Thursday, 15 November 2012

Burger Buns

Image from Smitten Kitchen

I know, I know, but sometimes making things yourself is just necessary. Pre Tin Can, I had room in the freezer for all those left over buns, now they just go bad. A pack of 8 might work for a family of 4 carnivores but our little pack of two, just can't eat that many burgers. Sure we could use them for sandwiches or something, but come on, you know those buns just aren't right for that kind of thing.

This recipe comes from Smitten Kitchen who got it from the New York Times  who got it from Comme Ça restaurant in Los Angeles. With that long a pass it on list you know these buns will be good and indeed they are. Not only that, they're a cinch to make. The best thing about these buns is that they are light yet rich with that wonderful taste and texture you get from making an egg bread. I would eat these for breakfast with a thick layer of good English marmalade or dipped in a bowl of creamy tomato soup. They work well no matter how you use them, but your burger will shine between these golden buns!


Light Brioche Burger Buns Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Makes 8 4 to 5-inch burger buns

3 tablespoons warm milk
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs
3 cups bread flour
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Sesame seeds (optional)

1. In a glass measuring cup, combine one cup warm water, the milk, yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about five minutes. Meanwhile, beat one egg.

2. In a large bowl, whisk flours with salt. Add butter and rub into flour between your fingers, making crumbs. Using a dough scraper, stir in yeast mixture and beaten egg until a dough forms. Scrape dough onto clean, well-floured counter and knead, scooping dough up, slapping it on counter and turning it, until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. The dough will be on the sticky side so it can be a bit messy, but keep in mind that the more flour you knead in, the tougher the buns will get. Try to leave them tackier than you would a round loaf.

3. Shape dough into a ball and return it to bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, one to two hours. (In my freaky, warm apartment this only took an hour.)

4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using dough scraper, divide dough into 8 equal parts. Gently roll each into a ball and arrange two to three inches apart on baking sheet. Cover loosely with a piece of plastic wrap lightly coated in nonstick spray and let buns rise in a warm place for one to two hours. (Again, this only took one hour in my apartment and I suspect, you’ll also only need an hour for a second rise.)

5. Set a large shallow pan of water on oven floor. Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in center. Beat remaining egg with one tablespoon water and brush some on top of buns. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using. Bake, turning sheet halfway through baking, until tops are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

I'm pretty sure it's the pan of water on the oven floor that makes these buns so light so don't forget that step. I've also used this basic recipe to make a loaf of bread too, adding a few seeds and swapping in some whole grain flour. These buns are so much better than anything you'll find at the store, I promise.

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