All right, I have a confession to make… I never ever baked anything with yeast. Always considered the yeast dough as too complex, requiring too much effort and, well, just not worth wasting time on. The other excuse was I was too lazy to knead and I had no stand mixer. But here I am, presenting my homemaid crazy soft and tasty hotdog buns, which, when shaped, can easily be made hamburger buns or simply soft bread rolls.
A proper disclosure I should make – this recipe is not mine per se, it’s based on a recipe posted by Titli Nihaan from “The Bread Kitchen”, and I must admit, I’ve learned a LOT from her. However here I want to show you a technique I learned from a friend of mine, who I bug every other day with my lame questions about bread making 🙂
So, for 16 buns you’ll need the following:
- 900 gram all purpose flour (+ some more for dusting and kneading)
- 14 gram of dry active yeast
- 2 tsp salt
- 100 g unsalted butter, melted and divided by half
- 3 eggs
- 450 ml lukewarm water
- 100 gram sugar
The standard way is to activate the yeast by putting the sugar into the water with the yeast, whisk and let stand for 5-7 minutes until bubbly and foamy. However, with dry yeast it’s not really required. Here’s the simple way to do it, and I will explain both the manual way and using the stand mixer.
Put the liquids (beaten eggs, water and 50g melted butter) in a big bowl, then add the salt, sugar and flower on top to create a “separator” layer between the liquids and the dry yeast you are going to add next. Finally, sprinkle the yeast on top and, using a wooden spoon mix all the ingredients until they come together to a sticky dough.
With a stand mixer the approach is the same – liquids go first, solids/dry ingredients act as separating layer, and dry yeast sprinkled on top.
Now let’s deal with kneading. If doing it by hand, scrap out the dough from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface and start kneading for at least 10-12 minutes, until the dough is silky smooth, elastic, springy (that’s when you poke it with your finger and it comes back to the same shape it was before). Kneading basically goes like this: stretching the dough, folding and pressing down. Then – half a turn, stretch, fold an press down… And keep going for 10 minutes. Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as it sounds :).
Stand mixer with a dough hook will do the work for you. Start on a minimum speed until all comes together into a dough, and then go up to medium speed and let the mixer go for 8-10 minutes.
Once you’ve kneaded the dough well, place it in the lightly oiled (I use a bit of olive oil, but any oil will do) bowl, cover with a plastic wrap or a wet towel and let prove for at least an hour in a warm place until the dough doubles in size.
Once proven, place the dough on the working surface, knock it down to take the gases out, weigh and cut into 16 equal pieces (in my case I came to about 1.6 kg of dough, and that gave me 100g per bun). Now, shape the bun the way you want it. It can be either a ball (for your burger buns) or a cylinder – for your hotdog buns or bread rolls. This way or another, once you’ve shaped them, place them on a lightly greased baking sheet (or, as I did, use baking parchment paper – much less mess! 🙂 ), cover very loosely with a plastic bag and let prove until doubled in size, another hour.
A little trick to make sure those buns rise up and not to the sides is to place them initially about 10-12 mm one from the other. That way they’ll support each other while rising and give you the perfect shape you need.
Meanwhile, melt the remaining 50 g of butter in the microwave and set aside. That’ll be our glaze. Preheat your oven 195C (375F) without the fan.
Once the buns have proven, brush them gently with the olive oil and bake for about 15 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack.
Now grill a sausage…
Or a lamb chop, slice and … enjoy! 🙂