Better Than the Best Burger Buns
Welcome to the world of homemade hamburger buns! Here at the South Shore Kitchen we have spent years crafting the perfect hamburger buns. Our recipe is buttery soft with a chewy exterior that reaches perfection when lightly toasted before serving. Almost like a brioche but not quite. You can weigh your dough to whatever size suites you which we love for feeding a family. Sliders are perfect for little humans, and bigger buns for the adults. Great taste with less waste!
Once you start making your own hamburger buns you will never look at store bought buns the same way again. There is no going back and we are not sad about it. Grilling up burgers has become more of a meal to be experienced rather than something we throw together when we are short on time.
Do You Tangzhong
Tangzhong is a great way to create soft and fluffy breads that stay fresh longer. Which is great because your buns will be fresh for a few days. We have never had them around for longer than four days but that’s a win in our book for fresh baked bread. It is basically a roux that allows the flour to absorb more liquid resulting in a softer bread.
Whipping up tangzhong is quick and easy. Grab a small sauce pan, we prefer to use stainless steel because it heats up quicker but feel free to use what you have. Heat up your pan on a medium-low heat, add water, milk, flour and whisk until thickened to a paste. The process goes rather quickly, it can be helpful to remove pan from heat source while whisking and then return to heat as needed.
If you are looking for more information about the science of tangzhong, King Arthur Flour has a great in-depth article.
Get Hooked on the Dough
Mixing up your hamburger dough is similar to any other bread dough. Activating your yeast in warm milk and sugar. When yeast is ready mix with flour and salt, add tangzhong, next the egg, and finally the cubes of softened butter. As you add the butter cubes make sure they are softened to room temperature. This is very important otherwise you will struggle with incorporating them into the dough. Also, we find it easier to space them out when dropping them onto the dough while mixing rather than dumping them all in the same spot. Typically, the butter mixes in fairly easily. Once in a while the weather isn’t on your side and you may have to raise the mixer speed a little higher to work it in. Medium speed will do, after butter is incorporated drop the speed back down to low. Continue mixing until the dough is smooth and shiny looking. Our recipe is a soft dough, you will notice it pulls away from the sides but will still stick to the bottom of the mixing bowl.
It Just Kneads Your Touch
Turn out on a dry surface. Give it a quick knead and then begin pulling the edges of the dough and folding inward to the center of the dough ball, working in at a clockwise motion. After you have tucked the entire ball of dough, flip over seam side down and turn the whole ball of dough in a circular motion without leaving the work surface. Continue this motion until surface of dough ball is tight and compact, tapping out air bubbles with finger as necessary. Place dough ball in an oiled mixing bowl seam side down, cover with plastic wrap and then drape a towel over the top. Let rise in warm area until doubled in size or passes the finger test. Lightly press on the edge of the dough with your fingertip, if dough bounces back it is not finished rising, if the dough stays indented, it has risen.
On A Roll
After the first rising turn dough out on work surface. We prefer to roll our burger bun dough on a wooden surface if available, we find it has better traction when forming the individual balls of dough. Grabbing a scale and dough, start cutting and weigh dough in 85-gram portions, this will give you about 8 traditional sized hamburger buns. You will work each ball of dough the same as before, pulling the edges of the dough and folding inward to the center of the dough ball, working in at clockwise motion. After you have tucked the entire ball of dough, flip over seam side down and turn the whole ball of dough in a circular motion without leaving the work surface. Continue this motion until surface of dough ball is tight and compact, tapping out air bubbles with finger as necessary.
Place dough balls on a lined rimmed baking sheet pan allowing room for rising. We find it comfortable to place four balls of dough per sheet pan. After your dough is set up on sheet pan, invert another rimmed baking sheet and place on top, with the edges of the pan resting on each other. This allows the dough to rise in an outward manner rather than gaining too much height. Let rise 45-60 minutes or until doubled in size.
Right before your dough goes in the oven generously brush with egg wash, taking care not to deflate the dough. Place dough in 375-degree oven and toss a handful of ice into pan on the bottom of the stove. Let dough bake for 14-16 minutes, until golden brown, remove from oven and