Summer is coming soon (hopefully *fingers and toes crossed*), people will be getting barbecues out, and there’ll be burgers all round. You can get great quality, and interestingly flavoured, burgers from most supermarkets now, but supermarket burger buns are always a bit dull, and not very cheap (c. £1.30 for 12). Homemade burger buns will make even the simplest burger look like a gourmet burger, with the added bonus of being really cheap (less than 40p for 12!). They’ll keep well for a couple of days in a airtight container or food bag. If they’re feeling a bit stale simply but them in the oven (190°C/Fan 170°C/Gas 5) for about 5 minutes before serving and they taste as fresh as then they were first made.
Lots of people are put off baking bread by the kneading process, it’s often long, it can be hard, and if you don’t do it right you end up with something closer to a rock than a bun! I used to be one of those people, intimidated by previous kneading disasters, until I got a hand-mixer with dough hooks, and the process became a doddle!
Strong white flour – 1lb/450g
Easy bake yeast – 1 sachet (7g)
Salt – 1 teaspoon
Lukewarm water – 11-12 fl oz/300-350ml (Use 1/3 boiling water to 2/3 cold water for the perfect temperature)
Olive oil – for greasing
Egg yolk – 1 (beaten)
Sesame seeds – 20g is probably more than enough
Equipment: Mixing bowl, hand-mixer with dough hook attachment, cling film, 2 baking trays, wire-rack, pastry brush
- Add the flour, yeast and salt to the mixing bowl, with most of the water.
- Mix together with hand-mixer on the lowest setting until combined, adding more water if it looks a bit dry.
- Gradually increase speed until the dough is smooth and elastic (3-5 minutes).
- Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, kneading by hand for a minute or so, to make sure the dough is elastic enough.
- Clean out the bowl and oil it so the dough doesn’t stick when you put it back in. Cover loosely with oiled cling film.
- Leave to rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size (about an hour).
- Knock the dough back and knead it again with the hand-mixer for 30 seconds or so.
- Turn out onto a floured surface and divide into 12.
- Roll in your hands to form a ball.
- Place on lightly oiled baking trays, well spaced out, and flatted slightly.
- Cover with oiled cling film and leave to prove (rise) in a warm place, until doubled in size again (about 30 minutes).
- Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Cook in a preheated oven (190°C/Fan 170°C/Gas 5) for 20-25 minutes. The buns should sound hollow when you knock the bottom.
- Remove from oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.