Sunday, April 06, 2008

Homemade burger buns

Lately, a modest veggie burger has been one of my favorite weeknight dinners. They're so nice with slices of ripe tomato, some mustard, and a leaf of spinach. Sometimes I put soy cheese on mine--oh, and always a pickle! Always!

Although we occasionally make our burgers from scratch, Ben and I don't snub the commercial ones. Boca and Gardenburger make such good-tasting, dependable burgers that it's hard to muster up the courage to make homemade ones that may or may not turn out right. If you've ever tried to make your own veggie burgers out of mushrooms or other veggies, you know that lots of things can go wrong. (They often turn out crumbly, for example.)

But one thing I can be relied upon to make well is homemade burger buns. Since the dough has to be punched down a couple of times before being formed into cute little bun shapes, I make them on days when I am working from home. It takes a little time (mostly waiting for the dough to rise), but making them is incredibly easy and inexpensive. Plus, fresh bread is always worth the trouble.

Homemade burger buns

2 1/2 c. flour (unbleached white, whole wheat, or a mix)
1/2 t. salt
Scant T. yeast whisked into 1/4 c. water
1/4 c. canola oil

Combine the flour and salt in bowl. (If you have a Kitchenaid mixer with a bread hook, combine them in your mixer bowl.) Making sure that the yeast is completely dissolved in the 1/4 c. water, add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and either stir by hand until combined or attach your bread hook and mix.

Knead the dough for ten minutes by hand or a few minutes by mixer/hook. Cover with plastic wrap and a clean dish towel and place in a warm spot to rise. (Sometimes I put the rising dough in the living room, because that room is a little warmer than the others.)

After a couple of hours, when the dough has doubled in bulk, punch the dough and scrape down sides. Cover again. A couple hours later, when the dough has doubled again, punch the dough, scrape the sides, and form dough into a ball. Divide the ball into 5-8 smaller pieces (depending on what size you'd like the buns to be, or how many you need). Form each into a ball and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet to rise one more time. (You can cover them if you like--I usually find it too much trouble.)

When the buns have risen to not quite double their size, bake them in a 350 degree oven for about twenty minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of one comes out clean.

When cool, slice the buns in half bun-style.


  1. I'm so inspired by your bread making!

  2. Hey Aimee-
    Greetings from D.C. If you are looking for a bread recipe that doesn't take as long but tastes just as good- try using spelt flour. It only needs to be kneaded and rise once- which makes prep time approximate 1.5 hours rather than 5 or six. It could be a good weekday breadmaking alternative! Let me know if you're interested and I'll send the recipe along!