I’m going to apologize in advance. This would have been a better post to share in May, when there was a whole season of burger and hot dog eating ahead of us. But at least I got it in before the mother of all backyard-barbecue holidays, Labor Day. I will warn you though- once you start making your own hamburger and hot dog buns, you won’t want to stop. You won’t be content with those mushy, smushable, sawdust things you are forced to pay 2 bucks for at the grocery store. Not when you know that you could make your own quicker than you can whip up a batch of potato salad.
Now, there isn’t much to say about these bad boys. They’re hamburger buns- they’re not supposed to be anything fancy, right? But the thing is, these actually taste good, as opposed to just being a vehicle to get your burger into your mouth. And they have some heft to them, so they don’t fall apart under a load of lots of ketchup, melted cheese, and toppings. I can’t even imagine how this will revolutionize pulled pork sandwiches, sopping up all the spicy sweet juices. Next time, I think I’ll top some of the buns with bits of caramelized onion for onion rolls, and top the hot dog shaped ones with poppy seeds for a true Chicago-style dogs. And just imagine- hot dog buns that aren’t too long or too short! This would be a phenomenal way to make buns for any kind of mini-slider things that are so popular right now (or the perfect toddler-sized burger bun), because you can make them any size you want. The possibilities are endless.
I originally got this recipe from Taste of Home, and they were called 40-minute Hamburger Buns. I don’t know where they got 40 minutes from. The hands on time is about 10 minutes, and it called for a 10 minute rest after shaping, and another 10 minutes in the oven. 40 minutes seemed a bit random anyway, so I didn’t feel bad at all making some adjustments and letting them rise for a bit longer. It gives some time for the yeast to get working and makes the buns a little fluffier and lighter. Not to mention you won’t need as much yeast. And it’s not as if during those extra fifteen minutes or so that you have to do anything… except grab a cold beer and get the grill ready!
Homemade Hamburger Buns
Using a stand mixer with a bread hook attachment makes this even simpler, but you can easily follow these same directions using a wooden spoon to combine everything and then knead the dough by hand.
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water (110° to 115°)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3-1/2 – 4 cups all-purpose flour
a ball. (To make hot dog rolls, roll each ball of dough between your palms until you get it to the desired length.) Place 3 in. apart on greased baking sheets, and using the palm of your hand, flatten each ball into a flattened disk.Cover and let rest for 20-25 minutes. Bake at 425° for 8-12 minutes
or until golden brown. Remove from pans and let cool on a wire rack.