If you hadn’t noticed, this is my third burger bun. They just keep getting better. Number 1 was just a bit too hearty (100% whole wheat, very rustic). Number 2 was just as tasty, but less bun-like, more sandwich-worthy. But this one, number 3, is PERFECT. I swear you will never want another bread-aisle bun again. They don’t compare.
I managed to make this recipe with half whole wheat flour, and it’s hardly noticeable. Except I know, and that matters. Dustin and I almost died (of pleasure) when we took our first bite. (Well, I pretended it was my first bite. I’d already eaten a whole bun sans burger right when they came out of the oven. Shh… our secret.) Bakery quality, right in your own kitchen. Bread/buns is the most satisfying thing to make right. Baking bread always means I come out of the kitchen dusted in flour with a huge grin on my face. If only I had a cute white cap.
1 cup warm water
3 Tbsp. warm milk
2 tsp. active dry yeast
2 1/2 Tbsp. sugar or honey
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups bread flour, plus extra for kneading
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
sesame seeds (optional)
1 large egg + 1 Tbsp. water, for egg wash
1. In a glass measuring cup combine warm water and milk, sugar, and yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, whisk flours and salt. Add softened butter and mix together with your fingers to make crumbs. Stir in the yeast mixture and beaten egg until a dough forms. Turn out onto a well-floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (8-10 minutes), adding more flour as necessary to prevent sticking. You want the dough to still be slightly sticky/tacky so that the buns are not tough.
3. Lightly grease the original bowl and return the ball of dough to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 1 1/2 hours).
4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the dough into 8-10 equal parts, and roll each into a ball. Arrange on the baking sheet several inches apart. Lightly spray a piece of plastic wrap with nonstick cooking spray and loosely cover the rolls. Let rise in a warm place until doubled (another 1 1/2 hours).
5. Preheat oven to 400 F. Make sure the rack is in the center. Set a large shallow pan of water on the oven floor (I forgot to do this step and mine turned out fine). Lightly beat the remaining egg with 1 Tbsp. water. Brush the tops of the risen buns with the egg wash. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake, rotating the sheet halfway through, until the tops are golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from the pan to cool on a wire rack.
Makes 8-10 buns.
(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)