home-made hamburger buns


I’ve been thinking about making my own burger buns all summer long, but for some reason they always get bumped. Probably due to my lack of patience… I don’t want to mix and wait and roll and wait and … so much waiting with bread. I want to eat it nowwwwww. Naturally, since summer is drawing to a close, I decided it would be the perfect time for me finally make them. No excuses. Even though after I started making them BF decided he wanted to go out to dinner, so we wouldn’t use them that night anyway. No excuses. I was doing this.

Was it worth it? Do you want to have buns you can happily declare you made yourself? Buns that you can say you know exactly what is in them? That you can customize to suit your taste? Most importantly, do you want your house to smell like rich, buttery deliciousness for hours to come? Then these, sir (or madame) are for you. They certainly run circles around those flavorless things you find at the grocery store.

The recipe made BIG buns, though. Like really big, like gourmet-size big (1/3-lb patty big). I think next time I will make them smaller, maybe even slider small. Eh, probably not, that sounds like a lot of rolling – but definitely smaller. I bet you could get 12 regular-size buns out of this recipe (instead of the 8 giant buns it makes as-is). The recipe itself seems pretty foolproof and there isn’t a lot of “active” time and it yields a light, airy bun with a subtle buttery flavor (and intense buttery aroma). You can top them with anything you like – I did most of them plain, but then added salt to some and onion to others (per BF’s request). If you can’t use them all right away, just slice them then wrap them tightly and freeze them. Take them out to use as you need them.

Home-Made Hamburger Buns

[ Printable Recipe ]

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 3 tablespoons warm milk
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter, cubed

1. In a small bowl, combine the warm water, milk, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. In a separate small bowl or ramekin, beat 1 egg and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk flours with salt. Add butter cubes and rub into flour between your fingers, making crumbs. Stir in yeast mixture and beaten egg until a dough forms. Scrape dough onto clean, unfloured counter and knead, scooping dough up, slapping it on counter and turning it, until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. (You could use a mixer if you wanted, but it’s really not necessary)

3. Shape dough into a ball and return it to bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.

4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide dough into 8 equal parts. Gently roll each into a ball and arrange 2 to 3 inches apart on baking sheet. Cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel or greased plastic wrap; let rise in a warm place until doubled again – 1 to 2 hours.

5. Set one oven rack on the lowest level, and another in the middle. Place pan of water on lowest rack and preheat oven to 400*F. Beat remaining egg with 1 tablespoon water and brush some on top of buns. Bake, turning sheet halfway through baking, until tops are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Yield: 8 large buns, I suspect 10-12 regular-size buns.

[ Adapted from NYT, June 2009 ]