I recently made homemade hamburger buns. I wanted to try out Emily’s barbecue pork recipe but didn’t want to buy buns because Martin and I probably would not eat all. So, the solution was obviously to make more hamburger buns than I would have had to buy. 😉

The cookbook called these hamburger buns perfect and said that we may never buy buns again. I wouldn’t go that far – they were tasty but not “OMG STORE BOUGHT NEVER AGAIN” tasty. They were soft and slightly buttery, with a pillowy crumb. They didn’t have that sort of “sticky” taste you get when you chew into a store-bought bun, that sort of white-bread moistness. I channeled Brian and cut them into squares rather than rounds, to eliminate waste. Besides, most store-bought ones are more square than round anyway.

These were really easy to make the second time around. The first time was almost a perfect candidate for butisuckatcooking. I was rushing and attempting to halve the recipe at the same time. I added eggs without taking into account the halving and when I realized what I did, I almost burst into tears. It wasn’t my first mistake at that point and I should have known better than to rush. Instead, after startling Martin by almost wigging out, I started all over again, much more calmly, and the dough rose perfectly and in a much smaller time frame than given in the recipe.

In fact, I don’t think a bowl exists in my entire apartment that can properly house the dough for these. I put them into my 4-quart mixing bowl and watched as it very prettily domed over it (another picture you won’t see). These rolled out easily and baked very prettily. And, according to the recipe notes, they freeze very well too. We froze about half of them and have been slowly using the rest for sandwiches and toast and the like since Sunday, but I cannot attest to the tastiness of fresh-then-frozen-then-thawed-and-maybe-heated buns quite yet.

Overall, a very successful foray into the yeast world. I am beginning to really like making bread.

Homemade Hamburger Buns

2 cups whole milk

¼ cup warm water (105 – 115 degrees F)
5 tsp. active dry yeast
½ tsp. sugar

¼ cup sugar
½ stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and softened
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbsp. salt
6 to 6-½ cups AP flour

1- Bring milk to a bare simmer in a small saucepan over moderate heat. Remove from heat and let cool to 105 – 115 degrees F.

2- Stir together warm water, yeast and ½ tsp. sugar in bowl until yeast is dissolved. Let stand until foamy, approx. 5 minutes.

3- Add butter and ¼ cup sugar to yeast mixture and mix with paddle attachment at low speed until combined (it is okay if the butter does not entirely mix and is clumped slightly together).

4- Add warm milk and let sit for a minute. Mix until butter is melted.

5- Add eggs and mix until well combined.

6- Add salt and 4 cups of flour and mix, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.

7- Switch to dough hook and beat in two cups of flour at medium speed, scraping down the sides once or twice. If needed, add more flour in tbsp. increments to make dough pull away from the sides. Beat for 5 minutes more. Dough will be sticky.

8- Transfer to a large oiled bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, approx. 2-½ hours.

9- Butter two large baking sheets. Punch dough down and turn onto lightly floured surface. Roll out to about a ½” thickness and cut into desired shapes – 3” rounds if available, otherwise 3” squares are fine.

10- Place on cookie sheets and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise until a finger pressed into the dough leaves an imprint, approx. 1-½ to 2 hours.

11- Preheat oven to 375-degrees.

12- Place buns in oven and bake until golden brown and sound hollow when tapped, approx. 14 – 20 minutes per batch. Cool completely before serving.

Servings: 20 buns

This recipe produces copious amounts of dough.

I didn’t have a round cutter so I made do with what I had.

Puffed, golden and slightly buttery pockets of happiness!