To me, summertime is synonymous with grilling.
We eat a lot of burgers in this household. We affectionately call them “the poor man’s steak.”
To make things really frugal,
I’m going to show you how.
I honestly don’t know who to credit this recipe to. I have been making and tweaking my hamburger buns for so long that I really don’t even remember where I started.
If I don’t buy my burgers patties already formed, I use this Burger Press.
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Whole Wheat Honey Hamburger (or Hot Dog) Buns
1 cup water or milk (I used buttermilk, but any kind works. Water is the more frugal option, but I have read that milk makes the bun softer. You can also use the liquid you pour off of your yogurt or sour cream)
4 Tablespoons butter or oil
1 Tablespoon molasses (optional)
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast (or one packet)
1 teaspoon salt (I use Redmond’s Real Salt for the health benefits)
1/4 c. vital wheat gluten flour (optional) OR 1/4 c. regular flour of choice (the gluten will give it more rise & make a less dense bun if you are using all whole wheat flour)
Using low heat and a small saucepan, warm the milk, butter, honey, and molasses just until the butter begins to soften and melt. Use care not to get it too hot. This mixture needs to be just warm (not too cool or too hot) to activate the yeast.
I use my Kitchen Aid mixer for this recipe, but you can also do this by hand. Add the yeast to your mixing bowl. Check the temperature of the warm milk mixture to make sure it is around 100 degrees or just warm to the touch. If it feels hot to the touch, it will kill the yeast, and your buns will not rise properly.
Add the milk mixture to the yeast along with the egg and the salt.
At this point, I add the wheat gluten flour (if using) and 2 1/2 cups of flour. Turn the mixer on low or mix by hand. The idea here is to form a ball that is still a little sticky to the touch. If you add enough flour that your dough isn’t sticky, it will likely result in a dry and crumbly bun. That’s not good.
I knead the dough for another minute or two, adding more flour cautiously and only if needed. If you are kneading by hand, you will need to knead the dough for 5-7 minutes. It should be slightly sticky, but not a wet mess.
Cover with a clean tea towel and allow the dough to rise until it has doubled, around 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the warmth of the kitchen.
Punch the dough down in the center of the ball. Place on very lightly floured or oiled countertop and cut into 8 pieces. Shape into buns (hamburger or hot dog). I usually make my hamburger buns just larger that the size of my palm or if I am not feeling rushed, I use this handy cutter. Place onto a buttered or oiled cookie sheet keeping in mind that they won’t expand out much, if at all. Cover and allow to rise 20-30 minutes, or until the buns have risen.
Some people like to brush the tops with egg whites or milk and then top with sesame seeds, but I keep it au natural. I’m
lazy easy-going that way. (Though I do love my silicone basting brush for a host of other kitchen tasks!)
Bake at 350 for about 10-15 minutes. Check after 8-10 minutes to ensure that you do not overbake. Mine only take about 9 minutes because my countertop convection oven cooks so quickly. (You can read more about that here.)
Remove from oven and allow to cool on cookie sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. When buns have cooled, slice and serve. These taste wonderful when lightly grilled.
As this recipe yields 8 hamburger buns for my family of 4, I freeze the remaining 4 buns for the next time we grill burgers. I allow them to cool completely, slice, place into a labeled freezer bag, and freeze. To defrost, simply remove from the freezer and allow to thaw overnight in the fridge or on the counter. They can also be taken out the morning of and allowed to defrost at room temperature. If you find that you forgot to defrost your buns (not that I have ever done this!), they will defrost quickly in the oven at about 200 degrees.
When I am really thinking ahead, I double this recipe for an even better stocked freezer.
This is certainly more work than opening a bag of store bought buns, but the savings (and the taste!) can’t be beat.
What do you think? Have you tried making your own homemade buns before?Print This Post