These are perfect for housing the beef burgers. I have experimented a lot with burger buns, and have tried everything from making a cooked roux (favoured by some Japanese bakers) to making the buns richer and more brioche like.
The consensus in the family was that these are the best. The recipe does have some butter, to make the buns soft, but they aren’t as buttery as brioche, (which I feel is too rich a bread to enclose a rich juicy burger patty).
Soft Burger Buns
In the interest of eating less bread and more meat, these burger buns are modestly sized, and provide a good balance to the burger patties, which are between 150g to 200g. The rolls are not as rich and sweet as brioche, but still moist and soft. The recipe below makes 12, but the extra buns are easy to store and freeze well. Do read the accompanying notes before setting out!
2 hours 45 min
- 1 egg extra, beaten with a tablespoonful of water for glazing
- sesame seeds optional, for sprinkling
Place bowl of stand mixer / mixing bowl on weighing scale and measure out the water & milk. Add the egg and then all the remaining ingredients.
Mix dough on low speed for 4-6 minutes, (with breaks if the machine overheats).
The mixing needs to be done until you achieve a good “window pane” test which indicates that the dough is well mixed. (Note this photo is taken with a different dough, but the concept is the same).
Transfer dough onto a clean floured surface (use a dough scraper) and give it a few turns on the counter and place in an oiled bowl for the first or bulk fermentation. Cover the Keep in a warm place (ideally 22-25C) for 45 min to 1 hour. The dough should look puffy and doubled in volume. As with all bread doughs this might take slightly less or more time depending on the temperature.
Give the dough a full fold by gently dumping the dough onto the floured counter. Imagine that the dough has 4 corners, stretch each corner and fold in to form a packet. Flip dough ball over, and place back into bowl for another 30-45 min until puffy and doubled again.
Now gently take out the dough on to the floured counter for final shaping. At this point you can either eye ball or divide it into 12. The easiest way to do that is to flatten the dough into a circle and cut it into quarters and then each into 3 equal wedges. Else use a weighing scale and scale each portion to 75-80g. Use a dough divider for doing this to avoid damaging the dough structure.
Once divided, take each portion of dough and tuck in the edges to make a small pouch and flip over and rest all the pieces for about 10 min, covered with a cloth.
Take one portion, and cup the palm of your hand over it, and gently roll in circular motion on the counter, and you will feel the dough tightening and forming a neat ball. (See video link under notes)
Once done, gently flatten each dough ball so that it’s about 3-4” across and place on a lined baking tray. I like to keep them quite close together (about an 1-2” apart) on the tray so that the edges touch after proofing (see photo)
Proof in a warm place for anything between 40 to 90 min. Use a large plastic bag to cover the tray (place try in the bag, puffed up so that it doesn’t touch the dough).
After 45 minutes, switch the oven to 190C to preheat. At this point, check the status of the buns. It’s really important to proof the dough to 100%, i.e. to the maximum possible. This yields the softest buns. To check that the dough is ready for baking, wet your finger and use lightly poke the dough. The indent should be visible, and only fill back very slowly, and not to the full extent. Start checking in 45 minutes and then every 10 minutes after that.
Once the buns are ready to go into the oven, gently brush the tops of the buns generously with the egg wash. You can now leave them as is, or sprinkle sesame seeds/poppy seeds on top. You can also opt to just sprinkle some flour and not bother with the glaze, although the glaze does give them a nice shine.
Place the tray in the lower third of the oven and bake at 190C for 24-26 min, at which point they should be a rich golden brown. If you want a softer crust, brush with melted butter when you pull them out of the oven.
- Use a stand mixer if you have one. Alternatively a food processor with the dough blade can work too, but will need some extra working by hand.
- Always measure the liquid ingredients into the stand mixer first, when baking bread. That avoids pockets of flour from being left at the bottom.
- To keep the dough covered during fermentation, use plastic shower caps, as they are reusable and protect the dough from drying out.
- As with all bread recipes, in order to fit this longish process into your schedule, you can always pop the dough into the fridge at any time to slow down the fermentation /proofing process. Ideal time to this is during bulk fermentation. Leave in the fridge for up to 12 hours, and ensure the dough has doubled before proceeding. If not, then leave out in a warmish place to allow it to double before proceeding with shaping.
- And finally, if you have some sourdough starter hanging around, then feel free to add up to 50g for added flavour.
Link to video - For shaping the individual balls of dough click here