Hamburger or Sandwich Buns

Yield:
10 buns
Level:
Easy
Ingredients
  • Melted butter, as needed
  • 1 cup milk, heated to lukewarm
  • 3 tablespoons sweet, unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 3 tablespoons shortening
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 extra large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 extra large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 5 1/2 cups unbleached allpurpose flour, sifted
  • Cornmeal, preferably medium ground
  • Special Equipment:
  • Pastry scraper: To aid in kneading the dough
  • Wire strainer or other sifting device
  • Shallow baking sheets: The largest that your rack will accommodate. The sides should be no higher than 1-inch to allow for even heat exposure
Directions
Topping variation:

1 egg white beaten with a teaspoon of water Sesame or Poppy seeds or 1 cup minced yellow onion Sauteed in a little vegetable oil with 2 teaspoons poppy seeds and a little freshly ground black pepper or toasted dehydrated onions that have been soaked in hot water for fifteen minutes to swell and soften.

To set up: Brush a 5quart bowl with melted butter and set aside to rise dough.

To assemble dough: Heat the milk with the butter and pour it into a large mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup warm water and the shortening. Add the sugar, salt, egg and yolk. Mix well. Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup warm water with a pinch of sugar. When the yeast is dissolved, add it to the mixing bowl, along with enough of the sifted flour to create a dough that is not easily stirred. Turn dough out on to a floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, adding only as much flour as needed to keep dough from sticking to your hands and work surface. When correct texture has been reached, place dough into the greased bowl. Cover the bowl with greased plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm, draftfree spot for 2 hours.

Note: You will not need all of the flour. Save the remaining flour as your dusting flour when shaping your buns.

To rise dough twice: After 2 hours has elapsed, uncover dough and punch it down several times. Turn over in the bowl. Recover bowl and let rise 1 hour more.

To set up to bake: Line 2 shallow baking sheets with parchment paper and sprinkle paper with cornmeal.

To shape buns: After the second rise has been completed, uncover dough and punch down once more. Turn dough out on to a lightly floured surface. Knead briefly and gently. Divide dough into 10 equal pieces and cover all while you work with one. Shape each piece of dough into a smooth ball by first making it round with your hands. Then pull the dough up, pinching at the top of the dough ball. Keep pulling and pinching up at the top until you have a tight ball. Turn ball on its side on the lightly floured surface. With a pastry cutter, cut ball of dough directly in half through the waist of the ball (not through the pinched end). Take one half and place it on top of the other, meeting the cut sides in the middle. Pinch around the circumference of the circle of dough to seal. Flatten the circle gently, but firmly. Shove the pinched seam gently under the bun as you flatten. Lay the buns on the two prepared baking sheets and cover with kitchen towels. Let rise for 30 minutes. Begin timing the rising period after the last bun has been formed.

If topping buns: If you will be topping the buns before baking, immediately after shaping, brush tops of unrisen buns with 1 egg white mixed with 1 teaspoon water. Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds or top with either of the onion toppings listed with the ingredients.

To bake: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F for the last fifteen minutes of the rise. Meanwhile melt some butter in a small saucepan. After the rise, uncover buns and brush the tops with melted butter (brush over topping, if using).

Bake buns in the center of a preheated 375 F oven until golden, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush once more with melted butter. Remove the buns to wire racks to cool thoroughly before slicing and enjoying.

Note: If you have only one oven and your baking sheet can not hold all ten buns, bake together using the upper and lower third of the oven and switch positions half way through the baking process.

To store: Store cooled buns in a large heavy duty plastic bag. If you want to freeze them, double the bag before placing in the freezer. To thaw, let sit on the counter in its original bags until soft.

Note: Squeeze out as much air as possible from the plastic bags before storing.


