I have been wanting to try making homemade hamburger buns for a while now. Since I was planning to make pulled pork this weekend I thought it was a perfect opportunity to do it. These were delicious and very hearty – much more substantial than flimsy store-bought buns, so you can go heavy on the sauce.
I bought a kitchen scale last year when I first developed an interest in baking bread, and it came in handy while following this recipe. I wish I had written down the measurements in cups, teaspoons, etc. for the next time I make these. However, I’ve learned from the Wild Yeast blog that for baking, it is better to measure flour by weight. My scale doesn’t measure fractions of grams, so I did have to estimate on some of the measurements. I really like that the recipes from Wild Yeast provide a time estimate, too. That way I know exactly what I’m in for! You’ll need to start the dough the night before you want to bake the rolls, because it needs to sit overnight in the refrigerator.
Soft Sandwich Rolls
Source: Wild Yeast
Yield: 1000 g (10 hamburger-size rolls)
Mix/ferment the prefermented dough: 8 – 12 hours
Mix final dough: 10 minutes
First fermentation: 1 hour
Divide and shape: 5 minutes
Proof: 1.5 – 2 hours
Bake: 18 minutes
Desired dough temperature: 76F
Prefermented Dough Ingredients:
171 g flour
111 g water
1 g (1/3 t.) instant yeast
3.4 g (9/16 t.) salt
Final Dough Ingredients:
164 g flour
246 g whole wheat flour
110 g (approximately) lukewarm water
4.1 g (1-1/3 t.) instant yeast
8.2 g (1-3/8 t.) salt
100 g (2 whole) egg
42 g vegetable oil
20 g sugar
29 g molasses or brown rice syrup
286 g (all of the above) prefermented dough
Mix all of the prefermented dough ingredients by hand for a few minutes until the dough is smooth. Cover and ferment for 1 hour at room temperature, then place in the refrigerator overnight.
Cut the prefermented dough into about six pieces and add them to the bowl of a stand mixer with all of the other final dough ingredients (except reserving about 20% of the water). Mix on low speed until the ingredients are incorporated, about 4 minutes. Add water as needed to give the dough a medium-soft consistency. Continue mixing in medium speed until the gluten has reached full development. (The dough should stretch easily like taffy and not rip).
Ferment the dough at room temperature for 1 hour.
Divide the dough into ten pieces of approximately 100 g each. Press each piece firmly to degas it, then shape into a tight ball. The easiest way to do this is to tuck the edges of the degassed dough under, pinch the seam closed, and cup your hand over the dough while rolling it in a circle against the unfloured countertop. Roll the top of the ball on a wet towel to moisten it, then in sesame seeds. Place the rolls on two parchment-lined baking sheets and press them down into discs with the palm of your hand.
Cover the sheets and proof the rolls at room temperature for about 1.5 – 2 hours, until the dough springs back very slowly when pressed with a fingertip.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 380F. If your oven has a convection setting, use it (otherwise you may need to rotate the sheets halfway through baking to ensure even browning). You will also need steam during the initial phase of baking, so prepare for this now. (Click here to see about how to create steam. I make steam by heating up my cast iron pan in the oven, then carefully pouring boiling water into it and quickly shutting the oven door.)
Bake for 8 minutes with steam, and another 8 – 10 minutes without steam, until the rolls are nicely browned.
Cool on a wire rack.
Homemade bread doesn’t stay fresh for too long, so make sure you eat or freeze these within a couple of days.