Although I would definitely consider myself an extremely nervous bread maker--or, more specifically, a nervous maker of anything with yeast in it--I was inspired once again over here, and burger night was fast approaching, so I went for it.
I'm so glad I did! And yes, there are hours involved because it's homemade bread and the stuff has to rise. But it's so easy peasy people, and so worth it. It will be hard for me to buy these in the store from here on out because really, what are in those super market buns that make them last so long? I don't even want to know. It's pretty inconvenient (and kinda trendy, huh?) to be anti-super market but the more I think about it, the less food-like all that food in there is because of how far it has to travel and how long it has to sit and wait to be bought. Kinda gross. I know that's old news, but I'm still thinking about it.
Anyway, back to these beautiful buns. Please try them. We ate them warm out of the oven with our burgers and I was close to weeping. I'm probably not going to start grinding my own flour or anything, don't worry. But I will make these again and my yeast confidence went up a notch too.
Makes 8 4 to 5-inch burger buns
3 tablespoons warm milk
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs
3 cups bread flour
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Sesame seeds (optional)
1. In a glass measuring cup, combine one cup warm water, the milk, yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about five minutes. Meanwhile, beat one egg.
2. In a large bowl, whisk flours with salt. Add butter and rub into flour between your fingers, making crumbs. Using a dough scraper, stir in yeast mixture and beaten egg until a dough forms. Scrape dough onto clean, well-floured counter and knead, scooping dough up, slapping it on counter and turning it, until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. The dough will be on the sticky side so it can be a bit messy, but keep in mind that the more flour you knead in, the tougher the buns will get. Try to leave them tackier than you would a round loaf.
3. Shape dough into a ball and return it to bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, one to two hours.
4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using dough scraper (or a big sharp knife,) divide dough into 8 equal parts. Gently roll each into a ball and arrange two to three inches apart on baking sheet. Cover loosely with a piece of plastic wrap lightly coated in nonstick spray and let buns rise in a warm place for one to two hours.
5. Set a large shallow pan of water on oven floor. Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in center. Beat remaining egg with one tablespoon water and brush some on top of 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.