If my oldest son could have his way, everything he eats would be on a hamburger bun. Everything. So I started some research on how to make hamburger buns and hot dog buns. I needed a recipe that could be for both and that I could do in a bread machine if I was running low on time. I love to make breads by hand, but I think that using a bread machine also serves an important purpose. We don't always have time to do it all, and a bread machine can give you the little time boost that you need sometimes. Bread machines can be found for under $5 at garage sales. Just make sure it has the paddle and the inside is not scratched up. If it has the manual - great, if no manual- not that big of a deal. So today, I threw all the ingredients in the bread machine and put it on the dough cycle so I could concentrate on laundry and cleaning up. So here is my best recipe for hamburger and hot dog buns:
Homemade Hamburger and Hot Dog Buns
4 1/2 c. all purpose flour
2 tbl. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 c. butter, cut up
1 c. milk
1/2 c. water
4 tsp. bread machine yeast
If you have a bread machine, dump it all in according to the directions of your machine (I put all the dry ingredients in first, then the wet ones, and the yeast goes in the lid. Put it on the dough cycle and get some chores done.
If you wanna do it by hand, warm up the milk, water, and butter to 120 degrees. Mix up half the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in a separate bowl. Add the egg to the flour. Add the rest of the flour, a little at a time (about a 1/2 cup) and combine it after each addition. When the dough stays together, put it out on a floured surface and knead for about 8 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic.
Once you have your dough ready, divide the dough into 16 pieces.
For hot dog buns, use a rolling pin to shape each ball into about a 6" x 4" rectangle. (My hot dogs were extra long, so I made longer buns.)
Roll it up like a jelly roll starting with the longer side.
Pinch the edges together and pinch the ends to seal.
Put on greased baking sheet with the pinched sides down. And let rise til doubled.
For hamburger buns, shape into smooth balls by pushing the middle of the dough out and the sides into the back, and pinch the back together. This is the back or bottom...
Flatten the balls onto greased baking sheets. If you like, spray the balls with water or brush with egg whites and sprinkle on sesame seeds or cooked onions. Pa fried a jars worth of cut onions and I used those this time.
Press the onions in a bit to help them stick. Let them rise til doubled. It only takes about 30 minutes. Sometimes I'll put them in a warmed oven to get them going faster, especially during the brutal Texas winters. Here's what they look like before I bake 'em.
For both kinds of buns, bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
There's a great theory out there that you can cancel out the bad calories by combining it with something low cal - like eating ice cream is canceled out by drinking a Diet Coke. Now I know this theory is complete horse poop, but I have a selective memory and sometimes I like to ignore reality and science. So... to serve a balanced meal, I gave in to my kids. I figured that if I fed them chili dogs and french fries it'd be a wash if I used our homemade hot dog buns and hand cut the fries. Watcha think?
We all took our plates and headed outside to where Pa and the older kids had built a campfire. Not a bad way to spend a Wednesday night.