I never used to question buying burger buns from the store. I wouldn’t reach for a bag of buns and think, “I could/should make my own hamburger buns.” Not ever. Until I saw them on another food blog that has never failed me and curiosity got the best of me.
We had a college friend in town to speak at a Cru meeting, and I thought I’d give the homemade buns a try. Game changer. I even impressed myself that night with how good they were. Who knew? And also, they were easy!
As long as you plan ahead for the 2-4 hours of rise time, they’re not much work. And when you stay at the pool a bit too long because it’s 95 degrees outside and think you don’t have enough time to make these, guess what? You can put the dough outside to decrease the rise time a bit. These aren’t finicky as long as your yeast is good.
The Best Burger Buns
- 3 tbsp. warm milk
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 tsp. instant yeast
- 2½ tbsp. sugar
- 1½ tsp. salt
- 1 large egg
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2½ tbsp. unsalted butter softened
- 1 large egg beaten with 1 tbsp. water for egg wash
- Sesame seeds optional
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the warm milk, warm water, yeast, sugar, salt and egg. Mix briefly to combine. Add the flours to the bowl, and mix until incorporated. Mix in the butter. Switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed for about 6-8 minutes. The dough will be sticky, but that's a good thing. The more extra flour you add, the tougher the buns will be, so try to resist the urge to add more flour.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic or bee's wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1-2 hours.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Using a dough scraper or a large knife, divide the dough into 8 equal parts (it's ok to pull out the kitchen scale here to make sure they're roughly the same size). Gently roll each portion of dough into a ball and place on the baking sheet, 2-3 inches apart. Cover loosely with plastic wrap lightly coated in nonstick spray and let rise again, 1-2 hours, until puffed up and nearly doubled.
Set a large shallow pan of water on the lowest rack in your oven. Preheat oven to 400 degrees with a rack in center. Beat remaining egg with one tablespoon water and lightly brush it on top of the buns. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using. Bake, turning sheet halfway through baking, until tops are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Serve around these burgers.