Well Being

Easy, Perfect Homemade Hamburger or Hot Dog Buns

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hot dog buns

Summer is the time for cook-outs for sure. When you can make homemade, delicious (soft!) hot dog and hamburger buns in less than an hour why in the world would you buy them?

Did I say less than an hour? Yep!

These freeze well so you can make them ahead of time. If you have a regular baking day, or OAMC weekend make up a few batches of these for the month and freeze them for quick meals anytime.

Most of us do not consider how many chemicals we take into our bodies. We watch fats, and eat healthy, but when you are buying prepared foods, like bread, you are getting all kinds of things that are unpronounceable. Even if you are not eating organic (and I really encourage you to do so as much as you can) making your own foods will keep many chemicals out of your family's bodies.

And just because I am on a soapbox here….

Rant:Americans, for the most part, spend the least percentage of their paycheck of anyone in the world  on groceries. We would rather have cable t.v. and a new car than high quality foods. What has happened in the last 50 years is that we have lost flavors! We are used to eating so bland that fresh foods taste too intense sometimes. You cannot buy a two week old carrot from Kroger and expect it to taste like a carrot picked fresh from your garden. You cannot buy beef that has been raised in stressful factory conditions, pumped full of hormones and antibiotics and forced to be cannibalistic, ground up and then pumped full of stuff to make it red, and expect it to taste like beef that has been pastured and allowed to be raised in a humane and ethical manner. It amazes me that people will pay 4.00 a gallon for gas so they can run to the mall and yet will gravitate toward the 1.99 a lb stuff at wal-mart. End Rant

Give these a try, even if you aren't used to working with a yeast dough. They are super simple!

Homemade Hot Dog or Hamburger Buns

1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup unsalted butter
4 1/2 cups flour (unbleached, whole wheat, or a mix)
1 package instant yeast
1 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 egg, room temperature

Heat the milk, water, honey and butter until butter is melted. Check temperature. Depending on the temperature, let cool to 120F. Carefully beat in egg.
Mix 2 cups of the flour, yeast, and salt. Mix into the milk mixture. Stir in the rest of the flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Beat well after each addition.
When the dough pulls together, (it will form a soft ball) turn it out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. This should take about 5 minutes.
Divide dough into 12 -16 equal pieces. This will depend on the size you want for the finished bun. Shape into smooth balls, flatten slightly, and place on a silpat covered baking sheet.
Let rise for 30 to 35 minutes. When buns have almost doubled bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.
If you are making hot dog buns I find it easiest to roll the dough out into a large rectangle and cut into smaller rectangles. Let rise with sides touching.

You can brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle with poppy seeds, sesame seeds, coarse sea salt, or whatever you like. You can add dry onion soup mix for onion rolls. These are very versatile!
Makes 12-16

Image: Marye Audet