Homemade hamburger and hot dog buns are simple to make and transform the most casual meal into a whole new treat.
- 4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup powdered milk
- 4 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cups room temperature water (between 70–75 degrees)
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 4 tbsp butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 egg whisked with 1 tsp water until frothy, for egg wash (optional)
- Sesame seeds or poppy seeds for garnish (optional)
- In the bowl of a standing mixer (or just in a large bowl), add both flours, powdered milk, sugar and yeast. Stir with a whisk to combine. Stir the egg into the water and pour into the flour. Fit your mixer with the dough hook and mix on low (speed level 2) just until the dough comes together in a shaggy mess – about 1 minute. (If you’re not using a mixer, stir with a wooden spoon, or with your hands.) Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for 20 minutes, or up to 1 hour, at room temperature.
- After this resting period, it’s time to knead. With your mixer fitted with the dough hook, knead the dough on low (speed level 2) for at least 10 minutes, adding the melted butter bit by bit, alternating with the salt. With each addition of butter, the dough will come apart a bit – let it keep kneading until it comes back together in a cohesive ball before adding more. Sprinkling in a bit of the salt after each addition of butter, will help the dough come back together. (If kneading by hand, work the butter and salt into the dough with your hands until fully incorporated. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10-15 minutes. If you’ve never kneaded dough, here’s a good tutorial.) Knead until the dough is soft, supple, and tacky but not sticky. If the dough feels dry – not tacky at all – after adding all the butter, add additional water, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough is soft, smooth and tacky.
- Grease another large bowl with butter, oil, or non-stick spray. Turn the dough out into this bowl, cover with plastic wrap that’s also been greased with butter, oil or non-stick spray, and let rise for 1 1/2- 2 1/2 hours, until doubled in size. (The length of time this takes will depend on the room temperature. If you want to lengthen the rise time to better accommodate your schedule, place the dough in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours, bringing it to room temperature before continuing with the recipe.)
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. After the dough has doubled in size, remove the dough from the bowl to a flat work surface. Divide into 12 even pieces.
- TO SHAPE HAMBURGER BUNS: shape each piece of dough into a ball by stretching along the outside of the dough with your thumbs and pinching the dough together at the bottom. (This is a good video demonstration from one of my favorite bakers.) Space the balls out evenly on the baking sheet and press down with your palm to flatten into disks.
- TO SHAPE HOT DOG BUNS: Form each piece of dough into a ball, pinching the edges of the dough together to seal (see video link above). Roll on a flat surface into a torpedo shape and space evenly on baking sheets. If the dough shrinks up a bit as you lay each piece on the parchment covered baking sheets, just pull gently at each end to stretch back out.
- Loosely cover the dough with plastic wrap that’s been greased with butter, oil or non-stick spray and let rise at room temperature for 60-90 minutes, until nearly doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. If desired, brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds. Bake the buns for 15-17 minutes, one sheet at a time, until they are golden brown and register 180 degrees on a digital cooking thermometer. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing.
- Fresh bread is best the day it’s made, but will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. These buns can also be frozen for up to 2 months – wrap individually in plastic wrap, place in a freezer ziplock bag.