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."


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


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?


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?


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!

This recipe also makes fantastic deli or hot dog buns!

Roll into 5" logs, pinch seams closed, rise till double, brush tops with an egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds.


print recipe

French Bread Hamburger or Hoagie/Hot Dog Buns 
Pillowy soft hamburger buns get their chewy artisan exterior by using steam during the first initial minutes of baking. Use an old baking pan or disposable tin pan for the cup of water and have a water bottle handy to spritz the tops of the hamburger buns. 
  • 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (80°-90°F)
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 - 2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • old baking sheet or disposable tin pan
  • 1 cup very HOT water
  • Spray bottle filled with water
  • Serrated knife for slashing tops of buns
1. In a large bowl or mixer equipped with dough hook, combine 2 cups of flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Mix well.2. Add oil to water and pour over flour mixture. Allow to sit for 15 minutes.3. Add rest of flour to make a soft dough and knead for 5-10 minutes (5 min by mixer), until dough is no longer sticky, is smooth and elastic.4. Spritz/brush top of dough with a little bit of cooking oil, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise till doubled, about 1 hour.5. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces and shape into balls, pinching the bottoms closed.6. Place balls of dough onto parchment, Silpat or lightly greased baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise till double, about 30 minutes.7. Put old baking dish/pin tin in the bottom of the oven. 8. Preheat oven to 400°F. 9. Slash tops of buns with serrated knife, about 1/4" deep. 10. Put buns in the preheated oven, and quickly pour the 1 cup of hot water into the baking pan located in the bottom of the oven. Close the oven door. Wait 30 seconds. Open the oven and with the water bottle, lightly spritz the tops of the buns. Close the door, wait 30 seconds, and spritz the tops with water for a second time. Wait 30 seconds, and spritz one last time. 
Bake for 15-17 minutes, rotating pan 180° half way through baking, until buns are golden brown. 
**For hoagie/deli buns, divide dough into 11 equal pieces, about 3 oz each. Shape into batards, or logs, pinching seams closed. Roll each into a 5" log. Allow to rise till double. Brush tops with egg wash (1 egg + 2 T. water) and sprinkle tops with sesame seeds, if desired. Slash tops vertically, just before putting into the oven with steam, as described in recipe. 
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: 2Yield: 8 hamburger buns or 11 hoagie/hot dog buns
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