A few days ago, as I was putting groceries away, I suddenly sensed a peculiar smell in the air. Was something burning? I quickly scanned the kitchen appliances in case I had accidentally left something on during my grocery run. Nope, my kitchen was resting quietly in between shifts.
I turned my nose toward the open (hallelujah!) balcony door, and suddenly it hit me. People were grilling.
It’s been a long, hard, bitterly cold winter in Minneapolis, but finally there’s hope. Birds are chirping, snow mounds are melting, and the days are getting longer. The other night a ladybug flitted onto our screen door and the cat just sat and stared at it, transfixed by the sudden emergence of tiny wildlife.
People are grilling again.
In preparation for my favorite season, the time of sun-drenched cookouts, camping trips, and the acknowledgment that everything tastes better outdoors, I’m sharing my favorite hamburger bun recipe. Sure, you can pick up an eight-pack from the store. But the days are longer now, which means there’s plenty of time for baking. And hamburgers taste so much better on freshly baked buns.
Wheat Hamburger Buns
- 3 Tbs. warm milk
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 tsp. instant yeast
- 2 Tbs. sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 large eggs, divided
- 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 3/4 cups bread flour
- 2 1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- sesame seeds, for sprinkling
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together milk, water, yeast, sugar, salt, and one of the eggs until well combined. Attach the dough hook to the stand mixer and gradually add the flours while kneading on low speed. When dough starts to come together, add the butter. Continue kneading for about 6-8 minutes. The dough will be a bit sticky but should form a ball. You can add a little more flour or knead by hand for a minute or two if necessary, but try not to add too much flour as it will make the dough tougher.
Place the dough in a greased bowl, then cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, 1-2 hours. (I usually heat my oven to its lowest temperature and then turn it off to create a warm place for dough to rise.)
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Punch down dough and divide into eight pieces for large buns, or ten pieces for medium buns. Roll each piece into a ball and place on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Let rest for another 30-60 minutes, or until slightly puffed.
Meanwhile, place a large casserole or metal baking dish filled with water on the lowest rack of the oven, and place the other rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 400° F.
In a small bowl, beat together remaining egg with 1 Tbs. water. Brush each bun with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake buns for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown, rotating the baking sheet halfway through. Let cool completely on a cooling rack, then slice and serve.
Makes 8-10 buns.