Hamburger Buns

It’s an absolutely gorgeous, sunny day, out there – a perfect day for firing up the grill and cooking some burgers. That, of course, means making hamburger buns! I know that any normal person would run down to the store and pick up a pack. And we all know that the last thing I am is normal.

I go back-and-forth on buns. I love a burger served on crusty sourdough like the ones they used to have at Original Joe’s on Taylor Street in San Francisco. I haven’t been to the newer incarnations, but the crusty, crunchy, chewy – and totally greasy and messy – burger was one that dreams are made of.

And… I love a burger on a soft, gooey, bun that barely contains all of the greasy goodness packed between the top and bottom layers.

One of the best indications of how good a burger was is how many napkins did it take for me to get through it? The more napkins, the better the burger. Barely able to take a bite, with grease and goo running down the arms – unable to put it down because it will completely fall apart when I try to pick it back up… The Perfect Burger!

In making these, today, I decided to aim for something in between the two extremes – a soft bun with a bit more structure than those found at the grocery store.

I took the recipe I used a couple of weeks ago and reworked it to make 4 buns, pulled out the egg, added milk powder and whole milk.

Hamburger Buns

  • 1 packet yeast
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp nonfat milk powder
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 tsp salt

Proof yeast in warm milk and sugar.

Add flour, milk powder, and salt to liquid and mix on low speed until all flour is incorporated. Add softened butter and continue mixing for 7 or 8 minutes. Dough will be soft and not pull away from bottom of bowl, but it shouldn’t be overly sticky.

Form into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Cover, and allow to rise until doubled.

Punch down dough and form into 4 balls. Place on a floured sheet pan and flatten. Cover with a towel and allow to rise, again, until doubled.

Brush with egg mixed with a bit of water and sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.

Place in a preheated 375°F oven for about 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and cover pan with a clean dishtowel to steam buns as they cool to help soften.

And… since every good burger needs a good side dish, I made a South of the Wall-Style Corn Salad.

As an aside… I find it interesting that, as a nation, we embrace Mexican food with a score of national chain restaurants, we embrace Mexican culture, we embrace Mexican tequila, Mexican beer, Mexican agave nectar… Avocados, tortilla chips, tomatillos, chili peppers and salsas of every sort… We flock to Mexican resorts like Cancun, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco… but we don’t seem to like Mexicans and want to build a wall to keep them out. In the words of Mr Spock, it’s totally illogical. And very very sad.

South of the Wall Corn Salad

  • 4 ears of corn, cooked, cooled and corn cut from the cobs
  • 1 pkg mini cherry tomatoes
  • 8 mini sweet peppers
  • 1 can diced green chilis
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup enchilada sauce
  • salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper, as desired.

The salad had just enough kick to make it interesting and the buns came out great!

And the burgers came out great, too!

I stuffed them with quattro formaggio – a 4-cheese Italian blend – and grilled them on my spankin’ clean grill that I took apart and gave an annual tune-up.

I’m practicing for retirement. Putter. Putter. Sit. relax. Repeat.

I’m looking forward to this!