Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"Your buns are up!"

"There is also something therapeutic about making bread. I am not sure what it is. It's a strange dichotomy - the fear and the comfort." ~Kristen from Picky Cook

Yeast is intimidating...Or yeast can be intimidating. The whole process of waiting for the dough to double in size can be nerve wracking. Rise dough, rise! Rise. Rise...Is it rising? Has it doubled in volume?

The whole process of making bread can be stressful and time consuming. And there are hurdles to overcome before you can enjoy the final product. First you have to proof your yeast (pretty easy as long as your yeast is fresh), then you add the ingredients to the bowl to make the dough (still pretty easy), then you have to let it double (nerve wracking and time consuming but not hard) then comes the hard part (for me at least). You have to knead the dough, which is not difficult, but I tend to over-knead which results in a tough brick of dough**, which means it was all a waste of time, efforts and money and you don't even know it til after you've baked it!

I love how the edges curled up ever so slightly...(sigh).

You invest so much time and effort and you want it to turn out and it doesn't always. But when it does, it's so gratifying! And the aroma that the yeast creates is almost magical. Honestly, it's one of my favorite smells. Do they make a candle that smells like fresh baked bread? If they did, I'd buy a bakers dozen!

These buns were good. The original recipe holders claimed they were slightly sweet, but they didn't seem at all sweet to me. They were soft and light, but sturdy. Oddly enough, they were very similar to store bought commercial buns, only a lot fresher and without the chemicals and preservatives. They cut very easily and toasted up nicely. I froze most of them (pre-sliced) and we enjoyed them on several occasions. Hubby thought they were a nice treat.

Hamburger Buns from Busy Nothings
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 pkg. instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 T butter, melted, divided
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 3/4 cup bread flour

Heat milk to about 105 degrees. Mix milk, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer (or a mixing bowl if not using a mixer). Let the yeast proof until foamy. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and then the egg and mix thoroughly. Then add 3 cups of the flour. Beat with the paddle attachment until the dough comes together. Switch to the dough hook and add another 1/2 cup of flour. At this point, start kneading. Add flour as necessary to make a slightly sticky dough. Knead for 5-10 minutes or until soft and elastic.

Place into an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until double. Punch down the dough and roll out until it’s about 3/4 inch thick. Cut into 3 inch rounds and place onto an ungreased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until double. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. When ready to bake, brush the buns with the remaining melted butter. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately transfer to a cooling rack.

Makes 8-10 buns

**NOTE: When I rolled out the dough and cut the buns out (with a floured glass), I got 9 buns. But then I rerolled the dough to make more buns and it didn't work out so well. The last 2 buns (I made 11 total) were flat and saucer-like. I ate them with salted butter. Good but not appropriate for pulled pork sandwiches.

There's a burger joint in Texas called "Buns Over Texas" and when your order is ready for pick up at the counter, they call you over the intercom and say "Monica, Your buns are up!"


Coleens Recipes said...

I make a LOT of bread and I've made literally thousands of hamburger buns over the years. I NEVER roll and cut my buns. I simply pinch off some dough (about the size of a kiwi) and roll it out to a thickness of about 1/2" It works much better than rolling and cutting.

Monica H said...

What a great idea Coleen. Thank you! I'm definitely going to try that method because I don't like wasting the dough and rerolling it didn't work. You're a genius!

Selba said...

The buns looks so good! :)

Almost every week, my mom bakes bread.

One time, she made bread together with her friend. Both of them stood side by side and made the same recipe and oven at the same time. Funny thing, their breads' texture and taste were completely different.

Monica H said...

Selba, that is so weird. That would be an interesting experiment though.

Selba said...

Well, my guess is because of the temperature (warm) of their hands while kneading the dough :)

Same thing with plants, some people have green thumb, some people don't have it. My mom has green thumbs, she got hundreds of Jasmine plants on her roof garden. There's one time when she was sick so I had to take care her plants, she already told me how to pour the water etc. I did it exactly as what she said. Guess what? One week later, all her Jasmine plants almost died because of me :( Good thing that my mom got cured and could take care her dying plants.

my3sons said...

Oh yum! Warm bread is my absolute favorite. I have only recently tried it with my mixer. Can you do all of the kneading with the mixer? I would probably ruin it if I had to do it by hand at all. I usually use the breadmaker since I can't really ruin it. But these look very good. Katie

Donna-FFW said...

Same question can it be done in a mixer. They look beautiful, did you like the taste? Airy or doughy? You did an awesome job.. I love them thy look bakery-like, Monica!

Kristen said...

You echo my thought on bread making. I never would have thought to make my own hamburger buns, these look wonderful!

vanillasugarblog said...

I have yet to make peace with bread. Actually it's not that I'm afraid of it really it's just that my rental kitchen is 55 sq. ft. Sooooo, space is limited.
Nice buns though. LOL

Sophie said...

Yum, pulled pork sandwiches and homemade buns! I really like that quote at the beginning, totally describes my feelings about baking with yeast. These are gorgeous!

Jenn said...

I'm going to have to try this. I'm getting better at the whole bread thing and have been wanting to try hamburger rolls.

Ingrid_3Bs said...

Oh, goodness...that would totally crack the kids up. I can see them giggling over it all day.

Your buns (HA!) look good. Donna behave (hee-hee!)

I'm so not there yet but I'm working my way.

Maria said...

Nice buns!! I bet they are so good!

unconfidential cook said...

Wow, so impressed! I've never even considered making my own hamburger buns. What a treat!

Lissaloo said...

I love making bread, yum, there definitely should be a candle for it! I am so excited I FINALLY get to make your rainbow cupcakes! I have been dying to give them a try, YAY! :)

Debbie said...

They are so pretty!! I made a "stuffed" bun for the first time ever.... I'm not fond of working with yeast, as it is like you said..intimidating.
Your's look great!

Treehouse Chef said...

I always enjoy reading your blog. Great recipe!

Kerstin said...

I'm impressed you made your own buns - they look super tasty!

Monica H said...

Katie and Donna- I've never tried doing all the kneading in the mixer, so I'm not sure how it would turn out. I'm a hands-on kind of girl. Try it though and let me know!

Kristen- Thank you!

Dawn- Yes, I'd say that is small. I'd be banging the walls and going crazy!

Sophie- I didn't actually make the pulled pork, but I enjoyed it :-)

Jenn- Give them a try! I hope you do.

Ingrid- When we were kids and went to this restaurant, they called my mom over the intercom to let her know her buns were up and we all laughed hysterically. I miss those times...

Maria- Thanks. They were good!

Unconfidential Cook- They were a treat- DH loved them and they froze really well.

Lissaloo- I wish there were a candle. I'd be in love. I hope you like the rainbow cupcakes. They really are fun and yummy!

Debbie- Thank you so much!

Treehouse Chef- Thanks for the sweet comment.

Kerstin- They were tasty!

Zsofi Anna said...

Look at you, making perfect hamburger buns! Oh oh, you're going to spoil people--now for all the upcoming bbqs, they're going to be like: "Monica! Make those buns!" Hee hee.

But isn't making bread fun?!

Shari said...

I'm ALWAYS impressed when people make their own bread and buns! Excellent!

Elyse said...

Your yeasty creation turned out fabulously. Wow! I mean, these buns look amazing. They look soft and fluffy and just rearin' to go. Ready for some hamburgers for sure. Man, these look delicious!

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