Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Homemade Sandwich Buns

It's been about a year since I've been making my own buns.  I have to warn you, once you start, it's hard to stop.  They are so good, they make store bought ones like Pepperidge Farm taste like saw dust.  I plan out my menus every week and for the nights when I want to have burgers or chicken salad (anything requiring a bun),  I have to plan it for a night where I know that day I will have time to make the buns because I kind of refuse to buy store bought ones, unless it's an emergency.

I was going to post this on the blog on Friday, with it being Memorial Day weekend and all, kind of the official start to the grilling season.  But, life with 5 kids does not always present the opportunity to sit and type.  It ended up being a busy weekend, with our pool being opened for the season and I raced a 5K.  So, here it is Tuesday and I am finally writing about the rolls I've been meaning to write about for over a year.

I wish I had the courage to try to make my own rolls when I lived in Japan.  Since a burger is not a customary food in Japan, it is very hard to find buns.  We used to have a running joke, "how many stores do you need to go to to make a burger?".  When I found buns, they were in packs of four, and I used to buy them ALL and freeze them until we needed them.  These rolls put those rolls to shame!  Friends in Japan, make these, they will not disappoint.
Light Brioche Buns:

Oven:  350'

3 TBSP warm milk
1 cup warm water
2 tsp yeast
2 1/2 TBSP sugar
2 eggs
3 cups bread flour
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 TBSP unsalted butter
optional:  sesame seeds, dried onions (for garnish on tops)

1) In large glass measuring cup or bowl, combine warm milk, water, yeast, and sugar.  Set aside for five minutes until foamy.

2) In bowl of mixer, combine flours and salt.   Using dough hook, cut in butter, until dough forms small clumps.  (you can also do this by hand and cut the butter in with a fork or pastry blender).  If using mixer, keep dough hook on, slowly blend in the yeast mixture and 1 beaten egg.  Keep mixing until dough comes together, it will be slightly sticky.  Knead for about 8 minutes until smooth, it is okay for dough to be slightly sticky, otherwise the buns will be tough.

3) Grease a large bowl, place the dough ball in it, cover it, and let it sit until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours.

4) Punch dough down, cut in 8 equal pieces for large buns or as I like to do, cut in two pieces, and from the first piece, cut it into 4 pieces, roll them into a ball gently, and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  For the second piece, cut into 8 pieces and gently roll into balls.  This will make slider rolls, which are great for small kids.

5) Cover the buns loosely, and let rise 1-2 more hours until doubled in size.

6) Beat the last egg.  Brush it on the tops of the buns.  Sprinkle the tops with desired garnish, or leave plain, your choice.  Bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes ( I rotated the pan 180' half way through). The tops will turn golden brown.  Let cool before serving.

Source:  Smitten Kitchen

(So, I always have people asking me how I do it, here's my quick version of how these buns happened:
12:30-Make batter in kitchen aid, while it's mixing, finish feeding baby lunch- put dough in bowl to rise, finish dishes, put baby in for nap, do laundry, come back at 2:00, form rolls, set aside to rise, get baby, go get kids from school, 3:45-preheat oven, cook buns while dinner is cooking and kids are doing homework or playing outside. 6:00 eat dinner- it's all good)

They made this dinner extra special, more to come on this party in your mouth soon:
I know somebody who really likes these buns:

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