…yes, you read that title correctly, LOL. Okay, that’s not *really* true, as I do have tons of un-opened mail and chores that have been sadly neglected the past couple weeks due to how crazy I’ve been been in the kitchen. But now that the holiday deadline has passed and I am no longer baking until after the New Year…I’m at a loss as to what to do with myself. Aside from re-focusing on my main job, haha. It has been quite a whirlwind the past few weeks and thank goodness I had others who helped me in wrapping the thousands of caramels, or I never would have pulled it off!
I’m extremely grateful for all of the orders, but I definitely need to take a breather, as my feet have never ached so much in my life and my caramel pot has almost as much mileage on it as my 16 year old Toyota. Besides, my family was getting tired of eating frozen pizzas and canned soup (as I didn’t have time too cook) and I really missed writing here on my blog and sharing recipes with everyone! So now that I am officially on baking “vacation”, what exactly am I doing? Catching up on movie watching for one, and tonight I saw “Julie & Julia”, a great flick for anyone who loves to cook! My first serious cookbook was “Baking with Julia Child”, which automatically cracks open to her “Buttermilk Scones” page, as it is one of my most loved recipes of all time.
So easing back into things, the recipe I have to share tonight isn’t anything impressive, but it’s a great staple to have around and well loved by my family. Hamburger Buns, yup. I don’t know if you’ve noticed lately, but they are getting a little pricey to buy from the grocery store! But on the other hand I’ve always poo-poo’ed at bread baking in general, as I’m not a patient person and waiting for something to rise for a few hours is not my idea of fun. So why did I bother trying them? Well, I now live in a smaller town where the grocery store closes EARLY (plus everything is more expensive), and I had a ton of flour in the house, so I figured why not give it a shot? Plus my teenager was dying for hamburgers one night, and I do try my best to appease the ravenous kids, haha.
Oh, and a couple tips for making **juicy** hamburgers-searing them quickly and then leaving them alone. I shape each patty in my hand to about a 1/4 thick (as they fatten up during cooking) and season the top while still in my hand. I use a good non-stick pan that has been heated to medium and NO oil. I then place the seasoned side face down and use the flat side of a spatula to press down firmly on the patty. Making sure to hit every part of the patty (think of it as 4 quadrants if you have a small spatula) I press down firmly for a good 5-7 seconds. Once I’ve seared the entire patty I then season the topside, flip it over, and repeat the same process. Once seared on both side I then leave it alone to cook, no more squishing or you’ll end up with a dry patty! I flip it once more after 2-3 minutes, put cheese on top and then place a glass lid on it to finish cooking-glass so you can see when the cheese is melted 🙂 We use 90/10 ground beef or leaner and this works out great.
Well, I went on recipezaar.com and found one called 40 minute hamburger buns that only called for 10 minutes of rising time…SOLD! And trust me, in a pinch this can be “30” minute hamburger buns, which includes the cooking time by the way. These are super simple to make and come out tender, fluffy and soft, everything you would imagine and traditional “white bread” bun to be; no frills but good…just like grandma used to make them. Oh, and these are best eaten the day they are made.
My version is an adaptation of the one found on recipezaar.com, Enjoy!
Quick Hamburger Buns
- 2 TBLS active dry yeast
- 1 cup really warm water
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 3 TBLS sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
- SCANT 3 cups white flour
- Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Stir gently to help it along, then add in the oil and sugar and stir again for a few seconds, then set aside for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the salt (if using), then add in the flour. Using a wooden spoon, gently fold the flour into the liquid until it forms a rough ball.
- Turn OFF the oven at this point.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it 50 times/turns, if it feels too sticky add just a little more flour. Shape it into a 12 inch log towards the end, it should be elastic and smooth at this point.
- Cut the log into 8 pieces and quickly pat down the edges by rolling it around in your hands, shaping each one into a fat, round disc.
- Place these at least 2 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and then place in the oven (which should be turned OFF) to rise for 10 minutes.
- After the rise time is done they should be nice and puffy, like rounded domes, hamburger bun shaped. Take them out of the oven, and heat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Bake the buns on the rack right ABOVE the middle setting for 9-12 minutes, or until the tops are browned. Make sure not to burn the bottoms though!
- Allow them to cool for at least 10-15 minutes before cutting into them.
For the “sweet” dinner rolls you’ll follow the same process above, but add in an additional TBLS of sugar, another 1/2 cup of flour and knead it for 100 turns. Also, OMIT heating the oven for the rise time, just allow them to rise for 10 minutes at room temperature, which gives them a much tighter grain and makes them more dense. I also don’t allow them to brown as much in the oven.