Friday, October 17, 2008

Sesame Sandwich Buns From Scratch

Mmmm...home made bread. This recipe is pretty easy and turns out well, even for the novice bread maker. It makes a very flavorful and filling bread - completely different from store-bought hamburger buns! There are several steps with periods of time in between for the dough to rise, so you work on it a little, then go do something else, then work on it a little, and go do something else again. Its totally worth it and fun!

Sesame Sandwich Buns From Scratch

1 cup milk, lukewarm

3 TBS butter
1/2 cup warm water
3 TBS shortening
2 TBS sugar
1 pkg active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
Pinch of sugar
1 tsp salt
1 egg
1 egg yolk
5 1/2 cups unbleached allpurpose flour, sifted
1 egg white
sesame seeds
2 TBS melted butter

Heat the milk with the butter and pour it into a large mixing bowl. Add water, shortening, sugar, salt, egg and yolk. Mix well. Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup warm water with a pinch of sugar. When the yeast is dissolved, add it to the mixing bowl. Sift in flour and mix to create a dough ball that cleans the sides of the bowl. Use enough flour to form the dough - 5 1/2 cups is just an estimate. Don't be alarmed if you end up using a lot more or less.

Turn dough out on to a floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, adding flour as needed to keep dough from sticking to your hands and work surface. After about 10 minutes, place dough into a greased bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm, spot for 2 hours.

After 2 hours has elapsed, uncover dough and punch it down several times. Turn over in the bowl. Recover bowl and let rise 1 hour more.

After the second rise has been completed, uncover dough and punch down once more. Turn dough out on to a lightly floured surface. Knead briefly and gently. Divide dough into 10 equal pieces. Work a piece into a smooth ball. Place the ball on the surface and pat it with your hand cupped so that the top is rounded and the bottom is flat, like the shape of a bun.

Line 2 shallow baking sheets with parchment paper and sprinkle paper with cornmeal. Lay the buns on the baking sheets and brush with 1 egg white mixed with 1 tsp water. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top of each bun. Cover buns and let rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees for the last fifteen minutes of the rise. Meanwhile melt some butter in a small saucepan. After the rise, uncover buns and brush the tops with melted butter, right over the sesame seeds.

Bake buns at 375 F until golden, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush once more with melted butter. Remove the buns to wire racks to cool thoroughly before slicing and enjoying.

You can freeze the extra buns for later. To use, just set out on the counter to defrost and crisp them up for a few minutes in the oven.


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