Letting Life Lead
It’s been a while, but I had to carve out some time to share the amazing hamburger buns I made the other day. I’ve been making sandwich bread for months now, and I almost don’t fail. These days, my less-than-pretty bread problems are due to over-proofing if the house is warmer than usual or I forget.
So, feeling cheeky, I decided that I didn’t want to drive all the way to the store for the fifty cent markdown bag of teeny buns.
Say it with me…
“I’ll make ’em my damn self!”
Bread is a funny thing. You need a recipe, but you can’t always follow it to the letter because the moisture in the air or the temperature in your house or the moisture in the dough change the situation.
Tip #1: Don’t add the flour all at once. Sometimes you need more or less.
Tip #2: You don’t need no stinkin’ bread machine
Tip #3: Don’t panic when you add the butter.
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 tsp yeast
1/8 cup (2 tbsp) of sugar*
Let the yeast proof for at least ten minutes to be sure they are kicking.
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour + 1 cup reserved
1 tsp salt (I used 1 1/4 tsp)
Next set aside:
3 tbsp melted butter (I was out of butter and used a butter substitute)
sesame seeds (optional)
1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp milk or water (for glazing)
To the yeast mixture add 2 cups of flour/salt mix Knead with your hands (or use a machine on low first then high if you want). Add the reserved flour a little at a time until dough is tacky. This can take anywhere from 1/4 cup to the full cup. Add the melted butter. The dough will get squidgy. Don’t panic. Keep kneading dough for about five to ten minutes (or until it passes the window stretch test). If the dough is still too sticky, add flour 1 tbsp at a time until you get to the tacky-but-not-sticky phase.
Let rise until double. How long this takes depends on the temperature in the house. If your house is hot, this may take only thirty minutes while a hot house might take two hours. A slower rise is better for flavor.
Roll the risen dough into a log shape and cut into 8 (huge), 10 (large), 12 (medium) or 14 pieces (small)
Form into smooth balls. Roll them between your palms or squeeze the ball between your thumb and index fingers and tuck the excess under and pinch. Place the balls 1/2 – 1 inch apart on a baking sheet lined with paper or silicon mats and press flat with your palm.
Let rest and double about an hour (again if your house is hot this will take less time).
Preheat oven to 375F (if you forget, don’t worry about it, I’ve bread baked from a cold oven just fine).
Brush the risen buns with the beaten egg and water gently (make tiny omlette with leftovers). Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake 15 to 20 minutes (ovens vary; use your nose and eyeballs) until golden and lovely. Let cool first or you’ll burn yourself. A bread knife is recommended as these buns are super soft. You can find the original recipe at Domestic Dreamboat
What do you do with all these yummy buns?
Do some of this:
Toss in some hamburger (or whatever — Boiled swiss chard stems work great as not-hambuger. No kidding). Add some Manwich Sloppy Joe sauce. Get crazy and add a smidgen of molasses if you feel lucky. Then slap it into your fresh buns and watch your six and eight-year-olds eat THREE each.
Dang. I should have doubled the recipe.
So, tell me. You going to make your own damn buns?
writing, traveling, and tap dancing around town.
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