Sunday, July 9, 2017

Hot Dog & Hamburger Buns

At some point, I bought sausages to have with kohlrabi relish.  They come five to a package, which skewed my hot dog bun count.  Instead of always having three buns in the freezer until the next time I bought hot dogs, I decided to make a small batch of buns to resolve the issue.

I settled on the King Arthur Flour recipe because the directions talk about how "slack" - or not firm - the dough is.  That's the key to a soft bun as opposed to a hard roll.  I probably could have made kick-ass rolls without the egg and achieved the same effect.  I also picked this recipe because it makes 18 rolls.  With a quarter recipe, I could squeak out five smaller buns.  I had the cheap hot dogs, so it isn't like the buns had to get around a bratwurst.

I tried to get creative with the photography, but the truth is I ruined the batch.  I didn't set a timer for the second rise and forgot about them for well over an hour.  They over-proofed.  They were still edible and tasted pretty decent, but did not have the delicate texture they should have.

I'm going to post a half-recipe here for the sake of one packet of yeast.  You're looking at nine rolls if you go by the original recipe.  You could do 8 or 10 without really affecting the size of the buns.

1 Tb sugar
2-1/4 tsp yeast (one packet)
1/4 C water
1 C milk
1 Tb oil
1 tsp salt
3+ cups flour
1 egg
seeds for garnish (optional)

1.  Warm sugar, water, milk, and oil between 100º and 110º.  Stir in yeast and let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.

2.  In stand mixer with paddle, stir together salt and 1 C flour.  Stir in liquids and beat into a thin batter, about 2 minutes.  Add another cup of flour and beat again.  You'll start to see gluten strands.

3.  You may need to beat in a little more flour to get the dough firm enough to knead.  It's ok if it oozes a bit when you turn it onto a well-floured board.  Knead until smooth, but add as little flour as possible to achieve the effect.  Turn into an oiled bowl, coating all sides, and place in a warm place to rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

4.  Turn out dough onto a clean surface.  Divide into 8 to 10 pieces.  For hamburger buns, form into rolls and flatten slightly.  For hot dog rolls, form into cylinders about 4-12" long, then flatten slightly.  Place on parchment on a baking sheet or use pan spray.  Allow to rise in a warm place for half an hour.
5.  At the end of that half hour, start to preheat oven to 400º.  Beat egg with 1 Tb water to make an egg wash.  This is to make the buns shiny.  If you don't care about that, you can skip this step.  Brush rolls, then sprinkle with seeds, if desired.  I didn't have sesame, but I did find dried onion, poppy seeds, and celery seed.  Three were decorated with one of these each.

6.  Bake rolls for about 20 minutes, until lightly golden.  Once out of the oven, cool on a wire rack to prevent the undersides from getting soggy.

Makes 8 to 10

Difficulty rating  :)

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