Summer is here! And that means grilling, among other things, like sandals, shorts (gasp! yes, this year I am actually embracing the shorts), lemonade, and lots and lots of sunscreen. I’m very pale.
Since moving from the Willamette Valley to the Oregon High Desert, I’ve learned that shorts are a must! It gets hot here. But the heat is a nice dry heat, so my thighs don’t stick together! Hallelujah! Honestly, summer was never my favorite season… I actually used to hate summer. I hated being sticky and hot. I hated not sleeping well because it would never cool off at night. I hated, hated, hated wearing shorts. But since moving to Redmond, all that has changed.
I’ve been slowly and quietly putting aside my hatred for summer and now, I must say, I’m quite smitten. I’m even considering buying more shorts.
You know how I’ve been talking about upping my game? Well, I’ve got a post for you that will up your burger game this season.
How can you up your burger game? Make some homemade buns!
They are surprisingly easy (if you can make bread, you can make buns! And if you can mix together some stuff in a bowl, then you can make bread!) and they will majorly impress your family and friends. Homemade buns also taste delicious and you can take comfort in the fact that you know there’s no weird stuff in there like foreign oils or preservatives. I have tried a TON of burger bun recipes, and these are by far my favorite. They are moist and tender without being too rich, too dry or too… bready. The recipe is pretty easy, and I usually have everything on hand to make these. Joel loves them too, and I always get a lot of compliments from guests when I serve them.
Making your own buns for a family dinner can be easy and FUN!
First, heat up some milk and mix in some yeast:
Yeast is a crazy thing. I mean, have you ever stopped to think about it!? Yeast is everywhere in the air…
Back to our dough… add everything to a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you could use a bowl and a wooden spoon, but it might take a little long to knead everything together.
Mix for a couple minutes:
Let it rise for about an hour (doesn’t need to be a perfect ball, we’ll make it into some ball shapes later!):
Shape into buns (my dough ball made 7, yours might only make 6, you want them to be about the size of a baseball) and then slightly flatten with a rolling pin:
After rise #2! They do best when put into a large plastic bag (a huge shopping bag from the grocery store works) but if you don’t have that, just cover with plastic wrap. Brush with water and top with sesame seeds. I like this recipe because I can just brush them with water and they still brown up all gorgeous – I don’t have to deal with egg wash (also, why do I think egg washes are SUCH a pain?)
Bake for 20-25 minutes. They don’t take long!
Wait about 10 minutes before you slice in to them. Or you can make them in advance (like a week or so) and pop them in the fridge. If you want to make them a month in advance, these freeze well in a gallon ziplock with most of the air gently squeezed out.
Fire up the grill, baby! Grass-fed burgers with Organic Valley cheddar cheese and mushrooms… I mean, I can not even.
It’s so nice that Joel does a perfect job grilling up eggplant for me to have on the side too. He hates eggplant, but he cooks it so well! That’s love <3
Enjoy these homemade hamburger buns and HAPPY SUMMER!
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter,softened, plus extra for coating the bowl
- 3 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoons sesame seeds
- Put the milk in a small saucepan and warm it over very low heat until lukewarm. Remove the pan from the heal Sprinkle the yeast over the milk, stir, and set it aside for 5 minutes to activate.
- Meanwhile, butter a large bowl and set it aside.
- In an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the yeast and milk mixture with about 1 and 1/2 cups of the flour on low. Slowly add the remaining flour along with the sugar, salt, egg, and butter. These additions should take about 1 minute.
- Increase the speed to medium and mix 2 more minutes. The dough should look like it’s starting to come together, but there are still pieces in the bottom of the bowl. Then turn the speed to high and mix for 2 minutes. At the end of this mixing time, the dough should be elastic and completely mixed, clearing the bottom of the bowl.
- Transfer the dough to the prepared bowl,turning once to coat it with some of the butter, and cover it loosely with plastic wrap. Set it aside in a warm area for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in size.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Divide it into 6 or 7 equal pieces, and arrange them in a row on the surface. Quickly roll each piece into a ball. Leave them, covered, on the surface for another 10 minutes to relax the gluten. Then, using a rolling pin, or your hands, flatten the balls into rounds that are 3 1/2 to 4 inches in diameter.
- Place the buns on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, put the baking sheet inside a large plastic bag, and tie the open end closed. If you don’t have a plastic bag, plastic wrap works too. Place the pan in a warm area of the kitchen and let the buns rise until they have doubled in size, 30 to 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Remove the sheet pan from the bag, brush each bun with water, and then sprinkle the sesame seeds on top. Bake the buns for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Let them cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Slice in half and serve.
- I like to make a double batch and freeze them, in a gallon sized plastic bag with most of the air pushed out. To thaw, put in the fridge or on the counter overnight. If desired, you can gently warm them in the oven or split in half and toast on the grill before serving.
- These are a little thick and less "squishy" then store bought buns. If you want them thinner, divide dough into 8 pieces and prepare the rest of the recipe the same. For slider size, divide dough into 10 pieces before shaping.