This is a kinda a two part recipe.
I’m sorry if that’s annoying! You’ll find out how to use these delicious, fluffy buns on Monday for your 4th of July feast. I figure I’d give you the bun recipe to start because I didn’t want to overwhelm anyone. Plus, you’ll want to make these ahead of time anyway. Like this weekend! Because who doesn’t love to spend a whole day baking homemade hamburger buns?! It’s really a fun and incredibly satisfying process, I promise you! There’s just something about homemade bread that puts everyone in a good mood. And when you tell your party guests that you actually baked the buns from scratch? Oh my. They’ll love you forever. If you haven’t already guessed, I’m pretty much convinced the way to anyone’s heart is through food. Absolutely.
I lied though. You don’t really have to spend all day baking. I woke up at 5:30 the other morning to bake these so they would be ready by noon for photos. I also planned it so I could take a yoga class while they were rising. How’s that for multitasking?
Sooooo…..like I said, these are a bit of a process but so totally worth it! The initial steps only took me 15 minutes and then I just let my dough rise for 2 1/2 hours while I went to a yoga class. Substitute the yoga class for doing laundry, running errands, going to the gym or taking a walk.
You can do this.
After the initial rise, you punch down the dough! With force! Take out that silly aggression! There are burgers in your future!!
Roll out your punched down dough to 1/2″ thick. Use a rolling pin, wine bottle, whatever you got.
Cut biscuit-sized circles using the bottom of a glass. Then let rise again. You got this! We are so close now.
You know the best place to let bread rise? You got it…on top of the dryer! It keeps the dough nice and warm. And even better? We’re multitasking again.
After the second rise, I brushed my rolls with egg yolk and sprinkled them with sesame seeds for a signature “hamburger bun touch”. Here they are again after a short 20 minute bake in the oven:
Oh.my.love. They turned out so beautiful! And guess what? They freeze wonderfully as well. You’ll never buy ’em at the store again after you take a bite, that’s for sure.
And since I just can’t help myself, allow me to give you a preview of the future for our little buns.
I just get too excited! I can’t help myself. And will ya just look at that fluffy homemade bun? Don’t mind if I do. I’ll add that they are also excellent with hummus and pepperjack cheese, as well as with peanut butter and jelly.
Now since is the longest recipe post ever (is anyone even still reading this thing?), I will bid you farewell and just give you the darn recipe already. Let me know if you try these—-we LOVED them.
Homemade Hamburger Buns
recipe very slightly adapted from Gourmet (why mess with perfection?)
makes about 10 hamburger buns
2 tbsp butter, softened
1 cup milk
1 packet dry active yeast (1/4th oz)
2 tbsp warm water (about 100 degrees)
1.5 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
3 cups flour (plus a little additional flour if you need it)
2 egg yolks + 1 tbsp warm water, slightly beaten
sesame seeds and/or poppy seeds
To start, heat the milk in a small saucepot over medium heat until bubbles appear all around the sides of the pot. Remove quickly and let cool to the temperature of warm bathwater (about 100 degrees F).
In a little bowl, combine the dry active yeast, 2 tbsp warm water and a pinch of sugar. Stir with your finger a couple times and then let sit for about 5 minutes. The yeast should start to bubble a little bit and get creamy/foamy looking.
In the bowl of a mixer, combine the soft butter, slightly cooled milk (test it with your finger first and let it cool a few more minutes if it still feels burning hot), egg, sugar and yeast. Mix on low until combined and butter melts.
Mix together two cups of the flour and the salt, then add that to the wet ingredients. Mix on high until well blended.
Change to a dough hook on your mixer if you have one (this thing always reminds me of Captain Hook…anyone?). With the dough hook on, add the remaining cup of flour and mix on high speed for five minutes. You can add a little bit more flour here if your dough seems especially wet, but remember that this dough is supposed to be sticky!
After five minutes on high, your dough should be sticky, but also smooth and elastic if you stretch it with your fingers. Remove dough from bowl and place in an oiled mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot for 2 1/2 hours.
After 2 1/2 hours, punch down dough on a floured surface then roll out to 1/2″ thick. Cut circles using a large biscuit cutter or the bottom of a glass. Place circles on a parchment paper or silpat-lined baking sheet. Place another piece of plastic wrap on top and let rise again for 1.5 hours.
Preheat your oven to 375.
Brush the rolls with the egg yolk and warm water mixture then scatter sesame seeds over top. Bake for 20 minutes until deeply golden.
**These rolls can be made three days ahead and kept in a sealed plastic bag OR frozen (I recommend freezing then defrosting when ready to use so they always taste fresh