Friday, August 15, 2014

Big Burger Buns

Soft, fluffy and flavourful, these easy-to-make buns are perfect for your favourite burgers and sandwiches.
Big Burger Buns
(BLT Bread) adapted from A Passion for Baking by Marcy Goldman
makes 10 large buns

260g/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
375-390g/2 7/8-3 cups bread flour
3 tsp instant dry yeast
2 tsp kosher salt
5 tsp granulated sugar
240ml/1 cup warm water (43C/110F)
120ml/1/2 cup warm milk (43C/110F)
56g/4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 large egg
1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the unbleached flour, 375g/2 7/8 cups bread flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Whisk to combine well. Add the water, milk, melted butter and egg. Stir with a spoon to create a shaggy dough.
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Attach the bowl to the mixer and using the kneading hook, knead on #2 speed. This is a soft sticky dough that doesn't come free of the bottom of bowl but will come free of the sides. If the dough appears to be too wet, add the remaining flour, 1 tbsp at a time mixing after each addition. Scraping the bowl down periodically, knead for a total of 8-10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth, shiny and elastic (and passes the windowpane test). Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm area for 45-60 minutes or until doubled in volume.
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Lightly oil a large baking sheet (33cm x 46cm/13" x 18") or line with parchment. 

Punch down the dough and divide into 10 equal pieces (approximately 115g each). Place them on a lightly floured work surface, cover with a tea towel and let rest for a few minutes. To shape, take one piece of dough and place it on the work surface. Gather and stretch the dough from opposite sides and pinch together at the top. Repeat this stretching and pinching action on the opposite side. It will look a little squarish at this point. Repeat, bringing the opposite "corners" together; you'll notice that the piece of dough is starting to resemble a ball. Pinch the edges together one last time, invert the ball or "boule" and place it pinched side down on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
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With a floured hand, press down on each boule to flatten slightly. If the first one bounces back, let the dough rest a few more minutes before trying again. If using the optional sesame seeds, brush each bun (or mist lightly) with water and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Cover the pan lightly with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place for 30-40 minutes or until doubled in size. 20 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 180C(350F).
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Remove the plastic wrap and place the pan in the centre of the oven. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until top and bottom are golden and the buns sound hollow when the bottom is tapped (internal temp of 93C/200F).
Remove from the oven and transfer the buns to a rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Split them and use them as is or lightly toasted. They're perfect with these Big Beef Burgers or in this Prosciutto-Mozzarella Sandwich.

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