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What kind of bun is this? It’s a hamburger bun. This is no hamburger bun she said. True enough, this bun is way too amazing to be a hamburger bun. I am making them again today; Liv took the trial buns home last night.

“Most commercial burger buns are extremely soft compared to other breads. That's because commercial bakers make liberal use of dough conditioners that help to emulsify ingredients, enhance the fermentation process, yield uniform products, and tenderize the crumb.” Source

If softness you are after this is the perfect recipe. It all started with the inner child hankering after a hamburger bun from the past. They used to be soft and didn’t crumble and didn’t taste like sawdust. I barely turned eighteen, not yet an adult under Canadian law back in 1967. One of the first things my immigrant palate enjoyed was a hamburger at the AW drive-in. The attendant brought this long tray that span the front of our car resting on the half-open windows and well you know the rest.

I use instant yeast that requires no proofing. The water should be warm but not hot. Hot water kills the yeast. All the ingredients should be at room temperature; otherwise, rising could take up to two hours or more. Preplanning is not my strong suit, but strategising is, so I revised Domestic Dreamboat’s recipe. The dough is on the stiff side and to make it easier to handle, the last cup of flour should be added very gradually, much like when making challah. The buns will still be lovely and soft at the end. Knead the dough smooth and very, very elastic. If you have to knead by hand, there is a trick to soften up the dough. Lift it up and throw it down on the counter 100 times. Beating up the dough softens it and makes it pliable. The second rising should not take longer than 40 minutes. I let one batch to double during the second rising and the buns were a bit too fluffy for my taste. 

Burger Buns

1 cup lukewarm water
3 Tbsp butter, melted
2 Tbsp heavy cream
1 egg
2-1/2 cups + 1 cup flour
2 Tbsp white sugar
2-1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp salt
melted butter for greasing

For the Egg Wash:
1 egg
1 Tbsp milk
sesame seeds for topping

  • In a 2-cup measuring cup, place 1 cup of lukewarm water.
  • Melt the butter and add 2 Tbsp of melted butter to the lukewarm water. Stir.
  • Add the heavy cream and the egg and whisk together. Set aside.
  • Place 2-1/2 cups of flour in a large bowl.
  • Add the yeast, salt and the sugar and whisk to combine.
  • Add the liquid ingredients to the flour mixture and stir to combine.
  • Gradually 1/4 cup at the time, knead in the remaining flour. The dough will be stiff.
  • Kneed the dough until elastic; if the dough is too stiff, throw it down on the counter 100 times. It will still have resistance but will be pliable enough to knead.
  • Grease a large bowl with the remaining butter, put the dough in, and turn it over.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it to rise until doubled.
  • Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Punch the dough down and roll it into a thick log.
  • Divide into 12 equal pieces.
  • Form into balls. Press the balls down with the palm of your hand into disks, to about 1 inch height.
  • Place the disks on the prepared baking sheet.
  • In a small bowl whisk together 1 egg with 1 Tbsp of milk.
  • Brush the tops with the egg wash.
  • Sprinkle the tops with sesame seeds.
  • Let the buns rise for 40 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 375F.
  • Place the buns in the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the tops are golden and the bottoms are lightly browned. These buns are best when they could still bake a bit longer.
  • Let them cool on a wire rack and pack them into freezer bags.
  • What you don’t use within a day freeze.



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