I don’t really consider myself a baker. I’d like to be a baker. But, sadly, I’m not.
After many an over-cooked muffin and un-risen bread loaf, I have come to accept this weakness of mine in the kitchen. However, I still foolishly have aspirations to, one day, be the Barefoot Contessa run a small bakery on some cute street corner. So, I keep trying. And trying.
These egg bread buns, however, make me look like I’m a baker. They always come out of the oven with a thin crust on top, a crunchy cornmeal layer on the bottom and the perfect spongy middle.
Though I’m usually a huge fan of bread in any shape or size, what I like so much about these buns is they make me look good don’t overwhelm the sandwich or burger. I’ve used these buns with pulled pork sandwiches, spinach and feta burgers with garlic aioli, hamburgers and turkey and cheddar sandwiches. I’ve just added some butter and had them along with some tomato soup or beef stew. I have made them into hot dog buns and used them on meatball subs. They are also great just by themselves with a little bit of butter and honey. Seriously, these buns are that versatile.
Egg Bread Buns
Adapted from a recipe for Egg Bread in The Bread Bible
makes 6 large buns
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup warm water
1 large egg
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
2 cups bread flour
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/4 tsp. yeast
Place all ingredients in a bread machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Program for the Dough cycle and press Start.
Lightly dust a pizza stone with cornmeal (if you don’t have a pizza stone, you may line a baking sheet with parchment paper instead). After the bread machine finishes, remove the dough and place on a lightly floured surface. Divide into 6 equal portions for hamburger/sandwich buns or 7 equal portions for hot dog buns. Form the hamburger/sandwich buns into tight rounds. If making hot dog buns, roll into tight rounds and then flatten into ovals by rolling up each portion tightly to make a cylinder. Place the buns on the pizza stone (or baking sheet) at least 1 inch apart. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let stand for 40-50 minutes. If buns have not risen to desired size, allow to rise for an additional 15-25 minutes, depending on desired size.
Twenty minutes prior to baking, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the pizza stone in the center of the oven and bake until lightly browned, 15-22 minutes, depending on the size of the roll. Start checking the buns at 11 minutes to be safe. Remove immediately to a cooling rack and cool thoroughly before slicing.