After I'd gotten home from doing the grocery shopping yesterday, I'd realized I'd forgotten to pick up both the eggs (I had one) and butter required to make what look like the most amazing hamburger buns ever. Because, you know, I needed something awesome to go with last night's awesome burgers.
In spite of the fact that I had to go out again to Korea town to pick up some kimchee, I knew I wasn't going to be picking up the butter and eggs there. So, I had to throw out the old plan and come up with a new one.
Enter Epicurious. Of course, once finding a recipe that didn't have butter or eggs in it, I was hit with the challenge of milk. I only had 1% in the fridge and their recipe called for half and half AND 1 cup of whipping cream. While I'm sure the cream makes the buns insanely delicious, I'd prefer to spend my calories on the burger, you know?
This recipe takes a while, though most of that time is spent waiting for the dough to rise. Actual hands on time is about 15-20 minutes.
(adapted and scaled down from Epicurious)
1 cup + 2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp warm water (105º-110º)
1¼ tsp active dry yeast
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2½ cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp coarse salt
1. Warm milk either in a pot or in the microwave until just below simmering. Set aside and let cool to 105º-115º (any warmer and you'll kill the yeast).
2. In the bowl of your stand mixer (or in a large mixing bowl if you don't want to use a stand mixer), mix together the warm water and sugar. Sprinkle yeast over top and let proof. Mixture will be bubbly. Add in flour, salt and warmed milk mixture, scraping down the side of the bowl as necessary until the flour is all incorporated. Knead with dough hook for 6 minutes. The mixture will be sticky, and that's exactly what you want.
3. Set aside in a greased bowl (remember to turn dough to coat all over with grease), cover and let rise in a draft free place until doubled in bulk 1-2 hours.
4. Once doubled, punch dough down and turn onto a lightly floured surface. Roll (lightly) with a rolling pin into a circle that's about ½" thick. Using a sharp 3-4" cookie cutter (you can use a glass, which is what I did, but you'll be forcing a seal on the edge of the buns that way and they won't rise as well as they could), cut out as many rounds as possible. Gather scraps and re-roll and cut out more rounds. Discard any excess dough after the re-rolling. Place dough rounds on 3" apart on parchment or silpat lined baking sheets.
5. Loosely cover dough with plastic wrap that has been greased (the dough will still be sticky) and let rise again in a warm, draft free location for 2 hours.
6. Preheat oven to 375º, with racks in both upper and lower thirds of the oven. Brush dough with egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds and coarse salt. Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating the position of pans in the oven half way through. Buns are finished when they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Transfer to racks to let cool completely.
Makes 9-12 buns, depending on the size of your cookie cutter!