Best burger buns

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Overview
These are kind of brioche-like, but can be made in one day. They also use a Japanese (later Chinese) technique which utilises a tang zhong, a butterless roux to assist with the dough’s lightness. I started by watching a few YouTube videos, but Joshua Weissman is simply amazing. Watch his video on this here. I watched it quite a few times and he demonstrates the technique brilliantly. This recipe makes 13 100g buns, perfect for hamburgers or egg & bacon rolls. There’s a little dough left over for nibbling (one of my many guilty pleasures).

Time
4-5 hours, depending on rising times.

Ingredients: Tangzhong
120ml milk
54ml water
40g white untreated bread flour
Ingredients: Main dough
240ml warm milk
25ml dry yeast

640g white untreated bread flour
25ml umami salt
70g sugar

2 eggs & 2 yolks
85g softened butter in small chunks

Egg wash (1 egg with a dash of milk)
Melted butter (optional)

Equipment
Stand mixer with dough hook

Beef burger with all the trimmings

Method
1 – Combine the warm milk and yeast, then set aside for 5-8 minutes.

2 – Tangzhong – combine milk, water and flour in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until it congeals in one clump. Bring it together and set aside.

3 – Combine flour, salt and sugar in the mixer bowl. Start the mixer with a dough hook and add the milk yeast mixture. Mix on low for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides if necessary.

4 – Add the tangzhong. Mix on low for 1-2 minutes.

5 – Add the eggs and yolks. Mix on medium-low until well combined – it will be quite slick.

6 – Add the butter in chunks – do this slowly as with brioche. When all combined, mix on medium-low for 8 minutes.

7 – Turn dough onto a lightly floured bench. Bring the edges of the dough over to the centre, rotating until all sides have been brought in. Turn the dough over, and drag it towards you. Rotate, then repeat the drag to create a smooth ball. This is the same technique used in creating sourdough loaves.

8 – Place in a lightly greased bowl, covered with a damp tea towel to rise for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.

9 – Punch the dough down. On a floured surface, cut into 105g balls.

10 – Prepare 2 baking trays with Glad Bake lightly sprayed with oil.

11 – Roll each piece of dough into a ball by bringing all of the outside sections into the centre. Then turn the dough over and drag towards yourself, using benchtop friction to help create the tension required to make a ball. Rotate and repeat a few times. Place on the prepared baking tray, 6-7 per tray with maximum spacing.

Preheat oven to 190° C

12 – Cover with a lightly sprayed sheet of Glad Bake and a tea towel to maintain moisture. Proof for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

13 – Brush with egg/milk eggwash. Be very gentle and thorough – the buns will easily lose their loft and any missed part will not brown properly. Brush the sides as well.

14 – Bake for 15-16 minutes or until beautifully browned.

15 – Transfer the buns on the baking paper to a cooling rack. If desired, brush with melted butter. This gives them a lustrous gloss, but they are a little greasy so we don’t do this.

If using these for burgers, cut open and toast cut-side down in a large frying pan with melted butter. It warms the bun and forms a nice surface which won’t get soggy in a burger or other culinary delight.