I come from a family of bread lovers. I eat it daily, and over the years I have become somewhat fussy given how much bread we eat. Lately I have been thinking that I should really start making my own bread given the lack of fresh bread options at the supermarket these days, or rather an abundance of options but none that really please the diehard bread lover.
One thing I especially wanted to try making myself was burger buns. I am not keen on the squishy burger and hotdog buns available at the supermarket, and I am not really partial to making an extra trip to the bakery every few days. I have been thinking lately about our eating habits and have decided this year I am going to spend more time making whatever I can from scratch. I don’t own a thermomix, in fact I don’t even have a mixer that can knead dough, so a lot of what I do will be by hand, and mostly definitely made with a whole lotta love.
As I was making my third batch of burger buns this week (the last recipe I tried twice didn’t give me the little cute puffy buns I was after), I made a pact with myself. From now on I will make all our bread, no more store bought stuff. Strangely enough I realised the effort is little, aside from 10 minutes of kneading there isn’t really a lot that goes into it. And the reward of the smell of freshly baked bread spilling from the oven is worth any RSI related shoulder injury incurred from kneading.
So here we go, the cutest little buns in town.
Ingredients // yields 12 mini sized buns or 6 big burger buns
3½ cups plain flour
¼ cup caster sugar
7g instant dry yeast
1½ teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1 cup lukewarm water
3 tablespoons warm milk
Combine flour, sugar, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and add butter, 1 lightly beaten egg, water and milk. Mix with a dough scraper or wooden spoon until combined and forms dough.
Pour onto a clean surface and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic, using the dough scraper to scrape it off the bench to flip it over. If dough is too tacky, you can flour your hands but try not to add flour to the dough as too much flour will make the buns firm, and we want soft buns yeah? Yeah we do!
Place dough ball back into bowl, cover with a clean* tea towel and leave in a warm spot for 1 to 2 hours until doubled in size.
*Funny I often wondered why the need to add that the tea towel needs to be ‘clean’ into a recipe method. I doubt any of us would be inclined to place a grubby tea towel over our pretty about-to-rise dough, but I just add it in anyway to serve as a reminder.
Once risen, punch dough, turn onto bench and knead for 1 minute. Divide into 12 portions (or 6 if you prefer bigger buns), shape each into a ball, and place onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper at about 2 inches apart. Cover with tea towel and leave to rise for about an hour or until buns are nice and puffy.
Preheat oven to 190C. Apparently you want the buns to hit a hot oven, so ensure you preheat it enough before putting the buns in.
Beat remaining egg with 2 tablespoons of water. Brush the buns, sprinkle tops with sesame seeds. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden, removing halfway and re-brushing with egg wash before turning trays (more egg wash = shiny buns). Once nice and golden in colour, remove from oven and allow to cool on cooling rack.
** Buns freeze nicely, saves making a new batch when burgers are on the menu again.