Soft Burger Buns with black and white sesame (not brioche-style)

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Monday night will be Burger Night. Why? Because it's my birthday and I get to choose! 

But I want a very light and pillowy burger bun that won't collapse when it's filled and one that will hold the juices of a medium rare home-made burger patty, lots of fried onions and English mustard. 

So, I'm baking them today (Saturday) and then will pop them in the freezer ready for Monday evening.

Note on ingredients :  I'm using strong bread flour, no egg and less sugar than many of the recipes you'll find for Burger Buns. Why? 
(i) I'm not a great fan of sweet, enriched brioche-style dough with meat products;
(ii) Whilst many of the US recipe sites advocate the use of All-Purpose (UK: plain) flour, I find that it doesn't give the same degree of gluten network than if I use strong white bread flour. 


This mix should produce 6 burger buns (approximately 113 gms each). Remember that even if your veggie patty might not shrink while being cooked, a meat patty will, so don't make them too large. 

375 gms strong white bread flour
250 mls lukewarm filtered water
1 tablespoon demerara sugar
7 gms of sea salt
28 gms of unsalted butter.
1 teaspoon of instant dried yeast

(To double the number of buns, simply double the quantities)

for the glazing
1 teaspoon of milk and / or
1 beaten egg

for the topping
2 tablespoons of sesame seeds (white)
2 tablespoons of poppy seeds (black)
Seeds should be mixed together prior to glazing.

Of course, you can use any seeds you like....or not as the mood takes you!


Stage 1

Using a bread machine

Add the flour and the salt to the pan and cover with the liquid. Leave to autolyse for fifteen minutes. Add the remainder of the ingredients and choose a Basic Dough programme (2hrs 20 minutes). Then proceed to the next stage. 

Mixing by hand

If you're mixing by hand or using a stand mixer, add the softened butter and the salt to the flour and mix thoroughly. Then add the remainder of the dry ingredients (except the yeast). Slowly add the liquid and then the yeast until you have a sticky mix. Turn the mix out onto a floured board and knead until you have a silky and pliable dough. (There are 'Help' videos and articles in the 'Useful Web and YouTube links' on the lefthand side of this page). Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover. Leave for an hour somewhere warm until the dough has doubled in size. 

Stage 2

Tip the dough out onto a floured board. Weigh the dough and divide into five equal portions. 

Turn a portion over and gently flatten. Bring in each of the edges into the middle until you have a loose ball. 

Turn the dough over, smooth side up and, with your cupped hand, gently massage the dough into a ball. 

There's a very good video of this technique here:

Place the dough bun onto a tray lined with parchment paper and gently flatten out the top. 

When all buns are ready, cover with a piece of parchment paper and leave at room temperature until they have doubled in size. 

Preheat the oven to 190⁰C.

Before baking, whisk up the egg and milk and brush onto the top of the buns. Then sprinkle with the sesame / poppy seed mix. 

Bake on a centre shelf for 20 minutes until lightly baked and until they sound hollow when tapped on the underside. 

Cool on a rack. 

These buns can be cut in half and then frozen for ease of use when you're ready to use them. 

Happy baking....


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