I just really, really dislike store-bought burger buns. I think there is nothing about them that is appealing, except that they have a nice, uniform shape. But they have no flavor, and their ingredient list is incomprehensible. I just would rather avoid them altogether.
Of course, that puts me up to a lot of work, but honestly, when the burger tastes so much better, I’m willing to do it. This is another recipe that I like (my other favorite has mashed potatoes, so this one is a little bit easier). I am also finding that bread recipes with cream instead of butter have a great crumb, and it’s a little less time-intensive as well. This batch made up about 12 for us, and they were good-sized. The recipe comes from a Gourmet Grilling magazine, and it can also be used for hot dog buns, if you like! Just shape into cylinders and cut.
Real Burger Buns
- 1 1/4 c. whole milk
- 1 c. heavy cream
- 1/4 c. warm water (105—115°F)
- 1 (1/4-oz) package active dry yeast
- 1/4 c. sugar
- 5 c. all-purpose flour (can substitute 2-3 cups with whole wheat)
- 2 t. salt
For the top
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 t. sesame seeds
Bring milk and cream to a bare simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cool mixture to 105 to 115°F. [I just heated them in the microwave for about 45 seconds.]
Meanwhile, stir together warm water and yeast in mixer bowl and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn’t foam, start over with new yeast.)
Add warm milk mixture, sugar, flour, and salt to yeast mixture and mix at low speed, scraping down side of bowl as necessary, until flour is incorporated. Increase speed to medium and beat 6 minutes. (Dough will be sticky.)
Transfer dough to a lightly oiled large bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a kitchen towel (not terry cloth) and let rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled, about 2 hours.
To make hamburger buns:
Butter 2 large baking sheets. Punch down dough, then roll out on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin into a 14-inch round (about 1/2 inch thick). Cut out as many rounds as possible with floured cutter, arranging 3 inches apart on baking sheets. Gather and reroll scraps once, then cut out more rounds. [If you just cut, the final bun looks like a biscuit. I like to cut with the circle cutter, and then wrap the sides under–like you are pinching all the sides into the bottom of the bun–in order to get a dome on the roll.]
Loosely cover buns with oiled plastic wrap and let rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until they hold a finger mark when gently pressed, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375°F with racks in upper and lower thirds.
Brush buns with some of egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake, switching position of sheets halfway through, until tops are golden and undersides are golden-brown and sound hollow when tapped, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to racks to cool completely.