The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hamburger Buns, Finally

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Chausiubao's picture
Chausiubao

Hamburger Buns, Finally

More then a few times now I've stroked my ego and declared, “grilled burgers with handmade hamburger buns!” Each time I might add, it has been in front of the eyes and stomachs of my friends. Whatever they happened to think of my attempts and the results that they ate, I knew the truth. They were horrible! Not surprising, considering my experience up until this point has not been in straight doughs, has not been in hamburger buns, and I really didn't know what I was talking about. Give me some dough to laminate, some brioche to mix. I can make several different types of hearth bread shapes, but more “American” type breads I am ashamed to say I am somewhat ignorant.

That last statement would be true up until about two months ago when I started working at an establishment that focused on making hamburger buns and dinner rolls. Sure there are some other types of breads, brioche pullman loaves for example (brioche toast for breakfast?), but more then anything else, we make thousands and thousands of rolls and burgers. And it really blew my mind, one of those steps. It makes sense though, if you want a wide, squat, cylindrical bread, your bread shape has to be wide, squat and cylindrical. You take a nice well rounded roll, let it proof up, then you smash it flat. I must admit, it hurt to flatten my little burger babies.

 

Sure at the other bakery I worked at we did the same thing. But we didn't do it anywhere near to the same extent. We didn't let them proof up, but more like like them rest. We didn't flatten them completely either, seeing as how they weren't particularly relaxed after being rounded. Just a gentle love tap all across the top. They were slightly flattened, and it was visible in the final product, a somewhat squat, yet quite tall, “hamburger bun”. But what they have me doing now, its totally different. Everything gets smashed flat. All the burgers that is. Kaiser rolls too, and the result is just like at the grocery store! Which is not necessarily a good thing, or a bad thing for that matter. It is different. A different shape for a different job I imagine. So tonight, having gotten out of work early armed with the knowledge working at an American bakery has equipped me with, I will be having hamburgers tonight.


Comments

aarmogan's picture
aarmogan

First, I thought this was a picture of my kitchen.  I have that exact same stove.. :)  Secondly, what did you baste them with?  They look so shiny.  I made buns over the weekend which turned out to be more like rolls, I was too afraid to flatten them!

Chausiubao's picture
Chausiubao

Heavy whipping cream. It is excessive I know, but I figured, I've got it on hand, why not use it? Milk works just fine, but cream is even more spectacular, if a bit extravagant. Right out of the oven, while they're still hot, I brushed them with the dairy.

I suspect that if you brush them before they go into the oven, the shine will be more diminished.

kneading's picture
kneading

I have always had the same problem. They turn out more like rolls rather than burger buns. Thanks for your information. The dough looks very good too. I'd like to know which recipe you used and when do you flatten ? Is this after the second rise and before you put it in the oven, or did you flatten and let it rise again for a short period of time?

thanks, Kathy

Chausiubao's picture
Chausiubao

The shapes were flattened during the rest period after the dough was shaped. Once flattened, they were proofed before baking. So if the rounding was a preshape, the flattening was a final shape. I hope that clears it up. Once flattened they are allowed to undergo the final proof.

The recipe is Hammelman's pain de mie.

FaithHope's picture
FaithHope

Have you ever tried the Kaiser knot?  It's super easy!  Just make the rope!  I use both PR's rec. and just a basic white bread too, and they come out great!  The reason I love the knot, it cause it doesn't dome as much when making a bun.  PR says to flip them after 30-40 min. but I just leave it, egg wash it, and bake um.  Super yum, and look pretty too! ;)

Chausiubao's picture
Chausiubao

Its true, kaiser knots would work as well. But simply flattening the dough seems so much easier! Maybe one day.

kneading's picture
kneading

I would like to try the " flatten method" but still not certain when? Do you flatten after the second rise before putting them in an oven or do you let them rise again

for a short period of time? I guess I could experiment. Kathy 

Chausiubao's picture
Chausiubao

You flatten them before the final proof. After the final proof, you can put them in the oven. So you flatten them, let them rise again, then bake them. If you flatten them right before loading, your final proof will have been for nothing. 

As I said before, pre-shape them into rounds, then final shape them by flattening the rounds.