Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Recipe: Hamburger Buns

You wouldn't believe how easy these are.

Make bread dough ( Or use your favorite recipe.

After it's raised for 1 1/2- 2 hours (punching it down every 30 minutes or so to keep it in the bowl and because it improves the texture), break the dough into 14-16 balls, bigger than a pingpong ball but smaller than a baseball.  Form it into a nice round ball (I fold it under and into itself repeatedly until it's a nice, smooth, tight ball on top, and then put the folded-under side on the bottom). The smoother the top of the ball, the nicer the bun will look. When it's a nice ball, smash it between your hands so it's about 3 inches across and quite thick (my kids get a kick out of this procedure because each ball gets one good smack). Place this on a greased cookie sheet. Repeat for the rest of the dough balls. My cookie sheet holds 12. You want to place them in the same places you put cookies. They'll look like they are too close together, but you want them to touch sides as they raise.

Cover them (I use plastic wrap, my mom uses a damp cloth) and put them in a warm place to raise for 30 minutes. During the last ten minutes of raising time, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cook for 12-15 minutes, until the tops are lightly golden.

When you take them out of the oven, place them on a clean dry dishcloth or paper towels on a cooling rack--this softens the bottoms of the buns without making them soggy--and cover them with damp (not wet) paper towels or a clean dry dish cloth to catch the steam and soften the tops (unless you like a crunch hamburger bun).

Really easy, really cheap, really tasty. Also FAR more filling than storebought buns, and they don't stick in your teeth like the store variety do.

You could do hot dog buns, too. Just make a flattened oblong instead of a flattened circle.

Our favorite hamburgers use these buns, beef patties, and a slice of fried ham (like you have for breakfast, not those processed thinned-out lunch meats) along with the usual hamburger toppings. It sounds weird, but it's FANTASTIC.  I also  like to add a slice of fried ham to chicken sandwiches. YUM!

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