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Sourdough Honey Wheat Hamburger Buns

I’ve been known to eat many a burger bunless – most of the commercially produced buns just don’t seem worth it to me (I’d rather eat dessert!). Most of the time, if I’m going to indulge, whatever I’m eating better be really awesome. These homemade sourdough honey wheat buns are amazing, and are a healthy, fiber-filled compliment to any burger. The butter and honey keep the crumb soft, and the fact that they’re 100% whole wheat ensures that the buns are sturdy enough to hold up to even the juiciest burger. Not to mention that they’re much more flavorful than anything you’ll find in the grocery store.

A few notes here:

  • This recipe will make 9 or 10 regular size burger buns, but you can easily make different sized buns if you like. For sliders, I’d probably divide the dough into 18-20 pieces.
  • In the instructions below, you’ll see one of my favorite steaming methods, but feel free to use another method if you like.
  • I topped my buns with wheat bran and sesame seeds – feel free to get creative here! Love sunflower seeds? Go for it! “Everything” topping – poppy seeds, sesame seeds, coarse salt, dried garlic, and dried onion? Yes, please!

Need some great burger ideas? Check out my Guacamole Burgers, and Spanakopita Turkey Burgers.

Please check out Tartine Bread Experiment or the Wild Yeast Blog for more information on building/maintaining a sourdough starter, folds/turns, etc.

Sourdough Honey Wheat Hamburger Buns

Yield: 9 buns

Ingredients

  • 433 grams whole wheat flour
  • 300 grams water
  • 10 grams salt
  • 37 grams honey
  • 27 grams butter, softened
  • 170 grams mature, 100%-hydration sourdough starter
  • Sesame seeds, wheat bran, or other seeds of your choice, for topping

Timetable

  • Mix: 15 minutes
  • Proof I: 2 1/2 hours
  • Shape: 10 minutes
  • Proof II: 3 hours
  • Bake: 35 minutes

Mix & Proof I

  1. Combine all ingredients, except for 30 grams of water, in the bowl of a stand mixer. Fit mixer with dough hook.
  2. Mix on low speed until all of the ingredients are incorporated, approximately 4 minutes. The dough should be medium-soft at this point; if it is too stiff, add a small amount of the reserved water until you reach the desired consistency.
  3. Turn up mixer speed to medium, and continue mixing until dough just about reaches full gluten development (check with windowpane test).
  4. Add the rest of the reserved water, and continue mixing until fully incorporated.
  5. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and ferment at room temperature for about 2.5 hours. Fold the dough at 50 and 100 minutes.

Shape & Proof II

  1. Divide the dough into 9 even pieces (about 100 grams each). Roll each piece into a tight ball.
  2. Brush the top of each ball with water, and sprinkle with topping of your choice.
  3. Place rolls onto two parchment-lined baking sheets, and gently press down on each ball to flatten into discs.
  4. Cover the baking sheets with plastic wrap, and proof at room temperature for about 3 hours, until the dough springs back very slowly when pressed with a fingertip.

Bake

  1. About 30 minutes prior to baking, preheat oven to 400F, and position racks in middle and top thirds. Place a cheap pan that you don’t mind disfiguring onto the bottom of your oven.
  2. When ready to bake, fill a glass with ice, and then fill with cold water. Working quickly, place baking sheets into the oven, and then quickly and carefully (steam burns are nasty!), dump the ice water onto the pan in the bottom of your oven, and shut the oven door.
  3. Bake for 8 minutes with steam (remove the pan if it still has water in it; if not, it’s fine to leave it in the oven), and an additional 20-25 minutes without. Be sure to rotate the pans about halfway through baking to ensure that they brown evenly.
  4. Remove from oven, and cool on wire rack. Enjoy with your favorite burgers!

Source: Adapted from Wild Yeast Blog

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