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Hamburger Buns

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Recipe adapted from Food for my Family.  [Recipe makes 12 hamburger buns].

As most of you have probably noticed, it's been quite the uneventful month on AFC.  Over the past few weeks, I've made a spring leek risotto, a blueberry cheese Danish, chicken pot pie, pretzel buns, sage pesto, chocolate oatmeal bars, as well as countless grilled cheese combinations for an upcoming competition (just to name a few).  And while most of the dishes were alright, none of them really had that standard needed to be "blog-worthy"...until today's adventure.

Several days ago, I was asked if I could bring some sandwich rolls (a dozen white and a dozen wheat) to our family Easter dinner tomorrow night.  Needing a good reason to get a decent post up this week (as well as tackle a dish that I've attempted and failed at many times in the past), I gladly accepted.  I think the first time I made hamburger buns was three or four years ago.  They were dense small rolls that dried out only hours after coming out of the oven.  I gave it a rest for several years and finally started playing around with recipes again over the past few months.

Last week I finally found the perfect recipe with one exception:  the bottoms of the rolls were way too browned for my liking.  The first time I made the buns, I made sure to bake them in the upper third of the oven to avoid heating the bottoms too much...but that didn't do any good.  Then I thought that maybe it was my silicone baking mats that were causing the extra heat, so I went out and bought some professional grade parchment paper instead.  Despite this change, I got the same result.  I finally decided that my baking sheets were (hopefully) to blame.  I went out to a restaurant supply store today and bought some brand new, shiny and durable sheet pans, and what do you know, the buns turned out perfect!  I'm not sure why it took that long to figure out, but I'm glad that an inexpensive purchase (~$7 per sheet) solved the problem for all future baking endeavors.

INGREDIENTS:

13 ounces (~1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons) whole milk, 110° F
2 1/4 teaspoons instant dry yeast
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/8 ounces (~1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons) honey
1 large egg

11.25 ounces (~2 1/2 cups) bread flour
10.5 ounces (~2 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 egg whisked with 1 teaspoon water

DIRECTIONS:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water, yeast, melted butter, honey, milk, and egg.  Whisk until combined and let sit for 5 minutes.  While you're waiting, weigh out your flours and salt in a separate bowl.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix on low with a hook attachment until the dough starts to come together.  Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Continue mixing on medium for 5 minutes.  Transfer the dough to a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rest in a warm area for 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in size.

Once doubled, transfer dough to a floured work area and begin portioning the dough into 12 equal pieces.  [Side note:  Each ball of dough will be roughly 3 1/3 ounces (or 96 grams) if you're using a food scale].  Shape each portion into a smooth round ball and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Continue portioning until you have 6 rolls each on two lined cookie sheets.  Loosely cover the sheets with lightly greased plastic wrap and let rest for an hour, or until they're just under your desired hamburger bun size.  During the last 30 minutes of proofing, preheat your oven to 400° F.

Once ready, brush the egg wash onto each roll.  Transfer the rolls to the oven and bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until lightly browned on the top and bottom (or until the internal temperature of the rolls is between 180° F and 190° F).  Let the hamburger buns rest at least 30 minutes before slicing into.

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