Baking your own hamburger buns is a luxury, but it’s not very hard, and just requires a little advanced planning.
The precise origin of the hamburger bun is somewhat debated, but one popular theory attributes it to Oscar Weber Bilby from Tulsa, Oklahoma. According to this account, Bilby ran a food stand at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. To meet the high demand for hamburgers, Bilby enlisted a local baker to create a special bun that could hold the meat patty more conveniently. This new invention allowed people to enjoy hamburgers without getting their hands messy and made the meal more portable.
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 egg
- 3 1/4 cups unbleached white flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp instant yeast
- 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tsp water
- sesame seeds (optional)
- Place the lukewarm water in the bowl of a standing mixer with a dough hook attachment and sprinkle the yeast over the top. Let stand 10 minutes. Cream the butter and mix with the egg. Stir into the yeast mixture.
- Turn the mixer to low and add the salt and sugar to the liquids. Slowly add the flour in batches, only until the mixture clears the sides is still attached to the bottom of the bowl. It should be soft and somewhat sticky. Place into a well-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise until doubled, 1-2 hours.
- Once risen, punch down the dough, remove from the bowl and cut into 8-16 equal pieces. Form into balls, and place onto well-greased cookie sheet, spaced several inches apart. Cover with a loose cloth and let rise until doubled and puffy, 30-45 minutes.
- In the meantime, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Once the dough has risen a second time, brush the tops with the egg mixture and sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack and let cool before slicing in half.