Saving A Dime, Hamburger-Bun Style

For some reason, when I was living hand-to-mouth after moving back to NJ before having any kind of work lined up, I decided that baking my own breadstuffs would be some kind of great money-saving tactic. Nevermind that it’s almost definitely way more expensive to bake my own bread (I never bothered to calculate the costs) — it just seemed like a good excuse to be a person who bakes her own hamburger buns. Now, I don’t eat beef, but I do make a frequent dinner of turkey burgers, in part because they’re super-tasty and in part because they make a kick-ass leftovers lunch. And frequent turkey burgers means frequent hamburger buns. Sadly, I’ve gotten out of the habit of baking them, first because I hated the old kitchen and used “lack of space” as an excuse (totally bogus, might I add), and then because I had no kitchen. At last, I have no excuse. So it was with great delight that I hauled out my King Arthur Flour cookbook, my stand mixer and my dough-rising bucket, and got cooking.

I use KAF’s “Beautiful Burger Buns” recipe, wherein you just mix together:

1 cup water
2 tbsp butter
1 large egg
3 1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp instant yeast

and knead (by hand or by machine) until you’ve got a soft, smooth dough. (The recipe suggests adding optional onion powder [1 tsp] and dried minced onion [1/2 tsp], but please.) Then you let it rise, covered (or in a dough-rising bucket, which remains one of my all-time favorite Christmas presents from Pookie), for an hour or so, until it’s doubled in bulk. The recipe then says to divide the dough into eight equal pieces and shape into flattened balls, but my burger bun pan only has six holes in it, so my buns are jumbo-sized. If you know what I mean.

Anyway, once the shaped buns have risen for about 40 minutes, I egg-wash them, slash them, and then bake them at 350 degrees (F) for 12-15 minutes, until they’re golden and huge and domed and beautiful. When I’m more prepared for them, I tend to have black sesame seeds or poppy seeds on hand to make them a bit more artful, but I caught myself by surprise in wanting to make these, so there were no seeds this time around. (I also did a bobo job of slashing the tops here, so please, try to keep your snickering to a minimum.)

hamburgerbunssmall.jpg

Of course, I’m not planning on having burgers any time especially soon, so I have no idea how these turned out. They look good (bobo slashing aside), but have been tucked away in the dead body freezer. See you soon, hamburger buns!

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