The Fresh Loaf

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Retired US Navy Bakers? Hamburger Buns

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Foamheart's picture
Foamheart

Retired US Navy Bakers? Hamburger Buns

I didn't know where really to put this. I see there are some hamburger buns listed but I was hoping to get lucky.

Retired Navy Bakers?

I was on Submarines while in the service, although not a cook. The senior cook was always the baker, ours was exceptional. The baker’s watch was the mid-watch doing mid-rats then free till breakfast to bake the coming day’s needs. Did I mention our Chief cook was the best in the Navy? No matter what he wanted, he got. He was never harassed, and no one would ever refuse to spend some time helping. But I digress.

All Navy recipes are standard and dispensed with great care through completion of advanced schools. Sure each cook adds his secrets which he carries to the grave with him, but for the most part all standardized or so I have been told.

The humble hamburger bun was an unbelievable achievement. It’s like no other bread; it’s almost a dry, sweet, flour taste. It’s totally awesome. It was like a hamburger bun English muffin with a pinch of sugar. But the dough was that of light bread, not an English muffin consistency.

I was hoping that someone might be an ex-Navy baker or know how to come by those recipes. I am too old now to go back in the service so that is not an option. Besides it would seem maybe a bit extreme, but…… they were awesome buns.

If anyone can help I would appreciate it. Who would've of thought, the humble hamburger bun.

suave's picture
suave
dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Great food - no lines!  Those of us that used to stand watches for others to make a little extra money between port -o - calls, and doing more mid -rats than others were the bakers best customers.    Navy always has the best food of all the branches of service and their bakers are unreal. 

PeterS's picture
PeterS

NAVSUP's Naval Logistics Library Recipe Repository:

https://nll1.ahf.nmci.navy.mil/recipe/

Hamburger Rolls 

https://nll.ahf.nmci.navy.mil/publications/docs/recipe/D03306.pdf

Don't worry about the security warning from google or your browser. The site is ok, it's just a security certificate conflict.

Looks like there is enough here for you to open up the "Submarine Bakery & Cafe" 

Good luck!

<edited to add:  I went to answer this and left the response in my browser for several hours before hitting save; looks like the others beat me to it :) >

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Clicked and read the Do3306 recipe and it has only 4.2 cups of water in it for 2 gallons of flour!  Pretty dry dough!  Cough, cough!      Anyone know how much flour is in a Gallon, sir; yes, sir?    

Let's see just off hand...

16 c. to a gallon  I figure:  16 x 2 =32 cups  x 125g(a very light cup of bread flour)  = 4000g  or 4kg flour

4 1/4 cups of water:  4.2 x 238g = 991.2g   

Water weight divided by flour weight gives hydration:    991.2 / 4000 = 0.2478  x 100 = 24.78%   or   25% hydration !!!      Can easily double this amount of water in the dough to 50% !

 A 50% hydration dough would be too dry for bread flour and dry milk so more water is required.  

Would like to hear how this 100 piece bun recipe comes out.   But before I would go there, I would use Norm's hard white rolls (kaiser roll) recipe.  :)

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

would be dry - parched is more likely :-)  As all navy older vets know, water is the most precious thing on a ship at sea and very hard to come by.  Those evaporators were really working overtime at 24 hours a day.  Hot water simply didn't exist.  To conserve water, showers were very short and very little cold water helped in that regard.  I'm guessing that these bakers recipes started with a little water to keep wastfulness down and then they went by touchy fealy of the sand....eeerrrr....dough.  Can't have navy bakers wasting water trying to make holes in bread with high hydration :-)

Or it is a typo.  They probably meant 1/3 rd of 4 1/2 quarts of water or something like that :-)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

thinking the "cups" is a typo on the water amounts, my figuring brings it closer to 48% hydration  with 1928g 

(4 1/4  cups or)  4.25  total cups of water x 16 oz (instead of 8 oz because a pint is twice as much)

That brings it closer to 50% hydration although I'd rather see it between 55% and 60%.  Maybe all that butter (temp) and high humidity inside a ship proofer can make up for the rest.  If the man mixing conveniently has a pint measure in his hand and throws up to a pint of water into the dough while mixing, the hydration can be brought up to 59%.  So the target area of hydration comes closer to reality with the least amount of change.

PeterS's picture
PeterS

I clearly just cut and pasted and hit save...  Mini is right the formula is very funky; it can't work as written.

I calculated the BPs using the provided weights (the other column in the published formula, below). All the ingredients with the exception of the water are within reason.

Adding up the ingredients as listed gives a final dough weight of 14.6 lbs

In the method it says "Divide dough into 8 - 2 lb 14 oz pieces." which corresponds to a final dough weight of 23lbs. It also says "Shape 2-1/2 ounce pieces of dough into balls" which corresponds to a final dough weight of 15.63lbs for 100 rolls. If the difference is only water, that corresponds to 8.5lb and 1lb more water, respectively, and total water baker's percentages of 98%  and 34%. If my quick and dirty math is right, both are still unrealistic for this type of bread.

 Maybe this is part of a clandestine disinformation program: we don't want the enemy to know how we feed our bubbleheads and servicemen.

