One of my favorite Parks and Rec episodes includes a burger contest between Ron and Chris, which also shows Ron’s visit to ‘Food ‘N Stuff’.
Ron’s winning entry is ‘a hamburger made out of meat on a bun with nothing’. I’d like to think my burgers fall somewhere in between.
The picture above is from turkey burgers I made last week, the one below is from venison burgers I made last summer (I also think it’s one of the better food pictures I’ve taken). The first attempt I made at hamburger buns was a ciabatta type bun. It was really good, but comically large.
This time around I wanted to make a more traditional bun. If I’m making a dough for the first time and don’t already have a recipe I’d like to try, I go to King Arthur first. As usual, they did not disappoint.
The recipe yield listed is 8 buns, although I divided the dough up into 10 pieces and thought they were sized very well. Once the dough is rolled out into balls, you’re supposed to flatten them before allowing the dough to rise for a few hours. I think I’ve seen that technique before…
The turkey burgers I made to go with these (Super simple: mix 1 lb turkey, 1 sauteed onion & 1 pepper, 1/4 cup bread crumbs, divide into burgers and pan cook until done) finished cooking about 5 minutes before the buns were done, so we got to eat them fresh out of the oven. This is definitely my go-to recipe for burger buns now.
- 3/4 to 1 cup lukewarm water
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large egg yolk (set aside egg white for later)
- 3 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- Sesame seeds (optional)
1) Mix and knead together all of the dough ingredients (everything listed above except the optional sesame seeds and melted butter). Knead in a stand mixer for 4-5 minutes, until the dough is soft and smooth.
2) Cover the dough and let it rise for 1 to 2 hours, or until it’s nearly doubled in bulk.
3) Divide the dough into 8 or 10 pieces, depending on the desire number/size of buns. Shape each piece into a round ball and lay on a parchment lined baking sheet. Flatten the dough balls to about 3 inches across (I used the back of a measuring cup).
4) Let the buns rise for another hour. Towards the end of the hour preheat oven to 375°.
5) Optional: Whisk the egg white left over from the dough, and brush on top of buns. While wet, top buns with sesame seeds or other seed topping.
6) Bake the buns in a preheated 375°F oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden. Remove them from the oven and let cool.
Recipe courtesy of King Arthur Flour