Friday, March 6, 2015

Homemade Hamburger Buns

© Donna Cook – All Rights Reserved  
I love my bread machine and can make all types of raised dough recipes in it. Of course I make regular loaves of bread but the "dough" cycle allows all sorts of other yummy recipes. I've adapted my grandmother's raisin bread and a cinnamon roll recipe for the bread machine.

I'll show you how to make quick and easy homemade hamburger buns. They are tastier, fresher, and fluffier than any grocery store package. Give them a try!

  • 3/4 cup bread flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup milk warmed
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg 
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
  • Total time: 4.5 hours
    • Prep time: 30-45 minutes
    • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Serves: 12
  1. Combine ingredients in bread machine pan, put yeast in dispenser, and run on dough cycle per manufacturer's instructions.
  2. Lightly grease sheet pan with cooking oil or butter.
  3. Remove dough ball from bread machine pan and place on lightly floured surface.
  4. Flatten dough ball with your hands to release gas bubbles. You can roll the bubbles out with a rolling pin but it's easier for me just to flatten the dough.
  5. Cut dough into 12 equal sections using dough scraper or knife
  6. If you have a scale, each ball should weigh about 3 ounces plus or minus 0.1 ounces.
  7. Place dough ball in egg ring and press to fit. Alternately, flatten dough ball to approximately 3.5 inches.
  8. Place shaped dough in previously greased sheet pan. Let rise one hour.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. The buns will be a light brown on top.
  10. Cool on cooling rack and serve!

Food Facts - Bread Flour

How is bread flour different from all purpose flour? Bread flour contains more protein than all purpose flour. Some of this protein is gluten. Gluten causes the dough to be elastic and forms a network of the proteins. As the yeast metabolizes the sugar in the dough it releases a waste product, carbon dioxide, as bubbles. These bubbles permeate the dough and are trapped by the protein network, causing the bread to rise. 

Wheat is categorized into hard (spring and winter) and soft wheat. All purpose flour has a protein content of about 8-11% and is a mix of hard and soft wheat. Bread flour has more hard wheat and a higher protein content of 12-14%. 

The “Nutrition Facts” panel on the two bread flours in my pantry list four grams of protein per ¼ cup. The all purpose flour lists three grams of protein per ¼ cup which is 25% less protein. Although they have the same protein content, the generic bread flour and the name brand bread flour I have perform differently for me. The name brand bread flour gives a better texture and consistency than the generic. I don’t know why. Luckily, the price difference is minimal so I just use the name brand.

The wheat flour that I have also lists four grams of protein per ¼ cup. I’ve tried to make wheat bread using half wheat flour, half bread flour and one tablespoon of gluten. It still doesn’t rise properly so I just make white bread now. Wheat gluten has about 23 grams of protein per ¼ cup. 

I did not have any success making bread until I started using bread flour and a bread machine. I don’t know how my grandmother made breads without added gluten, unless she just kneaded the heck out of them.

Step 3 - Dough on floured surface
Step 4 - Flattened Dough

Step 5 - Cutting Dough
Step 5 - Dough cut in 12 sections

Step 6 - 12 dough ball
Step 6 - 3 ounce dough ball
Step 8 - Dough before rising
Step 7 - Pressing dough into egg ring 

Step 9 - Just out of the oven
Step 8 - Dough after rising