ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Burger or Hot Dog Buns,” from Sally on AllRecipes.com.*
TIMING: 1 1/2 hours
HEALTH: These are straight-up white flour hot dog (or hamburger) buns. I don’t exactly condone the use of white flour, but then I sorta do. I use it all the time and I’ll tell you why. First, moderation in all things and diversity in everything (when talking diet). So make sure you get whole grains, all sorts of grains, and that you don’t eat just one grain all the time. Second, being realistic is extremely important, and most of us will never swear off white flour. Third, I use local, organic, unbleached white flour. I would love it if you also use the best flour you can get your hands on. Fourth, baking your own bread–no matter how white–is a far superior idea to buying almost any loaf of bread at your typical supermarket.
EXPERIENCE: I bought hot dogs (read: nitrate-free, all natural, conscientious hot dogs) and I forgot to buy the buns. I did not feel like heading back up to the store, nor did I want to waste my time or gas money. So, I thought, “I’ll make my own.” I opened a cookbook and–literally–an old copy of an AllRecipes recipe floated to the floor and it was for–you guessed it–buns.
Being that I was feeling too lazy to actually take the bread machine out of the cupboard and yet motivated enough to knead dough for eight minutes (?!), I went with the recipe. And being that I was thinking I had a really long time until dinner but discovering I only had a couple hours, I was really glad to see that this homemade yeast bread recipe only called for an hour and a half from start to finish (mostly not in the kitchen).
So, if you find yourself without buns, can compromise with some white bread, have a couple of hours until dinner must be on the table, and want to snarf some really yummy bread fresh out of the oven… then here you go.
NOTE: Obviously, I did not quite get the shape right. I care less about the shape then the taste, but you could definitely spend a little more time pulling them out into hot dog shapes. Also, these are not going to be as light and fluffy as Wonder bread, so just don’t expect that. They are better in (many) different ways.
- In a small sauce pan, heat 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup water, and 1/4 cup unsalted butter over low-medium heat until temperature reaches 120F. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, 2 1/2 teaspoons active yeast, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.
- Pour wet ingredients into the dry and mix together with a wooden spoon until just incorporated. Add an egg and continue mixing.
- Add 3 cups all purpose flour, 1/2 cup at a time. When dough becomes shaggy, stop adding flour.
- Turn shaggy mass out onto a clean, floured surface and knead for 8 minutes, until dough is soft and smooth.
- Oil a baking sheet and preheat the oven to 400F.
- Divide dough into 16 pieces (using a dough scraper or a butcher knife). Roll each piece into a ball or a roll (for either a hamburger or hot dog bun). Pinch the bottoms in on themselves to make the roll tight, then set on the pan.
- When all done, cover the pan with a towel, spritz with water (to make the towel damp, not wet), and set the pan in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
- Remove the towel and bake the buns for 20-35 minutes, until golden brown and they sound hollow when you thunk them.
Serve fresh, cut open, with a hot dog, sausage, or burger inside. Or, eat out of hand. Seriously: eating your own bread is so fulfilling.
*Recipe has been changed from the original.