The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

A good burger starts with a good bun.

bbegley's picture

A good burger starts with a good bun.

I've been craving a little burger action this week and thought why don't I try my hand at baking some buns.  After all, everyone knows that you can't have a good burger with out a good bun.

These were done with just bread flour and 75% hydration.  I used the Ken Forkish method- autolyse, pinch and fold salt and yeast into the dough and several rounds of stretching and folding.  I bulk fermented in the fridge over night and shaped and proofed in the morning.  I think the cold ferment is why I got some good blistering.  The crumb was a bit dense in places, but over all they weren't bad.  My wife and I both prefer softer buns, so I ended up going in a different direction today.  

I used eggs and milk with the next batch.

Here's the recipe I used:

500g bread flour

100g water

200g whole milk

1 egg, plus 2 egg yolks

10g salt

1 1/2 tsp yeast


20 min autolyse with flour, milk and eggs.

Add salt and yeast, use pinch and fold to incorporate.

30 minute rest followed by stretch and fold.

30 minute rest followed by stretch and fold.

1 hr bulk rise.

shape in to rolls, 1 hr proof with dimple test.

Baked in wider dutch oven at 450 degrees.  20 min with lid on, 20 with lid off.

It was interesting baking them in the dutch oven, I just loaded them in there like rolls.  They got a pretty big oven spring and developed crack on the top as you can see.  I was surprised how crisp the crust was considering the eggs and milk in the recipe.  The flavor was great and the crumb was really tender.  I ended up using more yeast in the recipe just to move things along so we could eat them for dinner.  All in all I was pleased with the result, especially for winging it on the recipe.

I do have a question for the community.  Do I need to be cautious with using eggs and milk in a longer proof if I wanted to dial the yeast down?


isand66's picture

Those are some fine looking buns....I mean those are some great rolls :).  I wouldn't worry about the eggs and milk spoiling as long as you don't go for a crazy amount of times at room temperature.  I usually use an overnight bulk retardation for recipes like this which really builds the flavor and make rolling out the rolls easier.  I have some pretty good roll recipes on TFL or on my other blog:


pmccool's picture

You could preferment 100g of the flour overnight with the 100g of water and a pinch of yeast.  That would give you some additional flavor without worrying about leaving the eggs and milk at room temperature for an extended time.

I agree with Ian that a normal fermentation time for the finished dough won't create undue risk.

Nice looking sandwich rolls, by the way.  I'm sure that they tasted wonderful.


bbegley's picture

Appreciate the advice.  I think I will employ a pre-ferment next time to bulk up the flavor.

dabrownman's picture

making a poolish overnight is good way to get some more flavor,  To get a softer and more flavorful crust and crumb you can also enrich teh dough somje more by chucking in some butter, brush them with an egg, melted butter and milk mix before going in and then again right out of the oven - and bake them at 350 F.  This will give you the softness that is missing for a traditional hamburger bun

Both of your rolls are great for all kinds of things besides hamburgers.  They do look terrific.  Love the blisters and the cracks on the crust  They almost look too good to eat inside and out.  Well done and happy baking

bbegley's picture

Appreciate the feedback.  Poolish seems to be the way to go...and butter!

dabrownman's picture

Made a video f his potato rolls Here

and I did a take on them here for some slider buns.

Making good buns has been quest of mine for some time now.  Can't remember how many different ones we have tried and, besides the beet buns, these were the best.

Happy baking

bbegley's picture

I'll check these out!  MY burger bun epiphany moment was when I had a burger at a restaurant in California called Gott's roadside.  They use an egg bun.  It stood up to the burger perfectly while still being really soft.