How to Make a Perfect Burger Bun for Your Burger at Home
|Recipe for a perfect burger bun. Photo: Youtube|
What is the importance of bun in burger satisfaction?
Hamburgers have cult status in the United States. The toasted burger bun halves with a lavish filling of meat, sauces and salads are an indispensable feature of meals outside the home and meet the taste of a whole nation.
For many Americans, the regular pit stop at a burger restaurant is a cherished part of daily life — and there is a reliable supply throughout the country. McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, In-N-Out-Burger, Culver’s, Fuddruckers … the arterial roads of the towns and cities are lined with a Who’s Who of the catering trade, as cited by World Grain. And “burger with French fries” tops the menu in most school canteens, diner restaurants and cafes, too.
The heart of every burger is the bun. The unchallenged favourite is the beef variant, followed by fillings made with chicken, fish fillet, pulled pork or vegetarian quinoa.
But not only the filling defines the quality of a burger. It is the bun that gives the popular fast food the final culinary touch. The meat, the toppings and the baked product must form a harmonious triad — that is the only way to ensure ultimate enjoyment.
The quality of a hamburger reveals itself at the first bite. The overall chewing feeling should be soft and homogeneous. So, the optimal burger bun is a small white product made from wheat flour, with a relatively high sugar and fat content.
How many types of burger bun are there?
The best burger bun can also depend on the type of burger you are making. So give them all a try. The choices are almost endless. The great thing about buns is you can, of course, purchase them already packaged or if you are the adventurous type, make them yourself! Here are a few good choices of burger bun:
Pretzels were originally made as a snack food and is one of the world’s oldest snacks. It’s a big market so why not make a bun out of it and add that pretzel goodness to your burger?
|Photo: Noble Pig|
This bun with its salty and crispy brown shell and light and fluffy sweet interior will add a distinctive flavor to your burger. Go minimal with the toppings and use on a burger with just cheese and mustard. In this case, what else do you need?
If you like your pretzels with different flavor ingredients, try a bun with the same! You may just develop a new burger taste treat!
The Kaiser roll is usually separated on top into five sections meant to represent a crown, which originated with a German Emperor. You may occasionally see a Kaiser roll sprinkled with seeds or possibly fried onion.
|Photo: A Feast for The Eyes|
This bun serves a thick burger well and feels free to pile on the toppings as it will hold up under the pressure. You will find Kaiser rolls come in a few varieties so you can pick the one you like best.
They are traditionally chewier than a plain bun, so they meet the texture element if that is one thing you are looking for.
Brioche is a very buttery, soft bun and has a light consistency. It is essentially made the same way as bread but is sometimes considered a pastry due to the increase of ingredients such as eggs, butter, and some form of dairy liquid.
|Photo: Cookidoo International|
Brioche is like a French pastry and some consider it not the best of the different types of burger buns. But we personally love it due to the buttery flavor it adds to the whole burger experience.
The bun already starts with a golden brown crust. Even though they are thought of as a pastry they are good for both sweet and savory recipes.
While the bun is soft, when toasted it will hold up to any grilled burger or whatever protein you choose. And the brioche bun’s flavor is mild enough to not overtake the burger. It actually enhances the burger with the buttery flavor of the bun!
As these are very soft buns they are thought of as being along the lines of a traditional hamburger bun, they are best used when making thinner burgers.
|Photo: Mary's Test Kitchen|
One of the main ingredients – not oddly enough – is mashed potatoes. This is what gives the bun the lightness characteristic. The potato bun is a favorite among the various types of burger buns.
A nice thing about this bun is that is has a longer shelf life. This is due to the starch in the potatoes keeping the wheat starch from getting stale.
It will also absorb the wonderful burger juices, but won’t become soggy. And we definitely don’t want the soggy bun thing!
A ciabatta bun is traditionally shaped as a square, has a crisp crust and a soft texture. You will also find the bread more porous, light, and airy.
|Photo: Wild Yeast|
Don’t let the square bun put you off. What a great difference to your burger experience. And you could shape your burgers in a square. We all know a restaurant that has done that and that has worked out pretty well!
