For the buns
- Whole milk 150 g (⅔ C)
- Water 150 g (⅔ C) at proper temperature (see recipe below for details)
- Bread flour 500 g (3½ C)
- Sea salt 10 g (2 tsp)
- Granulated sugar 40 g (3⅓ Tbsp )
- Dry instant yeast 10 G (1 Tbsp+½ tsp)
- 1 egg
- Unsalted butter, cold, ¼-inch cubes 50 g (3½ Tbsp)
For the egg wash, topping
- two eggs plus 1 egg yolk
- sesame seeds for sprinkling
Make the dough
- First, determine the water temperature you need. Subtract the temperature of your milk from 150°F (I’m not going to give Celcius measurements right here because the operations don’t transfer smoothly across units). That is your water temperature. Combine the water and milk. It should be 75°F (24°C).
- Combine all bun ingredients in a stand mixer and mix on low-speed for 5 minutes with a dough hook.
- Increase the speed of the mixer to medium and mix for a full 12–15 minutes. Use a timer to make sure you knead it long enough.
- If the dough won’t form a gluten window after 12 minutes, knead another 3 minutes.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and make a smooth ball out of it.
- Put it back into a bowl, flour the surface lightly, cover it and let it ferment on the countertop for 1 hour.
Form the buns
- Turn the dough back out of the bowl onto the floured surface and deflate it gently.
- Using a scale, divide the dough into 12 pieces, 80 grams each. Don’t flour them as you cut them.
- Make balls out of each by rolling each piece of dough on an un-floured section of the counter under a cupped hand until you feel it come together in a tight, sphere-ish shape.
- Place them on a parchment-lined sheet tray.
- Cover the dough balls with another sheet of parchment, and squash them down with another sheet tray until they are somewhat flattened.
- Make the egg wash by vigorously beating the two whole eggs and the single yolk. An immersion blender works well.
- Baste the buns with the egg wash.
- Put them in an area where they can proof at around 75–80°F (24–27°C). Use a ChefAlarm’s high- and low-temp alarms to make sure your proofing box—whether it be a cooler with some warm water, an oven with the light on, or a cardboard box set in a sort-of sunny place—doesn’t get too hot or too cold.
- Proof for about 90 minutes or until doubled in volume. (If you live in a very dry climate or your proof box is very dry, you may want to very lightly drape some plastic wrap over the buns to prevent them from drying out.)
Bake the buns
- Remove the buns from the proofer and preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C).
- Very gently give the buns another coating of egg wash, then sprinkle them with sesame seeds.
- Bake the buns for 15–20 minutes, or until a Thermapen inserted into a bun gives a reading no lower than 180–190°F (82–88°C).
- Let the buns cool on a rack until ready to slice and use.
- Serve with perfectly cooked burgers!