Homemade soft and fluffy Sesame Burger Buns made possible with this simple recipe. Conquer your fear of homemade yeast bread, with this recipe you can totally have a burger bun that is a LOT better than store-bought. In this recipe, I will walk you through the process, plus checkpoint items for you to know if have what is expected in each crucial steps. Watch the video and see how I made it.
Summer season, grilling season. Start cleaning your grill, the burgers are coming to town. While we always paid more attention to making the burger patty, we often times neglect the important role of a Burger Bun. What is a burger without a bun? Although there are now ‘bunless’ burger, I still think that the best way to enjoy a juicy big burger is the traditional Burger in a bun. While Burger may not be the healthiest food to enjoy, if you are eating it anyway why not make the most of it? For me, homemade burger means homemade burger patty and homemade burger bun, nothing less. In this post, I am going to share with you how you can make your own burger bun at home, not just a regular burger bun but a big, beautiful, soft and moist burger bun. Just like this. Look at how beautiful they are!! You can make them at home, trust me this is such an easy recipe so stay with me. ok?
I’ve tested and tested a lot of recipes in my website. Sometimes if I get lucky, I’ll get it in one try and if I am not, I’ll do it over and over until I get it right. One of the recipe that I had to test over and over because I want it to be perfect is my all around bread dough. I’ve tested it couple of time I stopped counting. I made some mistakes and I want to share this recipe with you so that you don’t have to repeat the same mistakes I did. You know tough bread, dry bread or bland bread? I’ve encountered them several times, and what I’ve learned from my mistakes I’ve applied it in my all around bread dough which is the basically where this recipe came from. I did not call it all-around bread dough for nothing. If I cannot even use it to make a burger bun or a slice bread or a dinner roll then it’s not an all around bread dough.
This burger bun is what I call perfection, and what my friends call over the top and better than store-bough. It’s soft and fluffy, not dry and bland, it’s beautiful in every way. A perfect homemade burger deserves a perfect homemade burger bun. Right?
Let’s have a look at some very important tips that we should bear in mind in making yeast bread.
Active Yeast vs. Instant Yeast
Because yeast plays a very important role is making this soft and fluffy bread, let’s take few minutes to understand it. What it is, what are the common types of yeast, the difference among the yeast, and what role the yeast do in bread. I normally encounter 2 types of yeast in most recipes, and in the grocery so I decided to focus on this two types of yeast, although there is a 3rd type “Fresh Yeast” but I never used it.
Types of Yeast
- Active Dry Yeast – This and the Instant Yeast are what I used in most of my bread. In terms of appearance and texture, this kind of yeast are coarser and have bigger granules. It requires to be dissolved in warm water with sugar to activate it. It normally takes 5-10 minutes to do this, and you will now that it’s been “awaken” when bubbles starts to form in the surface of the water, and you would be able to smell it too. This last longer in terms of shelf life and should be kept in a cool dry place. I kept mine in the refrigerator.
- Fast Acting or Instant Yeast – In terms of appearance, this kind of yeast have a finer granules as compared to active dry yeast. This does not require to be dissolved in warm water and sugar. This can be mixed directly with the dry ingredients such as flour, just make sure to keep it away from salt when you mix it as salt can kill the yeast when they touch directly with each other. I normally mix the flour, salt then I add the instant yeast last (away from the salt). This should also be kept in cool and dry place. You basically save 10 minutes of time when you use instant active yeast as you skip the activation process.
You can interchange active yeast and instant yeast (or vice versa) in the recipe, I sometimes do this when I have the other and the recipe calls for the other. You just have to be mindful of the measurement as Instant (Rapid Yeast) is stronger than Active Dry Yeast.
To substitute active dry for instant (or rapid rise) yeast: Use 25 percent more active dry. For example, if the recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of instant yeast, use 1 1/4 teaspoons of active dry. And don’t forget to “proof” the yeast, i.e. dissolving it in a portion of warm water (105F) from the recipe
To substitute instant (or rapid rise) yeast for active dry: Use about 25 percent less. And you do not need to proof the yeast, just add it to the dry ingredients.
To substitute fresh yeast for active dry yeast, use a ratio of roughly 2:1, i.e. use one small cake (0.6 ounce) of compressed fresh yeast in lieu of 1 packet (.25 ounces) of active dry yeast.
Yeast Conversion Table
|1 package active dry yeast||about 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast||1/4 ounce||7 grams|
|1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast.||1 teaspoon instant (bread machine) yeast|
|1 teaspoon active dry yeast||3/4 teaspoon instant yeast|
|1 1/4 package active dry yeast (2 4/5 teaspoons or almost 9 grams).||1 package instant yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons or 7 grams)|
Tips for a Successful Soft Homemade Bread
- Check Yeast Expiry a Date – you might be wondering how come the bread did not rise when you followed exactly the recipe. Well, first thing first, make sure the yeast is not yet expired.
