**I recently revised this recipe to be more mixer-friendly. If you'd like to make it with a wooden spoon/your own two hands, see the original recipe (link at the bottom).
I saw these buns over at Smitten Kitchen and I knew they would be amazing. They aren't any harder than any other bread and they are so good! I know it probably seems silly to make hamburger buns, but I love making bread in any form, and I likewise dislike buying bread, so I thought I would give these a try. The recipe makes 8 buns. These are tasty and if you're looking to make burgers better than any restaurant, this will help you get there.
By the way, my husband, the burger-lover, absolutely fell in love with these! Paired with these oven fries, he was in heaven.
Makes 8 buns* (see note at end about freezing dough)
1 c. warm water
3 T. warm milk
2 tsp. active dry yeast
2 1/2 T. sugar
2 large eggs
3 - 3 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 T. unsalted butter, softened
sesame seeds, optional
Combine water, milk, yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about five minutes. Meanwhile, beat one egg.
In bowl of mixer, combine 3 c. flour and the salt. Add butter and rub into flour between your fingers, making crumbs. Add yeast mixture and beaten egg until and mix on low until dough forms. Continue mixing and add more flour a little at a time, if needed, until the dough clears the side of the bowl. Knead for 5-6 minutes.
Shape dough into a ball and put in a bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or a towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, one to two hours.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide dough into 8 equal parts. Gently roll each into a ball and arrange two to three inches apart on baking sheet (you'll need 2 baking sheets; 4 buns on each). Cover loosely with a piece of plastic wrap lightly coated in nonstick spray (or a towel) and let buns rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about one to two hours.
Set a large shallow pan of water on oven floor. Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in center. Beat remaining egg with one tablespoon water and brush some on top of buns. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using. Bake, turning sheet halfway through baking, until tops are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
I made these earlier in the day and then cut them open and toasted them in the oven for a minute or two right before dinner. Delicious!
*On freezing: The first time I made these, I froze half of the dough in a chunk and used it later so I just made 4 at a time. This time, (I just made another batch today), after I formed them into individual balls, I lined a pan with parchment, stuck the balls on the pan, put it in the freezer until hardened, and then pulled off the balls and stuck them in a ziploc bag. This way I only have to bake 2 at a time (for the two of us) and I only have to make them once every 4 times. Just an idea. Just let them thaw and rise on the counter before you want to bake them (take them out the morning of).
Source: Adapted from Smitten Kitchen