Homemade hamburger buns using a bread maker


Growing up in Hong Kong, hamburgers were always linked to fast food. I only thought of McDonald’s when anyone mentioned hamburgers – homemade didn’t exist. But the reality is that hamburgers can be so much more!

Imagine if you had freshly baked homemade buns, freshly ground high- quality meat, and fresh home-grown veggies; then your hamburgers would be a well-balanced and highly nutritious meal. It is absolutely not junk food, and definitely not “fast” food!

Let’s just focus on the hamburger buns this time. There are many options when it comes to the type of hamburger bun, it’s just a matter of your personal preference. When I want a classic and tasty white hamburger bun that embraces all types of fillings, this is my go-to recipe. If I feel like something more buttery, I would make brioche buns (a recipe I’ll post in the future).

This hamburger bun is light and fluffy, but also sturdy enough to provide a solid foundation for all the fillings. I don’t want to spend time grinding the meat and making patties, just to put them on a soggy, store-bought bun. The bland bun wouldn’t stand-up to the intense flavors of the other ingredients, and would just be a missed opportunity to enhance the taste and attractiveness of the hamburger. We always eat with our eyes first! I guess sometimes we eat with our camera first…

Sure you can make hamburger buns from scratch without a bread maker, but why not let your bread maker’s dough function do the work for you!?! If you don’t have a bread maker? Go get one! It’s so versatile and fun. I can’t imagine living without one anymore. Check out my post about this Zojirushi bread maker I currently use.


Recipe

Homemade hamburger buns with Zojirushi bread maker

Kitchen instrument of the day: Zojirushi bread maker

Other tools: kitchen digital scale, pastry mat, bench scraper, ¾ sheet pan, silicon baking mat (or parchment paper), and pastry brush.

Ingredients

  • Milk: 1¼ cups
  • Egg: 1 large egg, beaten
  • Bread flour: 3¾ cups (509g)
  • Granulated white sugar: ¼ cup (54g)
  • Salt: ¾ tsp. (4.2g)
  • Active dry yeast: 1¼ tsp. (4.4g)
  • Butter (For brushing the buns after shaping/before proofing): 2 Tbsp., melted
  • Optional topping: White sesame seeds
  • Optional egg wash (see Final notes): 1 beaten egg + 1 Tbsp. water

Instructions

  1. Follow your bread maker’s instructions to add all the ingredients (except the butter): milk (1¼ cups), 1 large beaten egg, bread flour (3¾ cups), granulated white sugar (¼ cup), salt (¾ tsp.), and active dry yeast (1¼ tsp.). Then select dough mode.

2. Prepare your work space: Pastry mat (or your clean counter top), kitchen digital scale, all-purpose flour, and bench scraper.

3. When your dough is finished, take it out of the bread maker and put it on a lightly floured surface.

4. Weigh the whole dough and divide that number by 12 to get the weight of each portion. Then divide the whole dough into 12 equal portions by weight. For example, my whole dough weighs 939g, so each portion should weigh 78.25g (but my kitchen digital scale doesn’t show decimals, so some buns will be 78g and some will be 79g). This step will ensure that the buns are the same size for even baking. (See Final notes)

5. Knead each portion into a ball, and put them on the baking sheet with baking mat (or parchment paper). Remember to set them apart from each other, so the buns would not touch each other after proofing. This step helps the buns to stay round after baking. Also, avoid moving the buns after proofing to minimize deflation.

6. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a small bowl. Use a pastry brush to liberally brush the melted butter on the buns.

7. Let the buttered buns rise to double its size. During hot summer days, I cover my buns with clear wrap and proof them in the garage! In not so hot days I use my oven’s proofing function to proof the buns, which usually take about 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 ℉ while the buns are proofing. (If you proof the buns in the oven, don’t forget to take the proofed buns out before preheating the oven!)

Before proofing
After proofing

8. Add white sesame seeds if you like.

9. Bake the buns for 15 minutes, and check if they are brown. If they are not brown enough, let them bake for another 2-3 minutes. Mine usually takes about 18 minutes.

10. Let the buns rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool (to avoid soggy bottoms).

11. Cut them in half (an electric bread knife works great if the buns are still warm).

12. Fill it with your favorite hamburger fillings. My hamburger here has a beef patty (grounded at home), veggies (purple and spicy Basil — grown in my indoor hydroponic garden), cheese, ketchup, and mustard.


Final notes

  • Brushing a layer of egg wash on the buns before baking gives a glossy golden shine on the finished hamburger buns.
  • I have been making this recipe for years by measuring the ingredients with cups and teaspoons. The weight of each portion of the dough can vary a little bit, ranging from 77g to 81g. I thought I could convert the ingredients from cups/teaspoons to grams to make the final dough more precise, but I had a hard time finalizing the numbers. I use some conversion charts online, but the numbers are very different from my measurements. Even when I measure each ingredient using the same cups/teaspoons and then weigh them, I can hardly get the same weigh from the 10 times I tried!
    • My conclusion is that the difference is not significant enough to worry about. As long as you divide the whole dough by 12 to get the weigh of each portion, all your buns will come out the same size in that batch!

Would you rather…

…have homemade hamburger buns or store-bought hamburger buns?

…make hamburger buns using a bread maker or from scratch?



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