Oh, I am looking forward to the holidays and all that, but what I am really, really not excited about? The return of cold and flu season. Already there are colds being passed around the kindergarten class and I know it is a short matter of time until it hits our house. I’m not ready. I’m really not ready to already be facing my wonderfully amped up germophobia. I haven’t talked about it for a while, because I just haven’t really known what to say, but things with Cole (our preemie) are going pretty well. All things considered, they are going really well. I get that. I know we are lucky. I’m still worried and scared. I’m a mom, it is what we do.
So, in my sad attempts to fool myself into forgetting about the fact that it has been almost a year since my pregnancy starting heading south, and almost a year since we were surprised with our 3 lb 6 oz sweetheart – I am hanging on to Summer for dear life.
I’m hanging on by making lots of BBQ and summery foods. Lots of fruits, picnics, and the like. That is why I am bringing you my new found favorite recipe for making the real, bready, terrific yumminess of homemade sandwich buns. Once you make these and see how easy they are (and how relatively little active time they take to make) you will never buy those nasty airy supermarket buns again (ok, maybe you will, but now you’ll know what you are missing).
These buns are absolutely perfect with a simple hamburger (shown here for my DH with grilled onions and swiss cheese). As far as the hamburger goes, well, I am a bit of a purist and we only do salt and pepper and a little Worcestershire. If you can’t get high quality hamburger (that is really good ground beef – as in steak and chuck) then I suggest you buy and grind your own. I am extremely lucky and my in-laws raise their own cattle which is where we get almost all of our beef.
Anyway, although the seasons will change whether we (ok, I) want them to or not – there is no reason to stop BBQ’ing. So make some buns and long live Summer! And in that spirit, what else would you put on such a stellar bun? Come on, give me some ideas.
Beautiful Burger Buns
(From King Arthur Flour)
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl (or bowl of stand mixer with dough hook) and mix together until it makes a soft, smooth dough. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover. Allow to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.
Gently deflate the dough and divide it into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a round ball (roughly the size of a plum or about 1″ thick). Flatten the dough rounds to about 3″ across. Place the buns on a parchment lined or greased baking sheet and cover lightly with a towel. Allow to rise again until big and puffy (about 1 hour).
Brush the buns with melted butter (or lightly with egg wash – 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water – sprinkle with sesame seeds or other seeds of your choice, if desired).
Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for about 12 to 15 minutes until golden. Allow to cool on a rack.
When ready to use, I like to split them and brush them with a little butter and toast the inside on a hot cast iron skillet.