Diary of a Foodie

Hamburger Buns

Diary of a Foodie: Season One: The Green Kitchen

Makesabout 20 buns
  • Active Time:30 min
  • Start to Finish:6 hr
January 2007
  • 1/4 cup warm water (105-115ºF)
  • 2 (1/4-oz) packages active dry yeast (5 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces and softened
  • 2 cups whole milk, scalded and cooled to warm
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour plus 1/2 cup additional
  • Special equipment:

    a heavy-duty standing electric mixer with paddle attachment and dough hook; a 3-inch round cookie or biscuit cutter
  • Stir together warm water, yeast, and 1/2 teaspoon sugar in bowl of mixer and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn't foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)
  • Add butter and remaining 1/4 cup sugar and mix with paddle attachment at low speed until just combined. Add warm milk and mix until butter is melted, then add eggs and mix until combined well. Add salt and 4 cups flour and mix at low speed, scraping down side of bowl with a rubber spatula, until flour is just incorporated. Increase speed to medium and beat until combined well, about 1 minute.
  • Attach dough hook and beat in 2 cups flour at medium speed, scraping down side of bowl once or twice, until dough pulls away from side of bowl, about 2 minutes (add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary for dough to pull away). Beat 5 minutes more. (Dough will be sticky.)
  • Transfer dough to a lightly oiled large bowl, then turn dough to coat with oil. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 2 1/2 hours.
  • Punch down dough and roll out into a 14-inch round (about 1/2 inch thick) on a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Cut out as many rounds as possible with floured cookie cutter and transfer to 2 large buttered baking sheets, arranging 3 inches apart. (Buns will expand in diameter and height as they rise and bake.) Gather and reroll scraps and cut more buns in same manner. Cover buns loosely with oiled plastic wrap and let rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until they hold a finger mark when gently pressed, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  • Bake buns in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until tops are golden and bottoms are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped, 14 to 20 minutes total. Transfer to racks to cool completely.
Cooks' Note: If you don't have a heavy-duty standing mixer with paddle attachment and dough hook, stir ingredients together in same sequence in a large bowl with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface, then knead, incorporating only enough flour to keep the dough from sticking, until smooth and elastic, 7 to 8 minutes.
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