The Best Ever Hamburger Buns

We usually research our basic recipes, cook them several times while adjusting the ingredients, and finally combine our different versions into one recipe. We do this because we want to come up with the best possible recipe, and in our experience, it takes a lot of adjusting. Not this one.

DAD found this recipe in an article in the New York Times on Wednesday, July 1, 2009. It was an article about making the perfect burger, so, of course, it got his attention.

In it, author Jane Sigal included a recipe from Hidefumi Kubota, the bakery chef at Comme Ca restaurant in Los Angeles. It is absolutely the best we have every tasted, and it has extruded itself into our Pizza Dough recipes page as well, with one adjustment to the amount of yeast, to be a deep-dish pizza crust. Chef Hidefumi, we are your biggest fans!

1 cup warm water

3 Tbs warm milk

2 tsp active dry yeast

2 1/2 Tbs sugar

2 large eggs

3 cups bread flour

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp salt

2 1/2 Tbs unsalted butter, softened

In a glass measuring cup, combine water, milk, yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 5 mins.

Beat 1 egg.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk flours with salt. Add butter and rub into the flour between your fingers, making crumbs. Using a dough scraper, stir in yeast mixture and beaten egg until a dough forms. Scrape dough onto a clean, unfloured counter and knead, scooping the dough up, slapping it on counter, and turning it until smooth and elastic, 8-10 mins.

Shape dough into a ball and return it to bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using dough scraper, divide dough into 8 equal parts. Gently roll each into a ball and arrange 2 to 3 inches apart on baking sheet. Cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel and let buns rise in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours.

Set a large, shallow pan of water on oven floor. Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in the center. Beat remaining egg with 1 Tbs of water and brush (mixture) on top of buns. Bake, turning sheet halfway through baking, until tops are golden brown, about 15 mins. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Well done, Chef H.....

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Hamburger Buns

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