The ciabatta is also a flatter type of bread with huge holes in the interior. Its chewy exterior and soft interior with a buttery, toasty and nutty smell will add just a depth of flavor to your burger.
You probably didn’t really think about using an English muffin for your burger. Well, we all know the nooks and crannies of the English muffin and that great toastiness coming out of the toaster.
|Photo: Rachael Ray|
But is it one of the types of burger buns you might choose? Give it a try. The muffin can capture any condiments you throw its way, and the flavor and texture of the muffin can’t be denied, Perfect Patty Shaperz cites.
It won’t overtake the burger and its different texture adds a nice difference to the burger. English muffins come in different varieties so think about adding a different taste dimension to the burger.
|Photo: Noble Pig|
Very much like your traditional plain hamburger bun, this bun is baked rich with egg and oil and filled and covered with caramelized onions.
If you are looking to stay with your fail-proof bun, but want a bit of added flavor, you can’t go wrong with the onion bun. Some consider this the best bun for a perfect burger because of the onion flavor.
Sesame Seed Bun
|Photo: Fuel Shack|
Your traditional hamburger bun with the sesame seeds added. This bun is good for wet or sloppy fillings or goopy toppings. The texture is not too soft so it won’t get soggy or fall apart and it is not too dense or chewy.
Recipe for Classic Burger Bun - Old but Gold
3/4 to 1 cup (170g to 227g) lukewarm water*
2 tablespoons (28g) butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
3 1/2 cups (418g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup (50g) sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons (8g) salt
1 tablespoon instant yeast
For best results (a smooth, slightly soft dough), use the smaller amount of water in summer (or in a humid environment), the greater amount in winter (or in a dry climate); and something in between the rest of the time, as cited by King Arthur Baking.
1. Mix and knead all of the dough ingredients — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — to make a soft, smooth dough.
2. Cover the dough, and let it rise for 1 to 2 hours, or until it's nearly doubled in bulk.
3. Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a round ball; flatten to about 3" across. Place the buns on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, cover, and let rise for about an hour, until noticeably puffy.
4. Brush the buns with about half of the melted butter.
5. Bake the buns in a preheated 375°F oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden. Remove them from the oven, and brush with the remaining melted butter. This will give the buns a satiny, buttery crust.
6. Cool the buns on a rack.
|Perfect bun for perfect burger. Photo: Sysco Foodie|
Recipe tips from bakers
#1. For slightly smaller buns, divide the dough into 12 pieces instead of 8. Bake the buns for 12 to 15 minutes, instead of 15 to 18 minutes. And how about "slider buns" — about 3" in diameter? Divide the dough into 24 pieces, and bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
#2. When making anything with yeast, including these rolls, let the dough rise to the point the recipe says it should, e.g., "Let the dough rise till it's doubled in bulk." Rising times are only a guide; there are so many variables in yeast baking (how you knead the dough; what kind of yeast you use) that it's impossible to say that bread dough will ALWAYS double in bulk in a specific amount of time.
#3. What's another easy way to shape buns, besides rolling them into balls and flattening? Gently deflate the dough, and form it into a smooth 8" log. Slice the log as though you were slicing cinnamon buns. Gently pull each slice into a circle.
#4. Brushing buns with melted butter will give them a soft, light golden crust. Brushing with an egg-white wash (1 egg white beaten with 1/4 cup water) will give them a shinier, darker crust. For seeded buns, brush with the egg wash; it'll make the seeds adhere. And, feel free to add the extra yolk to the dough, reserving the white for the wash.
#5. To make these buns using our hamburger bun pan: Divide the dough into six pieces (if you have a kitchen scale each piece will weigh about 4 1/2 ounces), and shape them into balls. Place the balls into the lightly-greased wells of a hamburger bun pan, and gently press them with your hand to fill the bottom of the wells, or until they're about 3 1/2" to 4" wide. Proceed with the recipe as written.
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