Perfect Hamburger Buns

Time to get yer grills and charcoal and crazy big metal tongs out, because it’s summertime!

Can you tell how much I love summer? It’s my primary reason for living in LA. Summer here pretty much lasts five months longer than the rest of the U.S.

With summer’s arrival, we have been looking for any excuse to use our grill. My favorite grill-worthy food…? Hamburgers. I love me a juicy, greasy, charred burger, especially when it is combined with good beer and good company. I have been on the search for the perfect hamburger recipe. And I promise you that when I find it, I will let you know.

For now, here is a recipe for some lovely homemade hamburger buns. The buns take a little bit of kneading and resting, as most breads do. But the result is something quite satisfying – fresh, tasty buns that are light yet sturdy enough to hold the perfect burger.

Perfect Hamburger Buns

Adapted from

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1 cup milk
1 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoon white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon water
Sesame Seeds

Combine the milk, 1 cup of water, butter, sugar and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil then remove from the heat and let stand until lukewarm (about 120-130 degrees). In a large bowl, stir together the flour and yeast. Pour in wet ingredients and stir until the dough starts to pull together. If you have a stand mixer, use the dough hook to mix for about 8 minutes. If not, knead the dough on a floured surface for about 10 minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover and let stand until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Punch down the dough and divide into 12 portions. Make tight balls out of the dough by pulling the dough tightly around and pinching it at the bottom. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place 6 rolls on each baking sheet. After the rolls sit for a minute and relax, flatten each ball with the palm of your hand until it is 3 to 4 inches wide. Set aside until they double in size, about 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix together the egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of water in a cup or small bowl. Brush onto the tops of the rolls. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Position 2 oven racks so they are not too close to the top or bottom of the oven. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove the rolls from the oven and return them to different shelves so each one spends a little time on the top. Continue to bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until nicely browned on the top and bottom. Set rolls on wire racks, and cool completely. Makes 12 buns. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

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