In my last post about local hamburger I rather glossed over the hamburger bun operation. Tonight I made hamburger buns that the family declared was a keeper recipe. Paired with grilled Blackjack Valley Farm hamburger and lettuce from the garden this makes a very satisfying burger.
As with any bread, the choice of flour makes a big difference. Tonight I used up my supply of Bob’s Red Mill unbleached white which is a good bread flour. Last week I used Nash’s soft white which, while having the virtue of being local, made buns that were a bit too soft. The bread flour made all the difference, the dough developed enough gluten to make a light but firm crumb. I also used Finnriver spelt, a fine spelt flour, and local too. Spelt gives this bread it’s deliciousness – it makes bread smell like a dream of summer.
Make dough. Here’s my favorite recipe:
14 ozs. bread flour
3 ozs. spelt
1/4 cup melted butter
1 egg plus room temperature milk to equal 1 1/3 cups
1 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. yeast
If you don’t want to use dairy in this recipe you can use vegetable oil instead of butter and water instead of milk and egg.
You can make this dough with the no-knead method by simply combining all the ingredients until a soft dough forms, then placing in an oiled bowl to rise. You can also use a bread hook in a stand mixer, or a bread machine. I’ve used all these methods and they all make satisfactory dough.
Let rise for about an hour. Divide the dough into eight chunks, roll them in your hands, press them flat, placed them on a floured half sheet, and let them rise again for another couple of hours. That’s the key to good fluffy buns, that second rise.
Melt a couple of tablespoons of butter. Brush the buns with the butter. Sprinkle on golden sesame seeds if you have them.
Bake at 400′ for 15 minutes or until the buns are golden brown. Let them cool before cutting them in half.