Buns are often in the spotlight, gawked at and either praised or criticized! Who doesn’t appreciate a great bun. All kinds of well made buns have their place, firm, soft, big and small included!
Sir Wes particularly loves good buns, especially when there is a burger in the middle. I love when we fix burgers for dinner as Wes usually takes over this meal; my only responsibility is shopping for the mise en place, when I try to pick out the best looking buns in the bakery. I recently gave Wes a grinder attachment for the Kitchen Aid, (which by the way, he loves) so when he wanted to use it for the first time to make burgers, I felt a little extra inspired to make my part more notable. What better way than by making them fresh.
I tried this recipe from King Arthur Flour a few times, and slightly adapted it to make it work a little better for a bread making novice.
- 3/4 cup to 1 cup lukewarm water*
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large egg
- 3 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
*Use the lesser amount in summer (or in a humid environment), the greater amount in winter (or in a dry climate), and somewhere in between the rest of the year, or if your house is climate controlled.
- 3 tablespoons minced dried onion
- 1 egg white beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- Topping seeds: sesame, poppy, etc., optional
- To make the dough: In a small container, combine the yeast with 3 tablespoons of warm water and allow to bloom for a few minutes.
- Combine all of the dough ingredients, and mix and knead them—by hand, mixer, or bread machine—to make a soft, somewhat tacky dough.
- Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl or other container large enough to allow it to at least double in bulk, cover, and let it rise for about 60 to 70 minutes, till it’s just about doubled. Try a sunny window, or close to a heat source if you struggle with dough rising.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, and pat/roll it into a 12″ x 17″ rectangle
- Sprinkle the dough with the minced onion, and press/roll it into the surface gently. Reserve a small amount of onion to sprinkle on top of the buns.
- Starting with a short (12″) end, roll the dough into a log, sealing the ends and side seam.
- Cut the log into eight slices. A pair of scissors works very well here.
- Place the buns on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, flattening them to about 3″ wide. Cover them, and allow them to rise till they’re very puffy, about 1 hour. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Uncover the buns, brush them with the beaten egg white/water, and sprinkle with seeds, if desired.
- Bake the buns for 20 to 25 minutes, until they’re golden brown and feel set when you poke them.
- Remove them from the oven, and cool on a rack. When completely cool, wrap in plastic, and store at room temperature.
It’s fun to take a favorite family meal and make it a bit more special by making something fresh. Maybe it’s grinding the meat, or making the buns, fresh tortillas or pasta, or even just making a new marinade. Taking chances in the kitchen is what makes it fun, and also how you grow into a better chef.
Cheers to each and every one finding the perfect bun!!