I came across this recipe on the King Arthur Catalogue site for Hamburger or Hot Dog Buns and decided to make some up ahead of time to try out the recipe. They turned out perfectly and were really easy to make. I thought they'd be a great addition to any picnic, in fact, probably be the hit of the party. Enjoy!
Hamburger or Hot Dog Buns
2 T granulated sugar
2 packets or 2 scant tablespoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (105F to 115F-degrees)
2 cups warm milk (105F to 115F-degrees)
2 T vegetable oil
2 tsp. salt
5 1/2 to 7 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour*
egg wash: 1 egg beaten with 1 T cold water
Sesame, Poppy, or your favorite combination
*There is a fairly wide variation for a couple of reasons. First, you'll find in the summer that you'll need a bit more flour to absorb a given amount of liquid than you will in the winter. Especially, if you live in an area with humidity...flour acts somewhat like a slightly dampened sponge as a result.
In a KitchenAid, dissolve the sugar, yeast and warm water.
Wait until the yeast mixture foams, then, add the milk, oil, and salt and 3 cups of flour to the yeast mixture. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes. I switched to the dough hook. Gradually add flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface.
Knead until you have a smooth elastic dough. Because this dough is so slack, you may find that a bowl scraper or bench knife can be helpful in scooping up the dough and folding it over on itself.
Put dough into an oiled bowl, turning once to coat the entire ball of dough in oil. Cover with a plastic wrap or a tightly-woven dampened towel and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
I divided the dough in half and made up six hamburger buns and ten hot dog buns...using the appropriate pans.
Note: Cover the pans with plastic wrap, sprayed with baking oil. For the hot dog buns, I placed a baking sheet, weighed down, to keep the buns uniformed.
Let rise once more, about 45 minutes. (You can also form the buns on a regular baking sheet, placing them about 3 inches apart. )
Preheat oven to 400F-degrees. Just before baking, lightly brush the tops of the buns with the egg wash and sprinkle with whatever seeds strike your fancy. Bake for 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 190F-degrees. When the buns are done, remove them from the baking sheet to cool on a wire rack. This will prevent the crust from becoming soggy.