Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Nice Buns!

I think slow fast food at home is great fun. Homemade rolls elevate simple grilled Italian sausages to new heights. I like to slice the sausages in half lengthways so that they cover the whole bun, then pile on the toppings!
Grab yourself a cold drink and settle in in front of the television for the big game. Or, like me, forensic drama. Or even, dare I say it, the premiere of this season of Lost! January 21st, I am so excited.
Your family and friends will be amazed and impressed that you made your own hot dog or sausage buns - little do they know how easy it is.

Hamburger Buns and Hot Dog Rolls - Linda Collister, Bread: from Sourdough to Rye.

4 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp fine sea salt
2 tsp sugar
3 tbsp unsalted butter, diced
1 pkg. dry active yeast
1 2/3 cups tepid milk
1 large egg, beaten
sesame seeds, to sprinkle

3 tbsp milk
a good pinch of salt


Grease or line several baking sheets with parchment paper.

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the butter and rub in with the tips of your fingers until the mixture looks like fine crumbs. Make a well in the center.

Pour the milk and egg into the center of the well. Gradually work the flour into the liquid to make a soft but not sticky dough. If the dough feels sticky, work in a little more flour, 1 tbsp at a time: if there are dry crumbs in the bowl, or the dough feels tough and dry work in a little more tepid milk, 1 tbsp at a time.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead thoroughly for 10 minutes until silky smooth and very pliable. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm but not hot place, until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Turn out the risen dough onto a lightly floured work surface and punch down to deflate. Divide the dough into 18 equal pieces.

To make hamburger buns, shape the dough into balls, then cup your hand over one ball, so your fingertips and wrist touch the work surface. Gently rotate your hand so the dough underneath is rolled around and smoothed into a neat, even ball. Gently flatten to make a bun about 4 inches across.

To make hot dog rolls, shape each piece into a cylinder or sausage about 6 inches long, then gently taper the ends by squeezing with the edges of your hands.

Set the pieces of shaped dough slightly apart on the prepared trays, then slip the trays into a large plastic bag, inflate, seal, and let rise as before until almost doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450f.

Uncover the dough and lightly brush with the milk mixed with the salt. Hamburger buns can also be sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes, then lover the temperature to 400f. and bake for a further 5-10 minutes until golden brown and firm. To keep the crusts soft, cool on a wire rack covered with a dry cloth.

Best eaten within 24 hours, or toasted. Can be frozen for up to 1 month.


*I gently mist the clean rising bowl and plastic wrap with canola oil cooking spray to keep from sticking, a trick I learned from Peter Reinhardt.
*As I was making large buns for sausages, I made half as many, twice as big. I let them bake for at least 5 minutes longer. Just keep an eye on them in the oven.
*I didn't cover mine, I like my sausage buns a little toothsome.
*Leftover rolls, if you have any, make great paninis.
Mmm... sausage on a homemade bun with sauerkraut, ball park mustard and caramelized onions with sweet potato fries. Great for game night!

It's funny, although we have a great collection of gourmet mustards, sometimes only the yellow stuff will do!

These buns have been Yeastspotted!