- Liquid Temperature – Yeast grows in temperature between 105 – 110F, so it is important to have the water that you are using to “proof” it in this range. If you go lower or higher, the yeast might not proof properly. That means the bread will not rise as much, resulting to a flat and tough bread. If you do not have kitchen thermometer, microwave the water (from the faucet) about 15 – 20 seconds. Feel it with your fingers, it sound be lukewarm not hot.
- Amount of Yeast – Just because you want a tall fully bread doesn’t mean you have to put as much yeast in the mixture. Sometimes if you add too much, it will have a tendency to collapse. Just imagine putting more air than what is needed in a balloon, the balloon will explode. The same case with bread.
- Right Type of Yeast – We’ve discussed the 3 types of yeast above. Make sure to use the right one for your recipe, and make necessary adjustments if you want to swap one from another.
- Flour Measurement is not exact all the time, but with only minimal difference. Sometimes it could be plus 2 – 4 tbsp more, this is why I always set aside about 1/4 cup in case I need to add more. If you measure the liquid properly, and still the dough turn out dry, then it could be that the flour moisture is either dryer than usual. Dry flour requires more liquid, and lighter flour requires less liquid. This could depend on the brand of the flour and the age of the flour, and of course flour could vary from country to country. The nearer the flour gets to expiry date, the more that it gets dryer. If you are like me who doesn’t monitor the expiry date, then you just have to feel the dough if it needs additional flour. You want it to be still soft and moist but not too sticky. Moist but enough to form the dough into a ball. My test is a bowl with clean side, while the dough still slightly stick at the bottom. This gives a soft dough.
- Rest Period – Yeast bread needs time to rise. There are bread that uses less yeast but requires more rest time, the likes of No Knead Bread or Artisan Bread which usually require 8- 16 hours rest period to get the volume and to develop the flavor. There are 1 hour bread like my Rosemary Dinner Rolls which used this same bread dough. Resting the dough is imperative to allow the gluten to relax and to allow the dough to rise. A well rested dough will rise better, will created pockets or air, and will make a light and soft bread. Remember, 2 rest period. First at least 1 hour and another 1 hour for the second rest period. It’s worth the wait, promise.
These are the 6 common points that I remind myself when making homemade bread. Bear this in mind and you’ll sure to have a nice soft homemade bread. Now that we have a background about Yeast and tips for, bread making, let’s methods on how you make this hamburger buns at home.
4 Methods To Make This Dough
There are 4 ways that you can choose from in how you make this bread. Choose whichever works for you.
- Stand Mixer – This is what I always use when I make this dough. It’s the fastest and easiest method and less manual handling. This is the step outlined below in the instruction. This is basically a dump, mix and knead process, quick and easy and guarantee a softer smoother dough because of the longer consistency kneading.
- Hand Mixer – It is doable but I never used it because I do not have a dough attachment. Important point to remember, use DOUGH attachment, a regular hook attachment will not work as it will be jammed with dough. Also, it’s going to be too heavy for the hook attachment to mix the dough. Knead the dough for 8 minutes until soft, smooth and elastic.
- Manually – If you don’t have any electronic baking equipment for making the dough, you can do it manually. Simply follow the same instructions, do the mixing in a large bowl and transfer in counter top and knead manually. If you can last for 8 minutes of kneading, that would be best. Knead until soft, smooth and elastic. It will take a lot of arm exercise, but I’m telling you, it’s worth it.
- Bread Machine – If you happen to have one, use the dough setting. Add all the wet ingredients first, followed by all dry ingredients. Check the consistency of the dough at the end of 1st cycle and add more liquid or flour as needed. Remove the dough after the 3rd rise, do not leave it inside as it will start the baking process. Take the dough out and divide it into 4 portion. Cover and let sit for 1 hour in a warm place. Brush top with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seed.
Let’s get started!
Why is My Dough Too Wet or Too Dry?
Don’t get frustrated if your dough did not turn out immediately as what you see in the photo or video. Most likely It is not because you did not follow the recipe. When it comes to bread making, the amount of flour and liquid is not always 100% precise. This is way often times you will encounter recipes that says, if your dough is dry, add a bit more liquid. If your dough is too wet, add a little bit more flour. This instructions are not meant to confuse you, they are meant to guide you on how to adjust as you work through your dough. The reason for this is that although the measurement of water and flour are specified in the recipe, it still could slightly vary depending on many factors. For instance, all-purpose flour could very from country to country, or even from brand to brand. Don’t be surprise if you find that some brand tends to require a bit more liquid as the others. On top of this, the amount of liquid is also affected by the state of your flour. How old is the flour that you are using? Older flour nearing expiry tends to be drier and this requires more liquid. Then there is humidity. The more humid it is, the more likely the dough will be sticky and thus will require additional amount of flour. Also when kneading the dough, remeber it takes time for the flour to absorb the liquid. You have to at least knead it 5-8 minutes before it gets fully absorbed. This is why when adding more liquid even if a small amount of 1/2 teaspoon, I usually give it 3 minutes time to be fully absorbed. Bread making requires patience, and practice. Once you learn how to feel the right texture of the dough, everything will be quick and easy. You can instantly tell if you need to add more water or flour to get the dough in right state.
