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Author Notes: The proper burger bun plays a supporting role to a 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 Easy Homemade Parmesan Hamburger Buns.
This recipe originated from King Arthur Flour’s no-knead burger buns, one of my all-time favorite takes on DIY dough. The simple yeast-based 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.
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.
- Lightly grease a large bowl with vegetable oil. Gather the dough into a ball and transfer it to the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise in a warm, dark place for 60 to 90 minutes until it has 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 the dough pieces into balls, tucking the edges under to make smooth tops, and then place them on the baking sheet, spacing them apart so they do not touch. Gently flatten the balls so they're about 3 1/2 inches wide for regular-sized buns or 2 inches wide for slider-sized buns. Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for an additional 60 to 90 minutes until the buns are noticeably puffy.
- Place the rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 350°F. Whisk the egg white with 2 teaspoons of water. Brush the tops of the buns with the egg white mixture and then sprinkle the buns with the sesame seeds (optional).
- Bake the buns for about 20 minutes, until they're light, golden brown.
- Remove the buns from the oven, transfer them to a rack and allow them to cool completely.
- Kelly's Notes: The amount of water used in the recipe depends on how humid your environment is. Use 2/3 cup water in summer months or more humid climates and use 3/4 cup water in winter months or in drier climates. The egg white wash isn't essential, but it's what gives the buns their attractive sheen and golden brown crowns. The baked buns can be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature.