It's always more fun to DIY. Every week, we'll spare you a trip to the grocery store and show you how to make small batches of great foods at home.
The proper burger bun plays a supporting role to the perfect patty. It’s present but not overpowering, complementary but not controlling. Much like the ideal clutch, it’s capable of carrying the essentials without distracting from the overall outfit. So when it comes time to dress up my burgers, I skip the store-bought varieties and bake up these homemade Parmesan hamburger buns instead.
More: Pair your buns with a classic grilled burger and spicy slaw.
This recipe originated from King Arthur Flour’s no-knead burger buns, one of my all-time favorite takes on DIY dough. The simple yeasted dough is proofed twice for extra-tender results, but I use a trick my mom taught me to get the dough to rise in half the time: transform your dryer into the ultimate proofing box. Simply run your dryer (free of clothes) for a few minutes, turn it off, and then stash the covered dough inside and close the door. The dryer provides a warm, dark environment perfect for doubling the size of your dough. A final egg white wash creates a vibrant sheen atop the sesame-studded golden brown crowns.
Easy Homemade Parmesan Hamburger Buns
Makes 6 buns
For the buns
2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
2/3 to 3/4 cups lukewarm water
Vegetable oil, for greasing
For the topping
1 large egg white
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
Combine all of the ingredients for the buns in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Beat the ingredients at high speed for 2 minutes until they begin to come together around the dough hook. Gather the dough into a ball and transfer to a greased bowl, allowing it to rise for 60 to 90 minutes in a warm, dark place -- like your dryer! -- until visibly puffed.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Gently deflate the dough and divide it into 6 equal pieces for regular-sized buns or 12 equal pieces for slider-sized buns. Shape them into balls, tucking the edges under to make smooth tops, and then place them on the baking sheet, spacing them apart so they don't touch. Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for an additional 60 to 90 minutes (I put them back in the warm dryer) until the buns are noticeably puffy.
Preheat your oven to 350° F, and then apply an egg wash and a dusting of sesame seeds if you like. Bake the buns for 20 minutes, or until they're a light, golden brown. Let them cool completely before slicing. Then fire up your grill!
Photos by Kelly Senyei