5/13/11

26 French Bread Hamburger Buns!


My all time favorite hamburger bun is whole wheat.  This one pictured is a very, very close runner up.  Albertson's (now known as Fresh Market...still can't get the hang of the new name..) has some yummy French bread hamburger buns and one day...

they were out.

As in, "No, we don't have any, and are not making any more today."

Wha.......? 

Then a thought crossed my mind, "Why don't YOU make your own?"

Hello....duh.

A true French bread recipe has simple ingredients: yeast, water, salt, and oil.  I choose to add a wee bit of sugar to assist the yeast and give this bread some of its golden brown color.

Let's have a go, shall we?

All purpose, unbleached bread flour (I love to use Lehi Roller Mill's Turkey flour), active dry yeast, Real Salt, and some sugar are thrown into the bowl.

Give it a quick stir.


Stick your finger into some warm water.  If it feels warm, it's too warm.  If it feels cool, it's too cool.  If you can't feel any temperature difference, it's just right!

A real Goldilocks moment, huh?

Add some oil to the water.  I like to use canola oil.  Dump this into your flour mix.


Give it a mix, making sure to scrape the bottom.  Allow it to sit for 15 minutes.

This will give your flour some time to absorb the liquids and the yeast to create some lovely little bubbles...


Add the rest of your flour, a cup at a time, till it looks like this...


Is it ready?

No.

Give it a few more minutes of kneading and it will look like this!


Touch the dough lightly.  It should feel smooth, wet, and tacky.  Not sticky.  No dough should stick to your fingers.

Is it ready?

Yes!

I love my bowl scraper.  Here is is in action, cleaning the dough hook and scraping down the sides:


Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise till double.  Here in Utah, that only takes 30 minutes.  It may take up to an hour, depending on where you live.

Divide the dough into 8 pieces.  If you have a scale, each piece will be about 4 ounces.

Pull up the "corners" of the dough and tuck them into a smooth ball.


Place on a lightly greased baking sheet, or use a parchment or Silpat sheet.  Lightly grease the tops and cover with plastic wrap, rise till double, around 30 minutes or up to an hour.

To get a crispy crust, put an old pan in the bottom of your oven.  Turn the oven to 400ºF.

Just before baking, slightly smoosh the buns to 1"


Find a serrated knife (this is a tomato knife) and make a quick 1/4" deep slash.



Throw a cup of hot water into the old pan in the bottom of the oven, put the buns in, and quickly shut the door.

Wait 30 seconds, then quickly spritz the middle of the oven with water.  Shut the oven door.

Do this two more times, then turn the oven temperature down to 375ºF.

The combo of high heat and water will create a crispy, chewy outer crust.

You must remember to turn your oven down or they will bake too quickly!

In 15 or so minutes, this is what you will have...


I made Juicy Homemade Hamburger Patties with melted cheese, and made a Classic Burger Sauce which paired fabulously with these buns that have a tender crumb and slightly chewy crust!


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French Bread Hamburger Buns
Ingredients
2 c. unbleached all purpose flour
1 T. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
1 1/2 c. warm water
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2-2 1/2 c. unbleached all purpose flour
Equipment:
old pan, 1 cup hot water, spray bottle filled with water for baking.
Tomato or bread knife for slashing tops
Instructions
Combine 2 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast.  Mix well.  Add oil to water and pour over flour mixture.  Allow to sit for 15 min. 
Add rest of flour to make a soft dough that barely sticks to your finger. Knead by hand or mixer for 4 minutes. Spritz top of dough with oil, cover and allow to rise 1 hour or till double.
Divide dough equally into 8-pieces (3.8 oz buns) and shape into balls.  Place on parchment, Silpat, or lightly greased baking sheet.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise another 30 min or until almost doubled.

Put old pie tin or dish in bottom of oven.  Preheat oven to 400ºF.  Slash tops of buns, 1/4” deep.  Put buns in oven, and throw in 1 c. hot water into pie tin.  Close oven door.  30 seconds later, spritz tops of bread with water, close door and repeat spritzing two more times: Spritz, close door, wait 30 seconds, repeat.

Bake for 15-17 min. rotating pan 180º half way through baking till golden brown.


**For hoagie/deli buns, divide dough into 11 pieces, 3 oz. each.  Shape into batards or logs.  Roll each to a 5" long log.  Allow to rise till double.  Brush tops with egg wash (1 egg + 2 T. water) and sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.  Slash tops vertically just before putting into steam oven as described in recipe.

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