I am continuing on in my love affair with flour and yeast! To mean, a hamburger bun is, well, just a plain old bun for your burger. After all, the burger is the main event and gets all the raves, right?? Well, mooo-ve over (get it?! haha!) beefy burger....THE bun is here!!!
And, for the record, I did not put a burger in this bun....but that is for another post.
2 1/4 tsp. instant yeast (I used bread machine yeast)
1/4 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)
1 cup warm milk (105-115 degrees)
1 tbs. canola oil
1 tsp. salt
3 to 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg beaten with 1 tbs. cold water
sesame, poppy, or caraway seeds, or coarse salt, for topping
In a bowl of an electric mixer, dissolve the sugar and then the yeast in the warm water. Add the milk, oil, salt, and 1 1/2 cups of flour to the yeast mixture. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes. Gradually add the rest of the flour, 2 tbl. at a time, until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Switch to the dough hook and knead until you have a smooth and elastic dough, about 7-9 minutes.
Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl. Turn once to coat the entire ball of dough in oil. Cover with a tightly-woven dampened towel and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour (mine took 2 hours). Turn the dough onto a lightly-oiled work surface. Working with oiled hands, divide the dough into 9-10 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball, and flatten into 3 1/2 inch disks. For soft-sided buns, place them on a well-seasoned baking sheet a half-inch apart so they will grow together as they rise. For crispier buns, place them 3 inches apart. Cover with a towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.
Fifteen minutes before you want to bake them, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Just before baking, brush the tops of them lightly with the egg wash and sprinkle with any desired toppings/seeds.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until internal temperature of the bread reaches 190-degrees. When the buns are done, remove them from the baking sheet to cool on a wire rack. This will prevent the crust from getting soggy.
FYI: This dough should be quite slack (relaxed) in order to make soft and tender buns. So, only add enough flour, past the 3-cup point, to make the dough just kneadable, sprinkling in only enough to keep it from sticking.