I spent many years attempting to teach myself how to cook and bake. I did not come from one of those culinary families where recipes were handed down with care and everyone gathered around the table for special occasions. Ours was more of a “fend for yourself for meals and Pizza Hut is on speed dial” kind of clan. As a result, I didn’t learn my way around a kitchen until I had a family of my own. I read cookbooks, researched various cooking and baking techniques and watched a whole lot of Food Network programs! Eventually I decided to attend culinary school, a few years ago, and I met some really great friends while honing my few skills. One such friend is Jen, a snowbird from Seattle who spends the first four months of the year in Scottsdale, Arizona. We both share a great love of bread baking and when I knew I’d be in Chandler for two weeks we made plans to spend time at her condo baking something! That something turned out to be hamburger buns she needed to feed a crew of people invading her condo for 10 days during spring training. So, I grabbed my camera and drove 40 minutes to Scottsdale and we dove in!
Just one word about this dough. I have posted bread recipes before and talked about lean doughs. This is the first bread formula that I have shared that is an enriched dough. Meaning that there is more than just flour, water, salt and yeast involved. Butter, eggs, milk power and sugar are included and these additions will make the final product tender and soft, while retaining its structure. There is also the option to make white, wheat or a combination of both. We opted for 60% bread flour/40% wheat flour to give the rolls a nice texture and a nutty flavor (and slightly more nutritional value).
Another point worth mentioning is that this recipe is from a culinary text book, and they are written differently than standard cookbooks that are meant for home cooking. Times are not listed for fermenting, proofing or baking. As the reader is supposed to be a chef in training they are expected to just know when the dough is done with these processes. So, you will need to use your experience to guide you more than a set time. Additionally, weight is used as opposed to measurements and if you have not been using a scale for your bread baking I would urge you to try it out now, this is a very simple recipe and you will have greater success with that method.
We started by weighing out the bread and wheat flours, salt, milk powder, sugar and instant yeast and mixing to combine. Then we added the eggs, butter and temperature controlled water. This was mixed with a dough hook for 6-8 minutes until the dough was soft, tacky but not sticky.
We transferred this to an oiled bowl, covered and allowed to double in volume. This took about 80 minutes in a kitchen in Arizona, next to a warm oven.
After the dough had doubled it was punched down and portioned into 4.5 oz servings, shaped into rolls and flattened slightly to avoid the dinner roll, round shape. Remember we are looking for hamburger buns.
The pans are covered and allowed to proof. You will know when they are ready to bake when you press the bun with a finger and it does not spring back. They get a final egg wash (we used 1 egg mixed with a little water to thin it) and sprinkled with sesame seeds.
The pans went into the oven at 350°F until they were the golden brown color we wanted. About 20 minutes in Jen’s oven.
We had a great time visiting, walking around in the Arizona sun while the dough fermented and eating rolls! I hope you give these a try, they are great for sandwiches, they can hold up to your barbecue fillings and, of course, hamburgers!
Wheat Hamburger Buns yield: 18 5 1/2 oz rolls
25.8 oz Bread flour
17.2 oz Whole Wheat flour
0.76 oz Salt
2.66 oz Milk Powder
3.32 oz Sugar
0.44 oz Instant Yeast
3.3 oz (two) Eggs
3.32 oz Butter, at room temp
26 to 28 oz Water, 90-100°F
sesame seeds, white or black, if using
- Mix together four, salt, powdered milk, sugar and yeast in a 6-quart stand mixer.
- Add eggs, butter, water and mix with a paddle attachment unit the flour absorbes the liquid and the dough forms a ball. If dough looks stiff and dry, add more water until it looks soft and supple.
- Switch to the dough hook and mix 6-8 minutes. Dough should look soft and tacky but not sticky. Dough should clean the sides but stick a bit to the bottom of the mixing bowl.
- Ferment until double. Punch down and potion into rolls. Shape and push down the top slightly. Proof, then egg wash, sprinkle with seeds if desired.
- Bake at 350°F until golden brown. Cool completely before slicing.