Monday, June 28, 2010

Burger Rolls for the Holidays

Since June 21 was the official first day of summer, and with both Canada Day (July 1) and Independence Day (July 4) right around the corner, I've decided to dedicate this posting to something a little different. In keeping with the times, so to speak. I mean, aren't we all dusting off the grill, or barbecue or whatever and mixing the long, cold drinks to sip while the burgers, dogs and whatever are slowly sizzling away? Well aren't you? Well, why not?? Sorry if that sounds a little preachy, but come on, it's summertime. And that means light meals, grilling meat, fish and veggies and, of course, some kind of bread to wrap it all up in. Whew, well, then, let's get started, shall we?

On the agenda today, hamburger buns (BTW you can reshape them into hot dog buns too if you insist). Yum! A sizzling, juicy burger, slapped down on a soft (but not too soft) bun topped with lettuce, tomato and various other condiments, all washed own with ice cold beer (or whatever) just sounds too tempting. OMG, i'm drooling  just thinking about it. Better get to work making it happen.

A good source for excellent burger roll recipes is The Bread Bible: 300 Favorite Recipes by Beth Hensberger. This recipe is my variation of one I found online some time ago at  I have added some dough enhancer to make them even softer. Also, the original recipe called for dry milk powder which, as far as I'm concerned, makes the bread too soft. A good roll has to hold the toppings and showcase them. The softer roll might be all right for dinner, or even to sop up gravy from an autumn pot roast, but for hamburgers it just won't do. It will just become a soggy mess So, it's out.

Here's What You'll Need:
1 cup room temperature water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon white sugar
3/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dough enhancer
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

Here's What You'll Need to do:

1. Stir together the flour sugar and yeast. Add 1 cup of the water, then the oil and then the salt. You will have a very wet mixture at this point.
2. Stir in the rest of the flour, 1 cup at a time until you can't stir anymore.
3. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and, knead the dough, while adding small amounts of flour until you have a smooth, slightly tacky ball of dough.
4. Place in an oiled bowl (turning over to coat) and cover with a kitchen towel until doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

5. Remove the dough from the bowl to a lightly floured surface, knead for just a minute or two to remove the gas then divide into 12 equal sized pieces and roll into smooth balls of dough. (Cup the ball of dough in your hand, and, with a small amount of pressure, roll the dough gently on the surface to form the ball).

6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper then place the dough balls evenly spaced on the sheet to rise. Gently squish each ball to slightly flatten it, then cover with the kitchen towel to rise again, this time for about 45 minutes.

7. If you want at this stage you can lightly brush a beaten egg (or just egg white) mixed with a little water over the rolls and then sprinkle them with a bit of sesame seed or whatever topping you like. Here I used wheat bran, cornmeal and sesame seeds.

7. Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C), then bake the rolls until nice and golden brown, about 12 minutes or so.

8. Cool the rolls on a rack before slicing or they will be too soft to hold the burgers.


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