Parfait! Better Burger Buns

05bPubBurgerReadybfLORich had a taste for a Pub burger – these ground beef patties I buy from our market’s butcher shop that really do make pretty fantastic burgers – but the rolls I thought I’d stashed in the freezer near the nicely wrapped patties were not to be found.

No worries!

In less time than it would take to thaw the beef, I could have eight perfect buns made and good to go – and still have time to walk the dog and finish all of our holiday cards!

•1 tbsp dry yeast
•1/2 cup warm (110º) water
•1/2 cup milk
•1 large egg
•2 tbsp vegetable oil
•2 tbsp sugar
•1 tsp salt
•3 cups flour
•1 tbsp butter
•Sesame seeds (optional)

01bYeastSoftenLOFirst, a note on the yeast and the dough: if you’ve worked with other yeast bread recipes, you may be used to the yeast foaming up and expanding when soaked in the warm water for ten minutes or so – that’s not gonna happen here.

Don’t fret, all will be fine.

03bYeastAddMilkEggbfLOThe dough, when done, will also be mebbe a bit stickier than you are used to, and it is not coated with oil before rising – this, too, is cool – all will work out nicely.

All-righty, then! Pour the warm water over the yeast in the bowl of your stand mixer, give a bit of a stir, and let rest for 10 minutes.

Whisk together the milk, egg, vegetable oil, sugar, and salt, then stir into the softened yeast in the mixer bowl on low speed until well combined.

02aDoughReadyToRisebfLOAdd the flour all at once and stir until it has blended into the yeast and milk mixture to form a rough (think biscuit-like) dough.

Knead the dough on low speed (I set my mixer on level 3 out of  12) for 10 minutes – or by hand on a floured board. The finished dough will still be a bit sticky, but should be smooth, and spring back when poked with your fingertip – yeh, like in the commercials, just don’t expect a giggle.

02bDoughRisenbfLOForm the dough into a rough ball, cover the mixing bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and set aside in a warm spot to rise for an hour or two, until the dough has doubled in size.

As always, remember that you are the boss of the dough! If you cannot get back to it in an hour, no worries, all will be fine. I left this batch for somewhere between 1-1/2 to 2 hours, and have left others for four hours, or up to overnight, with no trouble.

03aDoughDividebfLOIf you really need to forget about the dough for a while, just punch down the risen dough, pop it into a lightly floured zipper bag and stash it in the fridge for a day or two, then bring it back up to room temperature before proceeding.

Punch the risen dough down, turn out onto a lightly floured board, and divide into eight pieces.

Roll each piece into a tight ball with your hands and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

04aSesameSeedBunsbfLOCover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise until they have puffed up into hamburger sized rolls – mebbe 30 to 45 minutes – they will puff up a bit more in the oven.

Heat your oven to 375°.

Melt the butter and brush over the risen rolls – I dusted mine with sesame seed as well – then bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the tops are lightly golden brown but the crust is still soft. The rolls are best used within two days, but will keep in a sealed container for up to a week.

Rich also likes one fresh from the oven with a drizzle of honey – just a thought.

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