The thought of Sprouted Wheat Burger Buns might stir memories of disappointment, if not a solemn vow of, tried it, and not going to spend six dollars on hockey puck bread again, thank you. I disliked the sprouted wheat buns we found in the store so much I gave up eating a bun with my burger altogether. Who wants a beautifully grilled burger sandwiched in tough, dry bread? Not me. I am not one of those people who will eat something just because it is good for me—it has to taste good too.
I missed having good buns for grilling season—burgers, BBQ chicken, pulled pork—brushed with butter and toasted right on the grill with crisp edges and a soft interior. Since having consistent success with my Sprouted Wheat French Bread recipe, surely hamburger buns were something I could conquer. (It was a “why not?” moment.) Looking for inspiration on-line, Beautiful Burger Buns from King Arthur Flour presented the best springboard for a basic recipe.
As it turned out, it was some of my best baking yet. They were so soft and delicious, we buttered and ate them before they could even cool. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t ever been tempted to butter and eat a hamburger bun from the market. More than a blank slate to throw a burger on, these buns have a rich flavor, soft texture and present beautifully with black and tan sesame seeds. Rave reviews from the family sealed the deal—our daughter mentioned she wouldn’t have known they were sprouted whole wheat.
I just love it when good for you food tastes this good! So good, you may just grab the butter and forget the burgers. 😉
You can use this same recipe to make Sprouted Wheat Sliders for party sandwiches too!
Sprouted Wheat Burger Buns Recipe
- Prep Time: 3 hours
- Cook Time: 40 mins
- Total Time: 3 hours 40 minutes
- Yield: 16
- Category: Baking, Breads, Sprouted Wheat
- 2 cups water 110-115°
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup honey
- 5 1/2 cups sprouted whole wheat flour (at Whole Foods or order on-line)
- 2 tablespoons butter — melted
- 1 whole egg
- 1 whole egg yolk
- 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 whole egg white — lightly beaten, then reserved
- sesame seeds or poppy seeds — optional
- extra virgin olive oil
- Mix the yeast and honey with the water and let yeast soften for 5 minutes. Mix in the butter, egg, egg yolk, salt, and half the flour until smooth. Let dough rest for 20 minutes.
- Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (up to 5 1/2 cups total), mix 5-6 minutes in a stand mixer or by hand–dough will be “shaggy” and sticky as compared to white flour dough. On a lightly floured surface, with floured hands, knead dough to form a soft ball. (If using a stand mixer, a paddle attachment can work better than a dough hook.) Because the dough can be tacky, use a pastry knife to help the dough release from the counter rather than adding more flour, which will make the dough heavy. Switching from flour to oil on your hands can help too.
- Once the dough can form a soft ball, oil a bowl with olive oil, place dough in bowl and turn over so that oiled surface is face-up.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and then a towel, and let it rise in a warm spot (above 70°) for 1 hour, or until nearly doubled. (The oven, with the oven light ON is a good place to let the dough rise if the room is cool.)
- With oiled hands, punch down dough and divide it into 16 pieces (approximately 3 oz. each) on a lightly oiled surface (a kitchen scale is helpful to make sure they are even). Shape each piece into a round, smooth ball, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and flatten with the palm of the hand to about 3″ across (it helps to have oil on your hands when flattening the buns), it is okay if the buns touch when flattened. Cover with a lightweight smooth towel or tented aluminum foil if in a drafty room (otherwise leave uncovered), and let rise for about 30 minutes, or almost doubled in size. (Because the dough can be a little sticky, avoid using terry cloth or microfiber cloth towels, which can “grab” the top of the dough.)
- Just before placing in the oven, brush the buns gently with the beaten egg white on all exposed sides, sprinkle with sesame seeds. For a matte finish, brush with melted butter.
- Bake the buns in a preheated 375°F oven until golden in color, about 15 to 18. Cool the buns on the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely. Slice once completely cooled.
The egg wash helps the seeds to stick and give the buns a shiny crust. Brush with melted butter for a soft, matte finish. The weather and type of flour can have an impact on the feel of the dough and how tacky it feels. Avoid adding a lot of extra flour to the dough to make it more manageable. Instead, use a pastry knife to scrape and lift it when kneading or switch to an oiled surface and oil for your hands to manage the dough.
For high altitude, it may take less flour and a shorter rise time, closer to 4 1/2 cups of flour and one hour to rise. Yeast breads can be sensitive to humidity, so the amount of flour will vary. When ready to set to rise, the dough should be soft and workable by hand, yet still a little tacky to the touch without floured or oiled hands.
Steve Martin’s “I would like to buy a hamburger” scene from The Pink Panther seemed appropriate for the occasion. Just click the link and enjoy!
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