Category Archives: Buns & Rolls

Hamburger and Hotdog Bun Recipe

I decided that my messed-with Peter Reinhart recipe was a little too weird to put up. Fortunately, my new favorite cookbook, Happy in the Kitchen has one that’s pretty darn good. I fiddled with it a tad of course (I can’t help myself), and here is the result. It works very, very well and makes a dough which, while still rather wet, isn’t terribly challenging to handle.

1 pound bread flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 egg well beaten for egg wash

Combine dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. With the machine running, pour in the water and then the oil, stopping when everything is well combined. Scoop the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for 1 hour (or until doubled in size). Turn the dough out onto a well-floured pastry board. Cut the dough into 2-ounce pieces (you should have roughly 15 of them). Roll each piece into a ball (as directed in the below post!). When all the dough has been rolled, cover the balls with a kitchen towel and let them rest for ten minutes to relax the gluten. Shape as desired into either hamburger or hot dog buns, lay out on parchment-lined sheet pans, and cover with oiled plastic wrap. Proof for about an hour.

In the meantime, preheat your oven to 450. When the buns are puffy, and feel almost hollow to the touch, put them in the oven on the middle and lower racks. After five minutes, take them out of the oven and paint them gently with egg wash. Return them to the oven for 5-7 more minutes until golden brown.

Filed under:  Bread, Buns & Rolls | 2 Comments

Bun Rolling 101

It’s my opinion that if only a few people understood how easy it really was to roll a 2-ounce piece of dough, we’d have far fewer inferior buns in this country. Yet bun rolling and shaping continues to intimidate people. Well brothers and sisters, let me tell you I’m here to put an end to all that. Follow me and you’ll never hesitate to make your own rolls and buns again. First, lightly — and I mean lightly — flour your board and put down your dough piece.

The important thing to remember is that dough rolling is not like forming a ball of, say, play dough. You’ll be using a lot less pressure, and much less of the surface of your hand. In fact it’s your work board that will be doing most of the work. So, bring your hand down over the dough like so:

Notice that my hand is essentially working like a cage. My fingers are curved, with my fingertips on the board. My palm is barely touching the dough:

I shape the roll by simply moving my hand in a fairly quick, circular motion. Notice I’m not really pressing on the dough, as much as I am guiding its path with my thumb, pinky, and the base of my fingers.

Above you can see the slightly tacky consistency of the dough as it adheres a little to the board. It’s this tackiness that’s responsible for stretching the surface of the dough ball downward, creating a smooth and even skin.

Round and round. As I mentioned, getting the right amount of flour down on the board is crucial to the whole rolling process. Too much and the ball will just skate along under your hand. Too little and it’ll stick. From these pictures you can’t even tell that there’s any flour there. Trust me though, there is. A few rotations and I’m done:

A little uneven and dimply still, but then it’s a very wet dough with big gas bubbles.

For hamburger buns you just bring down your pin and roll it once into an oval.

Now give it a quarter turn and roll once more until it’s a round. If you’ve rested your dough (and don’t worry I’ll put this whole recipe up later today or tomorrow) it shouldn’t snap back much. If it does, just repeat the rolling until you get the size and thickness you’re after.

For hot dog buns, just roll the ball into a sausage shape…

Then pat the bun down a little.

After an hour proof and twelve or so minutes in the oven you should have some nicely risen and crusted (though not crust-y) hamburger and hot dog buns that can be frozen for a month or more.

Hey that was fun…I haven’t done a photo tutorial in a while!

Filed under:  Bread, Buns & Rolls, Shaping Buns & Rolls, Techniques | 3 Comments