- 1/4 cup warm Water (110F) microwave for 15 seconds
- 1 1/4 teaspoon Active Dry Yeast or 1 tsp Instant (Rapid) Yeast
- 3 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon Sugar, divided (1/2 tsp for yeast, remaining for wet ingredients mixture)
- 2 tablespoon flavorless Oil
- 1/4 cup Milk (80F) (plus 2 tbsp on the side ONLY as needed) – microwave for 30 seconds
- 1 large Egg – room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour + 1/4 cup on the side ONLY as needed
- 1 tablespoon Sesame Seed
- Egg wash – 1 beaten egg + 1 tsp water
- Activate Yeast: In the bowl of an electric stand mixer (Refer to discussion above for other methods of making this bread) whisk together yeast with water and 1/2 tsp of the granulated sugar. Rest 5 – 10 minutes until mixture is foamy. If no foam forms after 5 – 10 minutes, do NOT continue. This could mean the yeast is not in good condition, or the water is either too hot of cool. Repeat until you get the foam forming on top. If you continue, you could end up with a tough flat buns.
- Check point #1: You should see a foam forming on top to be sure that the yeast it active. If you pass this check point, you are good to continue.
- If Using Instant Yeast: You can skip the activation of yeast and mix the instant yeast directly with the flour mixture, just make sure to add the sale first, mix then add the instant yeast. Direct contact to salt could kill the yeast. Move to step # 2 and add the water and sugar that you would have used in step 1 and add it with the rest of the wet ingredients (step#2).
- Add Wet Ingredients: Set mixer with paddle attachment and add milk, oil and egg. Mix on low-speed or manually stir to break the egg.
- Add Dry Ingredients: Add 1 cup of flour, salt and remaining sugar and mix on low-speed until combined. Stop and switch to a hook/dough attachment. Set mixer on low-speed and slowly add in remaining 1/2 cup all purpose flour. Allow mixture to knead on medium-low speed until soft, smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. After 8 minutes If the dough is still dry, add 1/2 teaspoon of milk at a time (from the one you set aside). You will notice the side of the bowl will becomes sticky but as it kneads, the flour will aborb the small amount of liquid. You have to give it time to mix to get the liquid be absorbed by the flour. If you add more liquid one time, by the time it is absorbed, the dough will already be too wet. On the other hand, If the dough is too sticky, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time (but not more than 1/4 cup) until the dough starts to form, dough should be slightly sticky and not too dry. If too much flour is added, the buns will be dense and heavy. A good measure of correct texture is a clean mixing bowl, while the dough still slightly stick at the bottom. Most of the time, 1 1/2 cup is more than enough to get the right consistency. For easy handling, spray oil in your hands then remove the dough from the bowl and shape into a ball.
- Checkpoint # 2: The dough should be soft, smooth and elastic. Slightly sticky, but not too wet or too dry.
- First Rest Period: Transfer into a greased bowl, roll the dough to coat it with oil. The oil will prevent too much sticking. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or warm towel and allow to rest for 1 hour in a warm place.
- TIP: To help the dough rise better, leave it inside the oven pre-heated to 110F . Once it reach 110F, turn it OFF before putting the dough inside. Some oven has a proofing setting, mine doesn’t, so this is my trick. Or you can just keep it inside the microwave.
- Checkpoint # 3: After 1 hour rest period, the dough should at least double in size. This means the yeast is active and alive.
- Shape and Prepare for 2nd Rest Period: Flour your working surface and take the dough out from the bowl. At this stage, the dough should have double in size. This is another check point that will tell you if you are in the right direction. Lightly push the dough down with the heel of the palm of your hands. Knead the dough then divide into 4 portions and shape into a disk about 3-inch size. Your the palm of your hand to slightly press the dough. You can use a kitchen scale for even size, or you can just estimate it. Arrange in a parchment paper lined baking sheet with at least 3 inches apart.
- 2nd rest Period: Cover and let rest for another 1 hour in a warm place. After 1 hour, it should expand in size like in the photo.
- Checkpoint # 4 – After the second rest period, the individual portion should have expanded and puff-up. This is the final check, if you are able to get to this stage, you can expect a soft and fluffy burger buns.
- Egg wash: Brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle some sesame seed while the egg wash is still wet. Once it dries, the sesame seed will not stick, so be quick in doing this. If you do not like sesame seed, you can leave it plain.
- Preheat oven to 350F during last 10 minutes of dough rising (or however long it takes to pre-heat your oven). If you are using the oven to rest the dough, make sure to remove it before pre-heating the oven.
- Bake for 15 minutes of until the top turns brown, and the bread easily lift up from the tray. You will also start to smell freshly baked bread in your kitchen once the bread is done.
- Checkpoint #5: The bread should be soft, and when you slice it you should see small pockets which is the result of the rest period, which in turn makes a soft and fluffy bread.
Makes 4 large buns
Congratulations!! You just made your own Burger Buns. Enjoy!!
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