Homemade hamburger buns are the best. They are nothing like those airy light buns you get in those 8 packs. This buns have some bread to them and hold up much better to a sandwich. Use a stand mixer, a bread machine or do it by hand, you can not top homemade. I use a Wolfgang Puck 2lb. Programmable Electronic Breadmaker BBME0070
These buns can be with with any topping you wish. Of course there is the usual sesame seeds and poppy seeds but try also oat meal flakes, wheat germ and onion pieces or a mixture. They are great plain too.
To get the toppings to stick, I like brushing with an egg-wash first. If I am baking these without any toppings I sometimes brush with butter instead of the egg wash before baking. Once out of the oven, brush with some melted butter will help keep the soft.
Add the ingredients into the bread pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacture. Select the dough only cycle. Press Start. Once the dough starts mixing, check to see if you need to add flour or water. Add by tablespoons at a time. When the machine gets done doing the initial mixing, press stop (before it does a rise) and proceed with forming and shaping the buns.
To Mix in Stand Mixer
Add the water, sugar and yeast to the mixing bowl. Mix to dissolve yeast. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the yeast to activate. The mixture should be come bubbly and foamy.
Add the oil, egg, 3 cups of flour and salt to the bowl and start mixing the down on the lowest speed. Stop the mixer and scrap the flour in as needed. Add additional flour if necessary. Knead for 5 to 8 minutes until the dough become smooth and elastic. Immediately proceed with forming and shaping the buns.
To Mix by hand
In a bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water, add the sugar, stir and let stand 5 to 10 minutes to allow the yeast to active and become foamy.
Add the vegetable oil, egg, 3 cups of the flour and the salt. Stir to mix. Once it comes together as a dough, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it becomes smooth and elastic, adding flour as necessary. Once you have a good dough, proceed with forming and shaping the buns.
Forming and Shaping the buns
Preheat the oven to 425ºF / 220ºC.
Prepare a baking sheet by either lining with parchment paper, a silicone mat or greasing with some shortening.
Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. I like to use a scale to have evenly divided pieces. To do this, the the weight of the entire dough, and divide by 12. Now you have how much a piece should weigh. Use a kitchen shears to cut off a piece of dough and place it on the scale, add or remove dough as needed. Continue doing this until you have your 12 pieces.
Take the first ball and roll into a round ball, like a meat ball. Place on the baking sheet. Continue with the remaining dough balls. I like to press down on the dough balls to flatten into a round disc. You can use the bottom of a glass to do this or place a piece of parchment paper on top and press another tray down to flatten. Remove the covering parchments.
Cover and let rest for 10minutes.
Topping and Baking the Buns
If desired, brush with an egg wash made of 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water. Add topping such as sesame seeds, poppy seeds, oatmeal flakes, wheat germ, onion flakes etc. or you can brush with melted butter.
Place in the oven and bakes 8 to 12 minutes or until done. Once remove from the oven, brush with melted butter if desired. Allow to cool before using.
Note 1 Yeast - 2 tablespoons is about 2-1/2 envelops (each envelope contains 2-1/2 teaspoons.) If you are using instant dry yeast or bread machine yeast they will rise a little faster so you can use a little less (1-3/4 tablespoons over all).