BBB - bring on the buns

I've said it before and I'll say it again.  Nothing compares to homemade hamburger buns.  And, despite the inclement weather, it is summer and by golly we will grill burgers!  Sara at i like to cook chose a Williams Sonoma hamburger bun recipe for this month's BBB challenge.  I just sent the last two homemade buns from the freezer with my daughter for a camping trip with the folks.  Good time to Buddy up and replenish the supplies.  This recipe is more enriched than my old favorite and yields a bun that is closer to the soft pillowy storebought kind, especially if you use all white flour.  I choose to use part white whole wheat in mine.  And yeah, I was a wet blanket and made them the standard round shape instead of the cool squares.  It's a matter of don't change too many things at once or the kids will rebel.  We don't have White Castle around here, so they have no exposure to the cute little sliders.  But most kids love mini stuff, right?  Maybe next time.  ☺  I added my changes/opinions in italics.  Go out and make yourself some buns however you like them!

Homemade Hamburger Buns

1½ cups (375 ml) milk (bring to scald for better flavor and rise)
8 Tbsp (1 stick/125 g) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces (I use salted butter, but also add less salt)
4½ tsp active dry yeast (I use ~3 tsp Instant Yeast)
4 cups (625 g) all purpose flour, plus more for dusting (I use slightly less since I use part whole wheat)
5 Tbsp sugar (I use less)
1 Tbsp kosher salt (I use about half that - sea salt)
1 egg beaten with 1 tsp water (for egg wash - optional)
 sesame seeds for sprinkling (optional)

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk and butter and heat until the butter is melted, about 7 minutes.  Remove from the heat and let cool to 105-155ºF (40 to 46ºC).  Add the yeast and stir until the yeast is dissolved.  Let stand for 10 minutes.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the 4 cups of flour, the sugar and salt and beat on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds.  Add the milk mixture and knead until the dough forms a ball, about 1 minute.  Increase the speed to medium low and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, 4 to 5 minutes.  Remove the dough from the bowl, oil the inside of the bowl and return the dough to the bowl.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 10 x 7½" (25 x 19 cm) rectangle.  Using a ruler as a guide, cut the dough into 2½" (6 cm) squares.  Transfer to the prepared baking sheet, spacing the buns evenly apart, and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC)

Remove the plastic wrap from the baking sheet.  Brush the tops of the buns with the egg mixture and sprinkle with sesame seeds if using.  Bake until the buns are golden and an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of a bun registers 190ºF (88ºC), 14 to 16 minutes.  Transfer the buns to a wire rack and let cool completely.  Cut in half and use as hamburger buns.  
Makes 12 hamburger buns.

For slider buns: Follow the instructions above but roll out the dough into a 9" (23 cm) square.  Cut into 1½ inch (4cm) squares and place on 2 parchment lined baking sheets.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.  Position one rack in the upper third of an oven and one rack in the lower third and preheat to 400ºF (200ºC).  Brush the tops with the egg mixture and sprinkle with sesame seeds if using.  Bake for about 14 minutes, rotating the baking sheets from top to bottom and 180 degrees halfway through baking.  

Makes 36 slider buns.

My backseat baker notes:  Do let them cool completely before trying to slice.  They will be much easier to slice and hold up better under the filling with ample cooling time.  
One thing I love about homemade buns is that they freeze AND thaw great.  Just don't slice them before freezing.  I know my standby recipe freezes well.  With these more highly enriched buns, I would freeze on a sheet before storing in a food bag so as to ensure they keep their shape.  Standard store bought buns, well they turn into shriveled little freezer burned hockey pucks.  Go homemade!


  1. Um, I knead some more of those buns! You are right shape doesn't really matter, they're just good buns! Except it does matter to my husband who grew up on those little White Castle squares and loves to tell how his mom would buy them 3 for a nickel and then they had to drive home with them smelling soooooooo good all the way home!
    Thanks for baking with us.

  2. Your buns look lovely! (Is that too personal?)

    Thanks for the tip of freezing. I've never tried freezing any of my homemade bread because of my experience freezing storebought stuff.

    The milk doesn't need to be scalded unless you're super cool and using raw milk. ;-)

  3. @Lynn - that's the great thing about homemade, even sliced, it keeps better frozen than store bought, (though it is better to leave unsliced unless you go through a loaf super slow.) Yeah, I know the scalding isn't really necessary and I don't use my precious raw milk in yeast bread, (going to bake it anyway) but it always seemed to me that I got better results scalding even regular pasteurized milk. So I do it as a matter of personal preference. ☺

  4. Gorgeous buns with a lovely domed top. Glad you baked with the babes this month.


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