Living in the suburbs of Montreal, Canada is a sad place in terms of finding high quality hamburger buns. I mean I have one local store that SOMETIMES carries brioche buns but that’s it. What about delicious potato buns??? You can forget about it! Also since we are currently under quarantine, procuring such delights has become even harder than before so I decided to make my own!
I thought it’d be hard to get the right buttery, almost croissant type texture but it turns out it was pretty darn easy! Here’s how:
Stand mixer with dough hook attachment
Kitchen scale (highly recommended but not necessary)
First make the Tangzhong:
In a medium sauce pan combine 2tbsp bread flour, 2tbsp water and 4tbsp whole milk. Whisk until combined and turn heat to medium. Whisk constantly until a paste is formed which will take between 25-30 seconds. Remove from heat transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
Now, prepare your stand mixer with it's dough hook.
Prepare your milk yeast mixture:
Heat whole or 2% milk to approximately 95F and combine with 1 tbsp of instant yeast. Set aside and let it bloom for a couple of minutes.
Meanwhile, in the bowl of your stand mixer combine your flour, sea salt and sugar. Whisk until combined.
Add milk, yeast mixture to the flour mixture and mix on low for a few seconds then add your tangzhong, followed by your whole egg and egg yolk. Increase speed to medium-low. Mix until a cohesive dough ball forms and all of the dry crumbs are picked up. You will have to stop the machine and scrape down the sides. Add butter, one tbsp at a time. Continue to mix on med-low until dough is smooth, between 5-8 minutes.
Lightly grease a medium sized bowl. Remove dough from your mixer to your counter and fold dough into ball by pulling edges in towards itself. Place ball of dough into bowl, seam side down.
Cover bowl with a damp dish towel and allow to rest in the oven (off), with the light on for 1 to 2 hours or until it has doubled in size. You can also place it in a warm-ish place where there's no draft or cold air.
When the dough is ready, punch it down to remove excess air and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.
Divide dough into 6 equal pieces. Each piece should be from 95 to 100g.
Cover dough balls with your damp dish towel. Working with one ball at a time, fold dough onto itself, by pulling the edges inwards until a nice little ball is formed. Using your two pinkies, at the base of the ball pull dough ball towards yourself, move it back and do it again until a perfectly firm round ball is formed.
(See video) Repeat with each ball , keeping the rest underneath the damp towel as you work.
Place a piece of parchment onto a very large backing sheet. Oil the parchment and place dough balls on top, with a minimum of 2" between them. They will grow pretty big and you really don't want these to stick together because when you separate them, they will deflate. Cover dough balls with a damp cloth again and allow to rise at room temp for about 1 to 1hr30 mins.
Preheat your oven to 375F.
Make egg wash with your remaining egg & milk and gently brush onto dough tops. Sprinkle on sesame seeds if using.
Bake for approximately 18 minutes or until beautifully golden brown.
If you want to make these buns even better, brush on some melted butter and sprinkle on some Maldon salt.
See the video by Joshua Weissman for the kneading method.