Monday, August 6, 2012

Hot buns

Normal people buy hamburger buns at the grocery store.  Slightly fancier people buy hamburger buns from a local baker and the buns have fancy types like 9 grain and italian.  There is another group of people though that refuses to use either of these options and instead decides to bake their own hamburger buns.  The smart people in the third group ask friends or Google 'how to make homemade hamburger buns' ahead of time rather than just going for it and falling flat.  I am perhaps not so smart.  I decided to try to do hamburgers completely from scratch and make my own patties, buns and toppings.  Note:  I don't make my own ketchup, I cheated.  Hell, I didn't even make my own pickles.  What a slacker.

I wasn't at all sure how big I needed to make the initial balls of dough to get proper sized buns so I made a variety of sizes to make sure I got something useful out the other end.  It actually worked out okay because I made huge patties for myself and smaller ones for Elli and they looked only mostly silly.

I got myself into trouble because the patties were really thick.  This is fine except that the buns had a normal bread crust on them and so were fairly resistant to squishing and this made it hard for Elli to eat her hamburger.  I managed to maul my burgers well enough but it was clear that I am missing something really key in my baking strategy.

You know those commercials for hamburger joints where they show a perfect hamburger, sizzling from the grill, with toppings so fresh they are still covered in beads of water?  Yeah, mine don't look like that.  They look like a fat hunk of meat with limp veggies on a deformed bun.  Just from a visual perspective my homemade hamburgers don't just look worse than a McDonalds ad, they look worse than the actual burgers you get at McDonalds.  

They taste better than their fast food brethren though, and they are filled with less death and suffering.  A good trade, if I do say so myself, and I do say so.  Now I just need to figure out what I screwed up in the making of these buns and I will be on my way!


  1. Buns like this are often "enriched": there's a fat in the dough (butter or oil, sometimes egg, sometimes milk) that alters the texture a bit. Next time you try it, maybe replace some of the water with milk & add a bit of vegetable oil?

  2. The buns look perfect! The burgers need to be flatter though, and I speak from the experience of a person with a small jaw opening.

    The 'water droplets' on the toppings in pictures are things like glycerin, oil, heck maybe even contact cement or varnish. No need to strive for that look.