 

 

IngredientWeight (lbs)BP
YEAST,ACTIVE,DRY0.212%
WATER,WARM1.2513%
WATER,COLD1.0010%
SUGAR,GRANULATED1.0010%
SALT0.131%
FLOUR,WHEAT,BREAD9.67100%
MILK,NONFAT,DRY0.172%
SHORTENING,SOFTENED1.1312%
MILK AND WATER WASH  
   
Total14.55151%
   
Total Water2.2523%

Method
Sprinkle yeast over water. DO NOT USE TEMPERATURES ABOVE 110 F. Mix well. Let stand 5 minutes; stir.
Place water in mixer bowl; add sugar and salt; stir until dissolved. Add yeast solution.
Combine flour and milk; add to liquid solution. Using dough hook, mix at low speed 1 minute or until flour mixture is incorporated
into liquid.
Add shortening; mix at medium speed 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Dough temperature should be between 78
F. to 82 F.
FERMENT: Cover. Set in water place, about 80 F., 1-1/2 hours or until double in bulk.
Punch: Divide dough into 8 2 lb 14 oz pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball; let rest 10 to 20 minutes.
Shape 2-1/2 ounce pieces of dough into balls by rolling with a circular motion on work table.
Place on greased sheet pans in rows 4 by 6.
When half-proofed, flatten with hand or small can to about 1/2 inch thickness and 3-1/2 inch diameter; brush with 1/3 recipe Milk
Wash, Recipe No. I 004 02 per 100 servings.
Proof at 90 F. until double in bulk.
Bake at 400 F. for 15 to 20 minutes or in 350 F. convection oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown on high fan, open
vent. Cool.

Is it just a typo or transcription error, or we maybe don't have the key to the secret recipe code?

msbreadbaker's picture
msbreadbaker

Hi Foamheart, when you dig through all the info, decide on a recipe, try it and determine it is what you are looking for, can you share it with us? I too, am looking for a hamburger bun recipe that is good, most offered are good, however, would like one that does not overpower the contents you put in the bun. Something lighter, along the lines of your post. I've found most of the bun recipes, (KA included) are good, simple, tasty, but are too much like rolls. It is "their" presence that you taste more than what you put on the bun.

Thanks in advance, Jean

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

That might explain the 1% salt too.  

PeterS's picture
PeterS

Adding enough seawater to get to 2% salt:

IngredientWeight (lbs)BP
YEAST,ACTIVE,DRY0.212%
WATER,WARM1.2513%
WATER,COLD1.0010%
SEAWATER @2.5% salt2.4826%
SUGAR,GRANULATED1.0010%
SALT0.131%
FLOUR,WHEAT,BREAD9.67100%
MILK,NONFAT,DRY0.172%
SHORTENING,SOFTENED1.1312%
MILK AND WATER WASH  
Total17.03176%
   
Total Water (adj. for salt)4.6748%

now that's more like it, lol. Doesn't explain the scaling quantities, though, and I'd wonder about the cleanliness of seawater in some ports.

This is basically a soft roll formula with a higher amount of fat; makes it biscuit like.

 

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

my ex was Asst Supply O on the Indy way back when.  Even in the 70s they were gunho on super-cleanliness.

The recipe sounds wonderful, though.

Hope it fits what you are looking for.

Anna

Foamheart's picture
Foamheart

I want to thank everyone for the asistance/comments. As soon as I am satisfied I will share.

Foamheart's picture
Foamheart

I said I would share when I got something I liked.

Hamburger Buns    Yield: 16 Small Buns

1 ½ t.                 Hodgson Active yeast

1 ¼ C                 Warm H2O

½ t.                   Sugar

1 Whole           beaten Egg, Room Temp

2                        Egg Yolks (I tried this mainly for the color)

¼ C                    Neutral Flavored oil (I used vegatable)

3 ½ C                Hodgson Bread Flour

2 T                    Sugar

1/2 T                Sea Salt

 

 

You know how to do it, bloom the yeast in the warm water with a little sugar and a little flour, till it gets all happy bubbly. Add eggs & oil.

Different bowl sift flour, sugar, and salt.

Combine and knead and knead and knead (did I mention I do it by hand?) 10 mins. or until smooth.

Rise in a lightly oiled bowl till doubled (mine tripled, new potent yeast).

Punch down, and pinch off approx. 3” balls, roll and flatten to approx. ½ “thickness. Place on a lightly greased baking pan about 3” apart, and allow to rest/rise.

I used an egg wash of ½ & ½, butter, and egg white all beaten together. I used this instead of steam while cooking. This would be where you might add poppy seeds or sesame seeds.

I don’t have a camera, but they came out looking better than those old store boughts do! I really liked the taste, wasn’t sweet or doughy. They had a really good texture with a mild bread flavor as not to take away from the burgers.

Excellant taste, great texture, easy to make. BTW I actually made them the day before I used them, worked out great.

Its not the old Navy buns, but I am thinking that maybe the memory of those might never be achieved. Sometimes memories are tainted, and the more I remember them, the better they seem.

loydb's picture
loydb

The flavor was probably greatly enhanced by a shift of hard labor. Hang off the side of your house and chip paint off the sides all day, I bet dinner that night will taste notably better :)

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

especially with eggs.  Sea salt is not as "salty" as table salt and might be the flavour your missing.  I calculate that 2% of the flour weight for salt would give about 8.7g salt.  A teaspoon of table salt weighs 5g and sea salt a little less.  (So don't be afraid to try a little more salt, MacArthur.  :)   

 

 

Foamheart's picture
Foamheart

It was late and its a misprint, it should have been 1/2 T. Will edit, and Thank you for catching it.

Corected now.