Warm cast iron skillets beneath steadily rising dough must make top five on the list of welcoming sights a kitchen can offer. So, in an effort to make my kitchen chic and globally appealing — I’ve come up with every excuse in the book to keep baking bread all year long. Scandalous, I know.
In our post-Atkins (diet) society, bread is a bit of a taboo. There’s also an unwritten rule: no homemade bread before Labor Day or after Fat Tuesday. We hang up our wooden bread bowls and then traipse to the store to buy hot dog and hamburger buns for spring/summer dining. Why? Why not keep the bread bowl out and make your own summer breads for a homemade cookout?
So here’s the recipe (Guess what? It’s for both hamburger and hot dog buns!):
- 4-6 cups of flour (all-purpose or bread flour)
- 3 Tablespoons or 2 packages of instant yeast
- 2 cups warm water (110 degrees Fahrenheit)
- 3/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Kosher salt*
- 3 eggs or 3/4 cup yogurt
Combine roughly four cups of the flour with yeast, sugar, oil, and water in a mixer or wooden bowl. Beat in three eggs or yogurt. Gradually incorporate the rest of the flour. Let rest for ten minutes. Knead in salt. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into hamburger buns or hot dog buns. Let rise until nearly doubled. Top with diced onion, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, sliced almonds, Parmesan cheese, wheat germ, or whatever you’ve got handy. Perhaps you prefer your hamburger or hot dog buns in the buff. That’s okay, too. Who am I to judge?
Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit on a greased thick-bottomed baking sheet/pan or a warm cast iron skillet for 10-12 minutes.
These sweet babies are best served just-out-of-the-oven. No need to throw them on the grill or any of that fancy stuff. We’re not making any apologies today, y’all. Just in case you’ve made too many buns for your salmon burgers, tuna steaks, or whatever culinary delights you’ve got going — no worries! Freeze them! To use once the buns have been frozen: place the defrosted buns in a paper bag. Sprinkle the bag with water and fold the opening closed. Heat the rolls at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for about ten minutes and voila!
Happy homemade cookouts!
*If you do not have Kosher salt or sea salt, you may use 1 tablespoon table salt.