During college I missed my Mom like crazy. I missed her so bad my freshman year I would sit on the phone crying to her all week begging her to drive 3 hours to pick me up on Friday. She, missing me equal amounts, would without fail pick me up every Friday and drive me home on Sunday night. When I got my car sophomore year the trend continued. I drove home every weekend all four years of college because my Mom is my best friend. Part of my weekend tradition was baking for Nathan. Every Sunday I baked him loads of treats and on my drive back to school I dropped him off with goodies to feed him and his friends for the entire week. He went to college 30 minutes north of my school so he was a stop on my way back.
Junior year I started making him loaves of bread. Every Sunday along with the usual, cake, cookie, croissant, soup, (seriously I used to go nuts), there would always be a loaf of bread. Making bread is one of my favorite things in the world. Why? The answer is simple: it is so easy and so rewarding. Every time I make a loaf of bread I feel satisfied and the way Nathan devours it gives me reassurance I'm doing it right. All this brings me to making these hamburger buns! Nathan lives for a good burger. Since we aren't doing much meat these days, I decided to make a veggie burger more special by home making the buns. The buns, combined with The Pioneer Woman's black bean burger, were amazing. Treat a special person in your life with these for dinner. You - and they - won't regret it!
For the buns:
- 1 cup warm water
- 3 tablespoons warm milk
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 1/2 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 large egg
- 3 cups of bread flour (if you're like me and did not have bread flour on hand you can use the regular 3 cups of flour plus 4 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda and 3/4 teaspoons of salt. Mix it all together and you have bread flour!)
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
- 1/4 cup of butter
- a few sprinkles of dry oregano
1. Pour the 3 tablespoons of warm milk into the 1 cup warm water. Add 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar. Add 2 teaspoons of dry yeast. Stir to dissolve the sugar and yeast. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of a food processor add 3 cups bread flour and 1/3 cup all-purpose flour. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Pulse the flour ingredients together until combined. Cut up the 1/4 cup butter and add to the flour. Pulse until the mixture resembles sand. Whisk 1 egg and add to the mixture. While still mixing, slowly add in the yeast milk mixture. Pulse until smooth dough forms.
3. Butter the bottom of a large bowl. Form the dough into a smooth ball and put in the buttered bowl. Cover the bowl with saran wrap and let rise for 1 to 2 hours.
4. Once the dough has risen, remove from the bowl. You may need to flour your surface. Cut the dough into 8 even pieces and form into ball shapes. Place the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I do no more than 6 a baking sheet. Flatten the balls a bit by pressing them down with your hands.
5. To glaze the buns you will need to whisk 1 egg and 1 tablespoon of cold water. Brush each bun with this mixture then sprinkle each bun with oregano. Cover the dough on the baking sheet once more with saran wrap and let rise an additional 30 minutes.
6. Preheat your oven to 400˚. Bake until golden brown!