I’ve been baking a lot in my life, even with yeast, but savory breads and their like were not very often a part of my repertoire. In my quest to replace the commercial, store bought, you can squeeze it into a flat paper-like substance by the time you are done with eating your burger type of bun, I searched and found a doable recipe for homemade hamburger buns. I adapted the recipe from Making Fresh Bread, a cookbook of the brand “Love Food” of the British publisher Parragon which promises to “create bread in your home with perfect results”.
I picked up this book at a used book sale, and it has been waiting on my shelf to be used for some time. Well, as you can see from the photo I took of the baked buns, I have some place for improvement. But the buns tasted great and they never turned into the paper-like substance. I guess my baking was a success. And while it was easy to make these buns, it’s exciting to note that I still can grow in my skills.
white bread flour – 4 cups + extra for dusting
salt – 1½ teaspoons
superfine sugar – 2 teaspoons
active dry yeast – 1 teaspoon
lukewarm water – ⅔ cup
lukewarm milk – ⅔ cup + extra for brushing
vegetable oil – for brushing
sesame seeds – 2-3 tablespoons
Start with adding salt to the flour and sift together into a large bowl. Add the sugar and yeast. Make a well in the center and pour in the water and milk. Use a wooden spoon to stir well to bring the dough together. Then knead it by hand or use a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment until it’s smooth and elastic (maybe 10 minutes by hand).
Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a damp dish towel and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour (my kitchen wasn’t warm enough so I placed a blanket over the bowl). The dough should double in volume.
Prepare the baking sheet by brushing it with oil or covering it with parchment paper. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface, punch it down, divide into 8 (possibly) equal pieces, and form individual balls. Arrange on the baking sheet and flatten each bun a little bit. Leave it covered with the dish towel to rise for 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 400 °F (200 °C). Uncover the buns, press them down a little bit, brush with milk and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for about 20 minutes. They should be light brown. Cool on the baking sheet or on a wire rack.