I've never EVER been as impressed with a roll recipe as I am with this one. I've made a lot of bread recipes over the years, so it really takes something special to get that kind of a response out of me.
Honestly, I don't make hamburger buns very often, unless I really don't feel like going to the store and I'm running short on time, in which case I have my go-to 40 Minute Hamburger Buns. It's far more likely that I'll just grab a cheap bag of buns from the grocery store.
I'm not sure what it was about this recipe that caught my eye, maybe I was just in the mood to try out a new bread recipe- it's been awhile since I worked with yeast other than my favorite white bread recipe. Whatever the reason, I set to work on these yesterday afternoon so I'd have them ready for dinner last night.
Ohmygosh you guys...these rolls are everything a hamburger bun should be. I think they'd make wonderful hot dog buns too! They're soft and fluffy, so they don't overwhelm the burger filling at all. They're squishy and pillowy but totally strong enough to do their job, and do it well. They have a beautifully shiny exterior. They are lovely.
When it comes to burger buns you really want something along the lines of a sturdy cloud, right? Delicate and anything but tough- yet enough to hold their own and not disintegrate when they get a little juicy. Not scratchy, not dry. These buns are all of that. Don't let the number of steps scare you off, they're really quite simple to make. :-)
I just can't say enough good things about them!
P.S. Just a tip if you find yourself baking with yeast regularly, I LOVE buying yeast in bulk. No keeping track of those little packets or even the little glass jars. I've only had to buy two of these ever and both times it has lasted me well over a year and I've never had any issues with it not being active when I bake. I keep it in the back of my fridge. The first time I stored it in tupperware, the second time in a freezer bag, and both times the yeast cost me less than $5. I've found it at restaurant supply stores, grocery stores, and online and it is WELL worth the purchase if you use yeast often!
1 (.25 oz) package active dry yeast
3 1/3 C all-purpose flour, or as needed - divided
1 C warm water (105 degrees F/41 degrees C)
1 large egg
3 Tbsp butter, melted
3 Tbsp white sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp milk
1 tsp sesame seeds, or as needed (optional)
1. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
2. Place yeast into bowl of a large stand mixer; whisk in 1/2 cup flour and warm water until smooth. Let stand until mixture is foamy, 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Whisk 1 egg, melted butter, sugar, and salt thoroughly into yeast mixture. Add remaining flour (about 3 cups).
4. Fit a dough hook onto stand mixer and knead the dough on low speed until soft and sticky, 5 to 6 minutes. Scrape sides if needed. Poke and prod the dough with a silicone spatula; if large amounts of dough stick to the spatula, add a little more flour.
5. Transfer dough onto a floured work surface; dough will be sticky and elastic but not stick to your fingers. Form the dough lightly into a smooth, round shape, gently tucking loose ends underneath.
6. Wipe out stand mixer bowl, drizzle olive oil into the bowl, and turn dough over in the bowl several times to coat surface thinly with oil. Cover bowl with aluminum foil. Let dough rise in a warm place until doubled, about 2 hours.
7. Transfer dough to a floured work surface and pat to flatten bubbles and form into a slightly rounded rectangle of dough about 5x10 inches and about 1/2 inch thick. Dust dough lightly with flour if needed. Cut dough into 12 equal pieces. Form each piece into a round shape, gently tucking ends underneath as before.
8. Use your hands to gently pat and stretch the dough rounds into flat disc shapes about 1/2 inch thick. Arrange buns about 1/2 inch apart on prepared baking sheet. Dust buns very lightly with flour. Drape a piece of plastic wrap over the baking sheet (do not seal tightly). Let buns rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
9. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
10. Beat 1 egg with milk in a small bowl, using a fork, until mixture is thoroughly combined. Very gently and lightly brush tops of buns with egg wash without deflating the risen dough. Sprinkle each bun with sesame seeds.
11. Bake in the preheated oven until lightly browned on top, 15 to 17 minutes. Buns will stick together slightly where they touch. Let cool completely, tear the buns apart, and slice in half crosswise to serve.