There’s no reason why you can’t just run to the nearest food store and buy a packet of perfectly decent soft burger buns but here is the difference between the store bought ones and the homemade ones, and that is you know exactly what goes in here and I’m not even talking about the bread softening chemicals; it’s the quality of the ingredients that you have the power to control, not to mention that these have whole wheat in them which does set them apart from the absolutely refined floured buns, and really it’s worth the effort, not least because it’s hardly an arduous task. Just a question of mixing and placing and baking. Talking of which..
The ingredients are few and pretty straightforward. We have strong bread flour, wholewheat flour, melted butter, salt, sugar, yeast and some lukewarm water. It could be argued that these wholewheat flour buns do have bread flour in them, but it’s not all refined flour, moreover, when made entirely of wholewheat the buns tend to get a bit too dense.
Mix the flours and make a well in the centre.
Add yeast, salt and sugar
followed by water
and the butter
Give it a cursory mix with a spatula or spoon just so that everything is dispersed evenly before we begin to get our hands dirty.
Form into a shaggy dough to feel if you need some more water and I did.
Add water little by little, or teaspoon by teaspoon lest the dough gets too wet and sticky
form a rough clump before you begin kneading when the moisture to flour ratio feels just right.
Slap the dough on a large surface such as kitchen platform and get kneading. I use a simple technique wherein I flatten the dough then stretch and pull at one end
before bringing it back to meet the opposite end, and repeat
until the dough starts feelings soft and pliable under the fingers and palm. You really have to get a feel of this to understand because it’s a transformation and takes anywhere between 5-7 minutes.
Once you’re happy with the dough, form into a ball
transfer to a greased bowl. Oil the dough as well to prevent sticking
cover with cling film and let rest for an hour or until doubled in size.
scrape out of the bowl on a well-floured surface
and divide into two equal portions
dividing each portion into four equals.
before forming into rounds and placing on a well-oiled baking sheet
to transform these dough balls into decently sized hamburger buns, gently press each until a bit flat, about 7-8 cms wide and roughly 2 cm’s thick; ensuring you don’t make them too flat or they’ll be something of a pita bread.
Cover with a damp kitchen cloth and let rise for another hour until doubled in size.
Once they’re nicely fluffed, brush the top with some water/milk/egg white. I brushed mine with water because it ensures that sesame seeds stick and do not budge
Speaking of which, sprinkle the top liberally with some and bake at 200ºC for anywhere between 15-20 minutes, or until the top gets deliciously browned and the buns have cooked evenly.
Bread flour: 300g
Wholewheat flour: 200g
Water: 250 mls + more if needed
Salt: 1 tsp
Sugar: 2 tbsps
Butter (melted): 80g
Mix the flours in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Add yeast, salt, sugar, water and melted butter to the well and mix with a spatula or wooden spoon until it forms a shaggy dough.
If the mixture is too dry and not coming together add water a teaspoon at a time until the mixture forms a dough. Scrape onto a large surface or platform and knead until the dough becomes soft and pliable for about five to ten minutes and form into a ball.
Transfer to a large bowl and ensure it’s well greased to keep it from sticking.
Cover with cling film and let rest for an hour until doubled in size, after which scrape the risen dough on a well-floured surface and divide into two portions, further dividing each portion into four equal parts and form into balls.
Place formed balls on a greased baking sheet and gently press until they’re larger in size, ensuring that they’re at least 2 cms’ thick
Cover with damp cloth and let them rest for another hour until doubled in size.
Once they have nicely fluffed up, brush the tops with some water and sprinkle sesame seeds.
Bake at 200ºC for 15-20 minutes or until the buns are deliciously golden.