It doesn’t make a lot of sense, but if my options are go to the grocery store for one specific item or make it at home with ingredients I already have, I want to make it at home. Sure, making whatever at home will probably ultimately take longer, but I really hate battling traffic to spend too much money for one thing at the local Safeway. I’d really rather just avoid Safeway altogether!
These homemade hamburger buns were born out of the desire for buns to serve some bean burgers made from leftover black beans and an equally strong desire to not go to the store. They’re more flavorful than the usual, store-bought suspects, pretty darn easy, and the recipe only makes 8 so you’re not stuck with a mountain of dough and too many leftover rolls. The dough freezes well, so you can always make 4 for now and save 4 for later!
Even though all bread products require a bit of time, these rolls have very simple ingredients you probably already have at home. I used my new, wonderful KitchenAid mixer, and the recipe is written for a standing mixer, but you can always do the work by hand, if you need to. You can just think of it as part of your workout for the day! This recipe is a little different from many roll and bun recipes because it doesn’t include milk. I love milk in bread and buns, but I feel like the delicious, rich taste of the rolls can almost start to take away from a sandwich. This recipe produces rolls with a great texture and full flavor, but that allow you to taste the hamburger or sandwich, too.
- ½ a cup of warm water
- 1 teaspoon of yeast
- ½ tablespoon of sugar
- 2¼ cups of flour
- ½ tablespoon of salt
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1 egg
- Combine the warm water, sugar and yeast in a small bowl and allow it to rest until the yeast is frothy and active, about 5-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter and then allow it to cool slightly.
- Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of your standing mixer (or just in a large bowl, if you're doing it by hand) and fit the dough hook to your mixer. Add the yeast slurry and melted butter. Mix on low speed for 1 minute, stop the mixer to scrape down the bowl to incorporate all ingredients, and then continue mixing on low speed until dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes for a mixer, or 8-10 by hand.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover it lightly with a towel or plastic wrap, and place it in a draft-free spot to rise. Allow it to rise until it's just doubled in volume, about 60-90 minutes.
- Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface and press it carefully with your palms to deflate it. Form the dough into 8 roughly equally-sized balls and flatten each slightly with your palm to make a bun shape. If you don't flatten the dough, you'll just have rolls instead of buns!
- Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper, transfer the buns to the sheet, cover them with a damp towel, and allow the buns to rise again. They should almost double in size once more, only this time it should just take 30-45 minutes.
- While the buns are rising, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Once the oven is ready and the buns have risen, vigorously beat the egg until it is a consistent yellow color and foamy. Brush the tops of each bun with this egg wash.
- Place the buns on the middle rack of the oven and bake until they are golden brown on top, about 15-20 minutes.
- Allow the buns to cool, slice them in half, and enjoy with your favorite burger or sandwich!
You can freeze the dough after forming the rolls or you can freeze the baked rolls – the choice is yours! They do keep a couple of days in an air tight container on the counter, just make sure you allow them to cool completely before trying to store them. They’re great for hamburgers and sandwiches, and made a fantastic accompaniment to the black bean burgers with sweet plantains shown below.
Would you rather make something at home than make a trip to the store?