowest rack of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400° F with a rack in the center. Brush the tops of the buns lightly with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake the buns about 15 minutes rotating
halfway through baking, until the tops are golden brown. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

(Servings: 8-12, Prep time: 3-4 hrs., Cook time: 30 min., Difficulty: Intermediate)


  1. i REALLLy want to make these. i dont think my bread / bun issue is as strong as yours but if i can't find the right buns (i should learn the name), we don't have burgers.
    im scared to bake cause i never follow directions. i've also never used yeast and it freaks me out. have you tried making batches of these and freeezing them?
    also, do you recommend black bean burgers or lentil? i'm annoying.

  2. kt, you should totes make these! yeast is scary at first, but all it really needs is the right amount of warmth and time.

    i have only made these once but i think freezing is a great idea. i read on the smitten kitchen blog that you can freeze the dough at any point in the process. just make sure you defrost it completely before continuing where you left off. i would assume freezing them after baking would work but wouldn't be as good.

    hmmm...i probably liked the lentil burgers better since they had goat cheese in them. but the black bean were easier and scot probably liked the black bean more. i also would recommend the cilantro mayo that i used for the salmon burgers with the black bean burgers.