Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Hamburger Buns

My baking extravaganza has begun for the King George Public School street fair! (Now there's a school name you won't see south of the border.) Being the nerd that I am I have created a spread sheet to map out rising and baking times so that I can pull everything off for Saturday. I made more hamburger buns today since they were such a success I felt I needed to add them to the list of items for my bake table. Today, though, I made them with my stand mixer. It really saved a lot of time and made the recipe a whole lot easier. So, here is the recipe as I made it. A kitchen scale is needed to measure ingredients and to make sure that the buns are of uniform size.

- 690 grams (24 oz/5 cups) all purpose flour
- 290 grams (10 oz/scant 1 1/4 cup) water
- 200 grams (7 oz/1 cup less 1 tbsp) soy milk
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 30 grams (2 tbsp + 2 tsp) olive oil

1. Mix flour, water, and soy milk together with the dough hook attachment until combined into a rough dough. Let sit for 20 mins.
2. Using the dough hook, work the yeast into the dough, then the salt, and finally the olive oil. Add extra flour until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl and knead for 5 mins. The final dough will be sticky when you remove it from the dough hook. After kneading, transfer to a large well-oiled bowl, turning to coat dough.
3. Cover, and let dough rise in a warm place for one hour. Remove dough from bowl place it on the counter, smooth side down. Whack the dough with a flat palm to degas it. Gently stretch the sides of the dough then fold them into the centre. Rotate 90 degrees and repeat. Return dough to bowl and cover.
4. Let dough rise another hour and repeat step 3. Return dough to bowl, cover, and let rise for 30 mins.
5. Weigh the dough on your scale (should be about 1257 grams) then turn out onto a floured surface. Divide that number by 12 to determine the weight of each bun (should be about 104 grams). Weigh out a piece of dough, then repeat step 3 to shape the bun. After folding, pinch dough with your thumb and forefinger from the sides into the bottom of the dough ball to create tension on the top surface. Seal the seams by pressing ball in the palm of your hand. Dust bottom with flour and place on a baking sheet (leave an inch or so of space around each bun). Repeat with remaining dough. You will probably need 2 baking sheets.
6. Spray buns lightly with oil and press down on them with splayed fingers to flatten. Cover with a towel and let rise for 45 mins.
7. Preheat oven to 450 degrees while buns are rising. Right before the buns go into the oven, gently press down on them once again to flatten. Brush with soy milk and top with sesame seeds (optional). Bake for 10-11 mins, then remove from pan into cooling racks. Only bake 1 sheet at a time.
- Make twice as many buns (i.e. half the size) and place in them in two 9 x 13 baking pans. Bake for 7 mins, them remove from pan on to a baking sheet and bake for 3 mins (to brown up sides).