I did not intend to bake my own hamburger buns when the week began.
The thing of it was, I kept eating Brian’s whole wheat store-bought ones, simultaneously lamenting both their dwindling number and their shoddy quality. After polishing off half the bag–what? I was feeling nostalgic for the NYC egg sandwiches of my youth–it seemed only fair that I replace them, but I was hoping for something a little less prone to collapse. Maybe I could make them? That seemed likely to be prohibitively labor intensive for any pre-workday morning, but before I hit the store, I hit the Google. As per usual, King Arthur Flour delivered a recipe for a spectacular dough: a snap to mix, a dream to shape, and an end product that elicited a satisfying number of “You made these?!” responses from their consumers.
I mixed in some whole wheat flour, melted and cooled (rather than just softened) my butter accidentally, and reduced the sugar a bit the second time around (they go fast!), but this recipe is stellar either way.
Everything Burger Buns
only slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour
3/4 cup water
1 T instant yeast
100 g whole wheat flour
318 g all purpose flour
1 egg plus 1 egg white for wash (add remaining yolk to dough, if you like, or reserve for homemade mayo–see recipe below)
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 T butter, softened
3 T “everything bagel” topping
Place all ingredients in a large bowl or stand mixer and knead, but hand or by hook, until a smooth dough has formed. Lightly oil the bowl and surface of the dough, cover, and leave to rise until doubled, about 90 minutes.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Deflate the dough and divide into eight equal piece. Shape each piece into a ball (I like to gather the edges of the dough into something of a very small balloon knot, and then place each roll on the sheet, knot-side down, patting it gently on top to spread the roll out a bit). Cover and leave to rise another hour.
During the second rise, preheat your oven to 375F. Beat the egg white with a little cool water and, when the rolls are ready for the oven, remove cover and gently brush the tops with the wash. Sprinkle each with the “everything bagel” topping, or the seed combo of your choice. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
After two batches of the buns above, I had two yolks hanging out in the ‘fridge, demanding I make good use of them every time I opened the door. There are, of course, a million mayo recipes out there online, and I make no claims to have had any part in inventing this process. But I do love executing it. This is the formula I’m using currently. You’ll need an immersion blender for this method.
2 egg yolks
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. vinegar
1 tsp. mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup vegetable oil (some people include a bit of olive oil, but this has never worked for me; it always overpowers, never in a good way)
1 garlic clove (optional)
Allow all ingredients to warm to room temperature. Place everything but the oil and garlic in the base of a container just wide enough to accommodate your immersion blender (the cup that often comes packaged with one is perfect). Cover these ingredients with the business end of the blender wand and gently pour in the oil around it, so that the oil remains suspended above the rest. Begin pulsing the blender in two-second bursts until streams of emulsified mayo start to appear at the bottom of the glass. This won’t take very long at all. Continuing with the bursts, slowly moving the blender up towards the top of glass, plunging up and down a bit as needed, until all oil is incorporated. Scrap down blender. If using the garlic, use a press to crush the clove into the mayo. Stir well to incorporate. Taste and add additional salt as needed. Transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate until picnic time!