We usually eat store-bought veggie burgers because the kids love them and they are a quick and easy weeknight dinner, but store-bought burger buns are somewhere we just don’t want to go. We get wonderful fresh bread in the supermarket here, but for a soft-crusted bun we either have to go with something too small for teenager-sized burgers or to the dreaded shelf of plastic bagged, sugar filled, preservative laden, long shelf life buns that taste nothing like bread. After months of trying out and adapting different recipes, I think I have finally found the bun for us! Light and fluffy inside, soft crust that’s easy to bite through (important, if you don’t want your burger trimmings spilling out the back all over your plate!) and a lovely flavour.
240ml warm water
1 sachet active dry yeast
2 tbsp sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
425g flour + an extra tablespoon or two, as needed
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp butter, room temperature
Sesame seeds for topping (optional)
Mix the water and milk together to take the chill off the milk, then add to a bowl with the yeast and sugar and set aside until it becomes frothy, about 5 minutes.
Put flour, salt and butter in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix on medium until the butter is fully incorporated into the flour, about 3 minutes. Add the yeast mixture and the egg and knead for about 10 minutes. It will be quite sticky, but it will be a smooth, very soft dough.
Scrape the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in volume, about an hour.
Cut the dough into 6-8 equal portions (depending on the size you want), pull them into balls (pinching them closed underneath) and put them on a tray lined with baking paper. Cover them loosely with some plastic wrap lightly brushed with oil and let them rise in a warm place again, about an hour.
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Sprinkle the buns with sesame seeds, if using.
Put a roasting pan with a couple of centimetres of cold water on the bottom shelf of the oven and put the buns in the lower part of the top third. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.
When done, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
These burgers were trimmed with mature cheddar cheese, caramelised onions, fried egg, tomato, lettuce, beetroot and ketchup. Happy teens!