True Story: a long time ago, Don and I were at a local restaurant - the waitress came over to take our order, and because I was eating low-carb, I ordered the chopped steak with a salad. Apparently, the waitress thought this odd and (true story) asked me if I was having problems with my teeth, because (she explained) only the "old people" (her words) "with no teeth order that"!! I still can't believe she actually said all that, but we got a good laugh from it, and I have never ordered chopped steak ever again... Don has never let me live that down. Madison insists our life is like a series of Seinfeld episodes - I can't disagree...
Anyhooo, back to bread making... There is something about making your own bread! The aroma, the warmth, the taste... oooohhhh it is so good! Then there's all the work and the mess it makes that tends to turn me off, but you gotta take the bad with the good right?! Right-O!
This was our first time eating burgers on homemade buns and we liked it! A lot! Not only do they taste so much better, but they cost next to nothing to make! I like that! I see many more homemade buns in our future :)
So here is my version of allrecipes.com Burger or Hot Dog Buns
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup water
4.5 - 5 cups all-purpose flour (I like King Arthur flour)
1 (.25 oz) package active dry yeast (1 scant tablespoon)
2 tablespoons sugar
1.5 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon water
In a small saucepan heat 1 cup milk, 1/4 cup water, and 1/4 cup butter until very warm. If you are using a thermometer you want to get between 100 and 115 degrees F. The butter will not melt all the way and it should feel very warm when you put drops on the inside of your wrist. If it feels too hot for you then it is too hot for your yeast! If the liquid is too hot it will kill the yeast and that would be bad. If it is too cold it won't activate the yeast and that would be bad too.
When the mixture is heated sufficiently, pour into your mixing bowl and dissolve the 2 tablespoons sugar in the heated liquid. Add the package of yeast or 1 scant tablespoon. Let sit for about 6 minutes. This will activate the yeast and it will get all foamy. If it doesn't foam then something went wrong - either the yeast is old or the liquid was too hot or cold and you need to start over (sorry).
Add in 1 cup flour and mix well. Add in 1.5 teaspoons salt and 3.5 cups flour and stir to combine. Add in 1 egg and mix well. Once it is a sticky dough, I turn the work over to my KitchenAid mixer with the dough hook. I turn the mixer on to the 2nd from the lowest setting and let it mix for about 5 minutes, but I don't walk away. After about a minute if the dough is still pooling in the bottom of the mixer I add about a 1/4 cup of flour and let it mix another minute. You should start to see the dough pulling away from the sides of the bowl and coming up onto the dough hook. If you don't live in a humid climate you won't need extra flour, but you might need a little extra water. Add what you need to get a smooth and elastic dough. When the dough is all pretty much up on the hook, I turn off the mixer and let the dough rest for about 3-5 minutes.
At this time you'll want to grease a large bowl. Return to the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface (lightly flour your hands too) and knead the dough until smooth and elastic. Then plop the dough into the greased bowl turning it over to grease all sides. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and put in your cold oven with the oven light on. Let it rise about 30-40 minutes.
After rising, your dough should be at least doubled in size. Take out some aggression and punch it down several times. Then turn it out onto a flat surface and knead it for a few minutes to pop all the air bubbles. Form it into a smooth ball and put the bowl on top of it to let it rest for 15 minutes.
While the dough is resting go ahead and get your baking pans ready. Line 2 large baking pans with parchment paper. Once the dough has rested, shape it into 12 smooth balls and place 6 on each baking sheet - space them nicely so they can rise again. Place the baking sheets in the cold oven with the light on and let rise for about 30 minutes (I try to fit both trays on the top rack so they can both benefit from the heat of the lamp). NOTE: To make hot dog buns separate the dough into 16 pieces. Roll out each piece to 6x4". Starting on the long side, roll up each piece and pinch the seam and edges to seal. Place on baking sheets and proceed with the remaining directions.
Remove the trays from the oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Whisk 1 large egg with 1 tablespoon water and brush that onto the first tray of buns you will be baking. Wait to do the 2nd tray until they are ready to go in the oven.
Now this next step is optional. While the oven is preheating, put a roaster pan on the bottom rack so it can heat up with the oven. When the oven is preheated, put one pan of rolls on the middle oven rack and pour 2 cups hot water into the pan on the bottom rack (Be careful you don't burn yourself - it will steam). The steam will help get a nice crust on the bread, but I do have to caution you, some folks have had the steam damage the electronics in their ovens. If you don't want to risk damaging your oven, then proceed with baking the buns on the middle oven rack.
Bake the buns for 8-10 minutes until they are golden brown. When bread is done it should have a hollow sound when you tap on the bottom. Remove buns to a wire rack for cooling. This helps to keep from getting soggy bottoms. Proceed with egg washing the 2nd tray of buns and baking until golden brown.
Let all the buns cool completely before cutting. If you won't be using all the buns, be sure to place them in an airtight freezer bag or container as soon as they are cooled and seal. Freeze until ready to use. If you freeze them as soon as they are completely cool they should taste fresh when you are ready to use them.