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    I made these following the recipe exactly and they came out very well. However, I am not convinced that splitting them and doing all that tucking and pinching actually gains you anything. I think I would skip that step in the future. My first rise time was much shorter - only 45 minutes and it had doubled in bulk.
    Made these buns yesterday and they were fantastic! Soft, buttery, delicious. I subbed Bread Flour for All Purpose. Also skipped cornmeal underneath and only topped each bun with melted butter. My batch yielded 14 rolls (perfect for 1/3 lb. burgers. I found the directions very confusing, so I referenced another recipe and found that cutting and reshaping was NOT necessary. I let the dough rise 2 times, but then cut dough into my desired portion size and began rolling it into round balls, then tucking edges under, and ending with another rolling in my palms. I ended up with nice round buns, about 3-4" across. I placed the dough onto parchment lined baking sheets, gently pressing each one flat. I covered the buns and let them rise about 45 minutes. Brushed with melted butter, and baked at 375 for 15 minutes.....the recipe calls for a much long bake time, but 15 was perfect. Hot out of the oven, they each got another brush of melted butter.
    The combination of the recipe instructions and lindaj's review was all I needed the properly prepare these rolls. They came out perfectly and actually look like store-bought hamburger buns. I think 10 is too few rolls for this recipe. 12 to 14 rolls from this recipe will give you a nicer sized bun for 1/4 pound size burgers and other things of reasonable portion size.
    Ok, these came out of my oven a couple hours ago. They taste great. Now to the directions, well, I followed the idea of what the other reviewer said about making the individual balls. You need to just keep tucking under like you are preparing it for the bowl before rising. I then cut them in half on their side. I WILL SKIP THAT NEXT TIME! I found that when you put them back together and pinch them and try to tuck the pinch under, they still separate strangely while baking. This bun has more of an Italian Bread consistency, I guess. I will use the recipe again, but next time I will just bake them and then cut them in half when ready to use. I figure then I may get a sort of round Hard Roll/Kaiser Roll shape that u get in the grocery store. I am sure the perfect bun would have been achievable if there was a video for this (definately would have been helpful).
    Mine are in the oven right now, but I was thoroughly confused about the folding/shaping instructions. They smell awesome and I hope they taste great, I folded 2 of each 5 different ways because I really had no idea. If the person who submitted this or others who make it could explain a little differently or attach pictures? that would be awesome for making in the future :) I am just very confused and bummed because the dough turned out awesome I just didn't know what to do with it after!
    The flavor of these rolls puts store bought hamburger buns to shame. I appreciated the detailed instructions (start preheating the oven 15 min after the last roll is made), but the comment about cutting along the equator was well appreciated. The other thing I would add is that you put the bun dough back together just like it was cut. I wasn't sure what to do with the pinched seam - next time I would leave it centered along the "equator." The seam popped open in places for me even though I pinched it well, so we cut along that break. I forgot the cornmeal and didn't miss it a bit. The buns are huge! Next time I'm going to make golf size buns and serve with ham and mustard for a holiday platter.
    This is a very good recipe, but I agree it's hard to read. The person who reviewed it before me and gave it one star was critiquing punctuation, but I've actually made the recipe.
     
    These are perfect hamburger buns. You must do everything the recipe says, though. You have to have cornmeal on the parchment. You have to brush them with butter twice. You have to shape them, cut them, and shape them again. This was the hardest part to understand, so I'll tell you what I did.
     
    You know how you form a dough ball after you've kneaded bread to get a nice tight skin on it before you put it in the bowl to rise? This is what you do to each bun dough ball to shape it. Then if you are holding the ball on the underside, where you kept pinching the dough to make the firm tight dough ball, that is like Antarctica on a globe and you cut the dough ball through the equator. Then you press the cut sides together and pinch the seam right around the edge and fold the seam under kind of like you are trying to make a mushroom cap. For some reason doing this makes the bun cook up in exactly the right shape of a hamburger bun. I experimented and tried a couple without cutting them and they weren't rounded.
     
    These are by far the best sandwich buns I've ever made, and I have been trying to find a good recipe for a long time!
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