The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

In-N-Out bun imitation

IBringThePain's picture

In-N-Out bun imitation

I'm moving away from California (sob. . . sob) and I'm finding the concept of living without In-N-Out very difficult. I've begun to hoard spread packets to soothe myself in moments of utter desperation, and it would really help if I could make a reasonable facsimile of their buns. I go almost exclusively for artisan-style sourdoughs, so I have no idea where to even begin. I assume from the light but closed crumb that it's a high-hydration enriched dough. To complicate matters, the marketing literature says it's a "sponge bread." I don't know what this means, but I assume it's not referring to a preferment. Any ideas from the TFL community? 

cranbo's picture

I posted a few months ago about the SoCal burger bun Shangri-La, aka Puritan Bakery in Carson, CA. There was a nice article written up in a local paper about it. You may want to contact Puritan to see if they'll ship to you. Apparently they do walk-ins for the general public...

BTW KrissRulz, thx for the burger lab link, what a great write up.

If you're hell bent on baking them yourself, do yourself a favor and buy some hamburger bun pans; Puritan does use them, I saw it in the photos in the original article I quoted. 

You're basically looking for fairly low hydration dough (probably in the 50-60% range), not too much sponge (you want the bread to be  fluffy and soft, and not much "tug"), and a short dough development cycle overall. 

jaywillie's picture

I have had InO burgers, but don't recall the bun, so I can't help all that much. But I have made these King Arthur hamburger buns and like them. I used a portion of white WW to add some nutrition. In any case, it's a decent place for you to start. It's a pretty rich, tight crumb bun, but not so rich as to overwhelm the burger. Try it once and you may get your own ideas about what to do to make it more like the ones you want.

If that one doesn't work, KA has a number of other hamburger bun recipes on their site.