Friday, April 2, 2010

Homemade Burger Buns

It's grilling season again; no better time to start making homemade hamburger buns.

I used the following recipe to make my dough. It's a large batch, so I make one loaf of bread and use the other half of the dough for buns.  After letting it rise and punching it down, I rolled the dough to about 1/2" thick and cut out a dozen buns with a 2-3/8" diameter round cookie cutter.  I placed them on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet so that they weren't quite touching.  They looked small at first, but once they rose and baked (about 18-20 minutes at 375°), they were just the right size for a typical burger.

You can use the same dough to make hot dog buns. After using half the dough for a loaf of bread, divide the remaining dough into twelve pieces, then roll until they are about 4" long.  Again, they'll look small, but will rise enough to be the right size. Place in a small enough pan that they aren't quite touching and let them rise.  (I use a lined 7x11-inch enamel baking pan and put them in two rows across the width; anything similar will work.)  Bake at 375° for about 18-20 minute.

Versatile Basic Bread

4 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 cup lukewarm milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar or honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole wheat flour
4 to 5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour  (or use all white flour)

Combine all the ingredients and mix and knead until you have a soft, elastic dough (don't add too much flour - the key to soft bread is a soft dough!). Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover, letting rise in a warm place for 20-30 minutes.

Punch down dough and shape as desired. Cover and let rise again for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until nearly doubled.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. When the dough has risen, bake for 18 to 20 minutes for rolls, 30-40 for loaves, until the top of bread is nicely browned and bread temps out at 200°. Remove from the pan immediately and cool on a rack.

I apologize if these directions are confusing.  I've been doing this for a while and I may have inadvertently left out a step or two that are second-nature to me.  If you have questions, don't hesitate to ask.


Sheila said...

You make it sound so easy. I am going to have to just make my own bread one day!! I guess I am scared to try though--bet my daughter would love these. Thanks for the recipe and tips.

Annie Jones said...

Baking yeast bread isn't exactly hard, but it does take a lot of practice and getting a "feel" for when it's right.

On the other hand, the ingredients aren't horribly expensive, so if you try and fail, you aren't out much. Not to mention, failed bread can feed outdoor animals or go into your compost pile, so it's not a complete waste.

Annie Jones said...

Also, I don't knead by hand. I'm not sure if I have ever kneaded by hand...if so, it was many years ago.

So I kind of take for granted that bread will be kneaded really well in a stand mixer or bread machine. I have a Bosch mixer like the one on the left, and I think the way it mixes has a huge bearing on how well the bread turns out.

Leanne said...

Always the mistake I make is looking at the bread before it's risen and thinking they're tiny, so I may them bigger:) Then I need to make half pound burgers to fill the rolls, not that Robert complains!

I'll try your recipe (been looking for a good enriched bread) and just try and trust that they will end up big enough:)