One of the first posts we published for this blog featured the meat grinder attachment, and how to make your own hamburger patties. As summertime is almost upon us again, I figured it was only appropriate to delve into making homemade hamburger buns. I also found out just a few weeks ago that May is national hamburger month, so it seemed even more fitting to create a scrumptious bun for all the grilling holidays to come.
You can shape your regular bread dough into buns, but I always found this, well, a bit bread-y for my liking. However, I wanted something sturdier than those floppy packs of pull-apart buns at the grocery store. So I did a little research and came across several recipes that called for potato flour. Potato flour is made from cooked, dried and ground potatoes. It is a heavy, yellow-hued flour. It can be used as a thickener, or in baked goods to help them retain moisture. A little goes a long way, and using too much will produce a heavy, doughy bun. Do not confuse it with potato starch, which is a refined starch that is extracted from potatoes. It has a very fine texture and is white in color. It is mostly used as a thickening agent.
The potato flour initially seems to suck up all the moisture in this recipe and make the amount of flour seem excessive. Don’t be alarmed! Once the kneading process is over, the dough is actually a bit sticky.
I find a kitchen scale very helpful for consistent size when it comes to buns and rolls.
To form tight little balls, your thumb and pinkie finger should rest on the work surface. The other fingers are gently cupping the dough ball. Move your hand in a circular motion, rolling the dough around until it forms a smooth ball.
Firmly press dough balls down to form hamburger buns. I press them all down once, and then once again.
This tuberous flour definitely helped bridge the gap between hardy roll and flimsy bun and produced a bun that was fluffy and moist but also had enough texture to hold up to condiments, toppings and juicy burgers without turning into a soggy mess.
I wanted to hold on to that traditional pull-apart look and easily achieved it by baking the buns close together on a half-sheet pan. You could, of course, space them out more and end up with individual bun shapes.
Hope these buns add a special touch to your summertime grill sessions and please respond with any questions or comments! We always enjoy hearing from our readers and subscribers. If you need a tutorial on setting up your Ankarsrum mixer with the roller/scraper attachment click HERE.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Inactive Time: 3 hours
369 g. (1 1/2 cups) whole milk
55 g. (1/4 cup) olive oil
21 g. (1 Tbsp.) honey
12 g. (1 Tbsp.) yeast
500 g. (4 cups plus 3 Tbsp.) all-purpose flour
48 g. (1/4 cup) potato flour
6 g. (1 1/2 tsp.) kosher salt
Set up your Ankarsrum mixer with the stainless steel mixing bowl and roller and scraper attachments.
Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until warm to the touch (105º-110º F). Add the milk to the mixer along with the olive oil, honey and yeast. Mix on low speed (2 o’clock) until combined. Add half of the all-purpose flour along with the potato flour and mix until incorporated.
Adjust the speed to medium (between 2 and 3 o’clock) and add in the rest of the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, along with the salt. Once the flour and salt are mixed in, lock the roller in place about an inch from the side of the bowl, set the timer for 7 minutes and let the dough knead.
Once the dough is done kneading, shape it into a ball, cover and let rise until doubled in size, approximately 1-2 hours.
Turn the risen dough out onto a clean surface and gently knead into a ball again. Using a kitchen scale, weigh out 98 g. (3 1/2 oz.) portions of dough. Roll into balls and then firmly flatten with the palm of your hand. Whisk the egg in a small bowl and gently brush on top of the rolls. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.
Place flattened buns on a half-sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Cover and let rise until almost doubled in size, approximately 45 minutes to an hour.
Preheat oven to 375°.
Bake for 25 minutes or until browned on top. Let the buns cool on the pan for 5-10 minutes and then move to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Fresh bread is best used within 2 days. Alternately, you can freeze for up to 2-3 months.
Yield: 10 buns
Whole Wheat Version:
-Substitute the all-purpose flour with 473 g. (4 cups plus 3 Tbsp.) whole wheat flour. Follow the recipe above.
-If you mill at home, use a hard white wheat. Hard red wheat produced a heavy bun and soft white wheat didn’t have enough gluten in it and came out like a cross between a biscuit and a bun.
-As with all whole grain baked goods, they will naturally be denser than the white flour version.